Why Families Are Like Fudge… and My Grandmother’s Fudge Recipe


Familyby Cathy Baker @cathysbaker

Families are like fudge… mostly sweet with a few nuts. Author Unknown

I LOVE my family.

No naming names here Uncle Jim, but I find this quote to be quite true, at least in my family—and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

My dad’s mom (Ma-Ma) was a master-maker of the butter-like (with a hint of sugar crunch) chocolate concoction, better known as fudge. I remember Ma-Ma’s arthritic fingers carefully stirring chocolate chips, vanilla, marshmallows, and pecans in her white Pyrex bowl.

When I came across the above quote, I was reminded how Ma-Ma’s fudge-making process was truly similar to families. Just as each fudge recipe is a tad different, so are families. There was a time in my life when I wondered why I landed in my particular family. Don’t get me wrong. I’m very thankful for my family, but when I was younger, smack dab in the middle of difficult situations, I couldn’t help but wonder why. But now, looking back, I’m reminded that much like Ma-Ma’s fudge, God handcrafted families with much care, blending unique personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. Hey, even the ‘nuts’ in the bunch help mold us into the men and women God intended.

Growing up, I usually found my way into the den to talk to my grandfather when the dreaded part of the fudge-making process⎯the constant stirring of sugar and milk until it came to a rolling boil⎯was over. If it wasn’t carefully monitored, the liquids quickly scorched, leaving behind wasted ingredients, which is probably why Ma-Ma didn’t mind my absence, knowing I’d soon return for the bowl-licking session. 

Photo courtesy of Remnant Resources
Photo courtesy of Remnant Resources

After pouring the warm sugar mixture over the dry ingredients, the fudge is blended, poured into a prepared pan, and baked. This final step reminds me of a different kind of family. God’s family. We don’t need a village, we need a kingdom where Truth is poured out, even if it means getting messy. And regardless of our denomination, or whether we worship the same way, if our desire is to come together as One family and put our heavenly Father on display, I think we’ll find that we blend beautifully.


Ma-Ma’s Fudge Recipe

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cups evaporated milk (Ma-Ma used Carnation)
  • 12 large marshmallows (Ma-Ma used Kraft)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • dash salt
  • 1 cup Nestle semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Mix sugar, evaporated milk, marshmallows, butter, and salt in a saucepan. Cook stirring over medium heat until it comes to a rolling boil. Stir constantly and boil for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate morsels until melted. Add nuts and vanilla. Pour into buttered pan or Pyrex dish. Cool and cut into squares.


Cathy Baker

Cathy Baker is an award-winning writer and author of Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Beach as well as Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Mountains. As a twenty-five-year veteran Bible instructor, she's led hundreds of studies and workshops. She's also contributed to numerous anthologies and publications, including Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Upper Room, and Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family. In addition, her poetry can be found in several popular anthologies. She and her husband, Brian, live in the foothills of the Carolinas where she one day hopes to have her very own Goldendoodle. Subscribe to Cathy's blog and receive a free e-book, Praying In Every Room of Your Home. http://www.cathybaker.org

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  1. I love this analogy 🙂 I married into a fudge making family. Corey’s folks made hundreds of individual pieces of fudge in little foil wrappers for our wedding, and fudge is always the first dessert to disappear at family gatherings.

  2. Hi Kim! So great seeing you here. 🙂 I’m thankful to hear that I’m not the only with a fudge making family. I love the idea of making individual pieces for your wedding. How clever (and delicious!). Thanks for stopping by and sharing. Blessings!

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