I think I am in love!
My friend has just started an Etsy shop selling hand crafted, wooden cooking utensils. He has been in carpentry for about 20 years now and specializes in gorgeous custom cabinets. Now he has started this side business of making utensils. I am trying to talk him into starting up a dutch oven cooking blog. He and his wife are dutch oven pros and I think they really should share some of that info in blogdom. I have only used my dutch oven a few times because, honestly, it intimidates me. I would love some tutorials for dutch oven basics and them maybe some of the fabulously awesome things you can cook with them.
He mainly makes dutch oven tools right now (which are simply marvelous I might add).
Now I need to let you in on a little secret part of my life. I made fudge. Big deal you say? I made fudge from my grandmother's recipe which is over 100 years old. This is old school fudge like you get from specialty candy houses that is made on marble slabs and cooked slowly and carefully to the right temperature which is reached when it smells right, sounds right and does the right thing when dropped into cold water. Thermometers are for novices. Then you cool this pot of chocolaty goodness and poor it onto a large marble slab. You cool it there and then start stirring it and forcing the sugar crystal to for in a very delicate pattern.
The resulting fudge is pure indulgence. I think it should be a sin it is so good but am really glad it isn't or I would be is so much trouble.
I have been making this fudge for 20 years now since I was in my early teens. I have used many different tools in that time. Each tool offering different qualities but none really doing the job like I had hopped. I have made a kind of quest of finding the perfect fudge making tool and have finally found it. I asked my friend if he could come up with a fudge paddle (not telling him how much was riding on this attempt). I gave him a few details about how the fudge is made, what tools I had used in the past, some of the disappointing features of them all and some of their finer points. He asked a few questions and went to work. That afternoon he dropped off this beauty.
I have to admit I was skeptical at first. It is HUGE. It measures 5 1/4 inches wide and almost 24 inches tall. I think the largest utensil I had used in fudge making was just over 12 inches tall. This also has an angled blade. I had only ever used straight bladed tools. Well I got a chance yesterday afternoon to give it a try. I usually only make this fudge at Christmas (for obvious consumption reasons). I have to say again....
I am in Love!
If asked right now what one kitchen tool I would save in a house fire, it would be this one! It is everything I have ever looked for in a potential fudge paddle. The angled blade makes it much easier to scrap and fold the fudge. The long handle made it easier for me to reach the whole batch of fudge without having to over extend my reach. Love that. Also, the handle is very long and curved on the end making easy to swivel back and forth so I can stir and scrape the fudge from the right or left. That was an unexpected bonus. Thanks you!! Love that feature.
My oldest son watched me as I made the fudge (he usually does). He commented on how much quicker the fudge turning went and that the new paddle seemed so much easier for me to use. I thought that was cool that he noticed the difference.
Here are some shots of the paddle at work.
This makes making fudge so easy I just might have to start selling it in my etsy shop. What do you think?
Sorry this recipe is very old and has been in the family for a couple of generations and I am not at liberty to divulge the recipe yet.