Wednesday, December 3, 2014

CHRISTMAS MEMORIES


My mother died when I was thirty. One of the best memories I have of her centers around Christmas. No matter how tough things were after my parents divorced, my mother always made Christmas special.

We had certain traditions. My younger brother and I could open one gift on Christmas Eve. And on Christmas morning, we weren’t allowed to leave our rooms until my mother was up and gave her permission. Of course, my brother and I always woke up early. Sometimes as early as five o’clock in the morning. Our rooms were next to each other, so we would begin to cough loudly, checking to see if the other one was awake. After a few minutes of this rather raucous noise, my mother would yell at us from her bedroom to be quiet. But a few minutes later, she would get up, not wanting to torture us too much. We could hear her walk down the hall, and we knew that Christmas was getting ready to begin.

Finally, when she told us we could come out, we would exit our rooms, excited to walk into the living room. Although most of our presents were wrapped, some would be sitting out. These were the gifts from Santa. We wanted nothing more but to tear into our presents, but she always made us eat breakfast first. Breakfast was usually a rushed bowl of cereal before school, yet on Christmas morning, there were usually doughnuts or some other special treat. My brother and I ate as quickly as we could. I’m surprised we didn’t make ourselves sick. When we finished, Mom would finally allow us back into the living room where we sat down and waited as she handed out gifts.

Even though things were tight financially, my mother always made sure we had plenty of presents. She loved Christmas, and so did we. Even today, it’s my favorite time of the year. We continued my mother’s traditions until my son, Danny, married and started his own family. Now we blend ourselves into their traditions. And that’s how it should be. Even though she’s been gone more than thirty years, my mother still shows up at Christmas through some of her favorite recipes. She made the best fudge I’ve ever tasted, and I still have her handwritten recipe. I make her fudge and give it out as Christmas gifts. And she made a wonderful cheese ball which is another Christmas favorite in my family. I still use her original note card. It’s probably fifty years old now, but I treasure it.

This year, I’d like to share my mother, Barbara, with you. Below are her recipes for fudge and cheese ball. I hope you’ll try them and that they’ll become a part of your traditions. When you make them, it would be wonderful if you’d think of her – even for a second.

I can’t send you fudge or a cheese ball through the mail, but I would like to give one of you a signed copy of Gathering Shadows as a gift this year. Please leave a comment, along with your contact info, and I’ll pick a winner next week.

For anyone wanting signed copies of any of my books for Christmas gifts, please contact me through my website
www.nancymehl.com or through Facebook. They are $12.00 each and that includes shipping.
God bless you, and have a very merry Christmas.

Nancy Mehl


My Mother’s Million Dollar Fudge

Ingredients:

4 ½ cups of sugar
1 can of evaporated milk
½ cup of butter
Pinch of salt
9 oz Hershey’s chocolate bars
12 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips
7 oz of marshmallow cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cup chopped nuts (I use walnuts)
Butter to grease pan
 

Directions:
 

Combine sugar, milk, butter and salt in a heavy pan. Bring to a boil. (Be careful not to scorch the bottom of the pan. I don’t turn the burner up all the way, and I stir once in a while as it heats up.)

Let it boil for 6 minutes. Stir constantly. *The timing is very important.

Remove from heat and add all the additional ingredients. Pour into buttered 8 x 8 pan. Chill. When ready, cut into squares.

*One important note: I make two batches for Christmas because I use this for gifts and take some to Christmas parties. DO NOT double the recipe when cooking. The fudge won’t set right. If you want to make two batches, you will have to make the recipe twice.

My Mother’s Cheese Ball

Ingredients

(2) 3 oz. packages of cream cheese½ lb. finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
½ lb. Velveeta cheese (Sharp if you can find it)
1 or tablespoons of minced garlic (Depending on how much garlic you like)
½ cup pecan bits (You can also use nut topping. The smaller the pieces, the better this recipe works)
 
Directions
 

Soften cheese and mix cheeses, garlic, and ¼ cup nuts together. Make into ball and roll in remaining nuts. Refrigerate. You can also freeze them.


41 comments:

  1. Your Christmas traditions sound similar to ones I had as a child. I'm sorry your mother has been gone for so many years. It's hard to lose our mothers earlier, rather than later. I might get brave and try making the fudge :)
    may_dayzee (AT) yahoo (DOT) com

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    1. You'll love this fudge. Everyone will. And trust me, if I can do it, you can too. LOL!

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  2. Thanks for sharing something so precious and close to the heart. I'm currently reading Gathering Shadows and enjoying it thoroughly.

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  3. You're welcome, Lill. And I'm glad you're enjoying the book. Thanks for letting me know.

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  4. Sounds like a very easy fudge to make. My Mom always made the Hershey's one that you had to boil ect. I never could get it to turn out. First time it was hard as a rock second tome more like caramel. So I gave up.

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    Replies
    1. As long as you're careful to stir it for six minutes, it should be fine. That seems to be the key!

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  5. I love traditions. My mom always made candy during the holidays and so do I. I find as I get older that I see more of my mom in my actions. The fudge recipe looks delicious. Chocolate is my favorite,but my family loves peanut butter. I also make bourbon balls which are very popular. You know in Ky. we use bourbon in anything we can.lol Thank you for sharing.
    Blessings to all.

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    1. I forgot to leave my email
      eppersonkatrina@yahoo.com

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    2. The bourbon balls sound good, Katrina!

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  6. Making Christmas breakfast together is so much fun and then the gift openings. My favorite thing to do with family is the Christmas Eve candlelight service and homemade goodies afterwards.
    leliamae54(at)netscape(dot)net

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  7. Your fudge recipe looks almost exactly like my mom's! Creamy and delicious, every time! Would love your book!
    My email is: wesnpam[AT]fulton-net[DOT]com.

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  8. I like your traditions, we always opened gifts then had breakfast. The fudge sounds great.
    inspiremichelle@yahoo.com

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  9. Your Christmas memories and traditions remind me so much of my family growing up. Thank you for sharing those special memories. I loved discovering your books and would love to win this and read it. Will try the fudge!
    Cindy99@mac.com

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    Replies
    1. I was happy to do it. Good luck with the fudge!

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  10. Thank you for just sharing your Christmas memories with us! That was really special about your Mother and the way she managed your Christmas tradition. Thank you for your recipes also; how special that is! You know the Million Dollar Fudge recipe sounds quite familiar to me. I think that is probably the same recipe my Uncle Ted used at Christmas time every year. He was the fudge maker in our family and his fudge was so yummy! Thank you for the opportunity to win your book also! Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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    1. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Faith. :)

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  11. Thank you for this wonderful, emotional and heartfelt memory which tugs at my heart. Your recipe is special and sounds delectable and perfect. Your book would be a treasure which I would cherish. Wishing you the most wonderful and happy holidays. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. Praying your Christmas will be blessed as well. Thank you. :)

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  12. Fudge is my favorite treat at this time of year since it reawakens the times way back when we baked, cooked and celebrated together. Thank you for sharing this precious Christmas memory. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  13. cynthia.page@comcast.net

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  14. Merry Christmas Nancy and to ALL the Suspense Sisters!! Just LOOOOOVED this post, how clever that you guys would cough to each other on Christmas morn to see if the other was awake :) Thanks for sharing your sweet memories of your mom and the delicious fudge recipe, which I'm totally going to try to make. Best wishes to all the entrants, blessings Nancy!!
    Kara
    *not an entry*

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    1. Hi, Kara. We also poked a hole in the wall that connected our bedroom closets. We could talk to each other that way - without my mother hearing us. LOL!

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  15. What a special Christmas memory! Thank you for sharing! katie07edgar(at)gmail(dot)com

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  16. I dont think we ever coughed so loud as we did on Christmas mornings, until we knew for sure mom was awake! Im surprised you didn't mention the hole in the wall of our closet's that we made so we could talk to each other, without mom knowing about it!! LOL Love you Sis, your brother Dan!

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    1. LOL! I mentioned it in a comment above, bro! Mom never did say anything about that hole. I wonder if she ever found it!

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  17. Thank you for sharing you memory. And also the fudge recipe. Sounds so easy. My husband would love it.

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  18. Thank you for sharing your Christmas memory about your mom. My mom passed away six years ago and she too made Christmas special at our house including putting up the Christmas tree the night after Thanksgiving, making homemade candies and cookies, and many other special touches. Very precious memories! Thank you again for sharing your memory and the giveaway!
    -Samantha pooh_1334(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  19. Can't wait to try the fudge recipe. Lovely, precious memories.

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  20. Ahh, what sweet memories. I still have my mother's handwritten recipe for dressing.

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    Replies
    1. Having the original recipe is so special. I just can't get rid of them. :)

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  21. I love this post, Nancy! Christmas memories are some of the very best! Love how you and your brother would cough loudly, checking to see if the other one was awake. I can't wait to try these yummy recipes. Thank you for sharing and for the great giveaway opportunity.

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

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  22. I am so sorry about your mom's passing. My mom passed away thirteen years ago. Christmas holds my very best memories of her as well. Her birthday was December 26th so there are many memories there. Thank you for sharing your mother with us and for the giveaway as well.

    momrain (at) aol (dot) com

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  23. How special it is for a child to realize how his/her mother made Christmas so special! Thank you for sharing your memories.Thank you for your interesting and inspiring books, special to your readers!
    Janice M.
    pjrcmoore@windstream.net

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  24. I have many memories about spending Christmas with my grandmother in her little house in Mississippi with a tin roof. I used to go to sleep hearing things on the roof thinking it could be Santa.
    Dana
    Danajeweler@ymail.com

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  25. Nancy, what precious memories. I admit that I am jealous and a bit envious of such lovely memories. I don't remember much in my life before age 9, and don't remember Christmases at all! I know we had/celebrated Christmas, but I don't remember! I remember some from 9 up, but really the most I remember is from marriage (in '91) to now. Enjoy your memories! Thank you so very much for sharing them!
    Blessings to you!
    Kelly Y
    kelly *at* dkcountryarts *dot* com

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  26. I grew up an only child, I love to hear wonderful Christmas memories. Thank you for sharing yours.

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  27. My mother has made jam cakes for Christmas for as long as I can remember. They were a favorite of my Daddy and it took me a long time to realize why jam cake and milk were what Santa was left each year. My Mom is now 83 and today, she gave my brother and me our jam cake for 2014.
    Thanks for sharing your delicious recipes.
    Connie
    cps1950@gmail.com

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  28. My mom always makes her divinity and flourless fruitcake for Christmas. Thank-you for sharing your traditions...I can't wait try the fudge and cheese ball recipes. kittygirl15401@yahoo.com

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  29. My sister and I used to stay up all night on Christmas Eve playing monopoly, she past away 9 years ago and my best memories are from those nights.
    Becky@shapirousa.net

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  30. Christmas traditions are special for every family. Love the title of that book.
    onorman(at) wilkes(dot) net

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