Sunday, June 22, 2008

F@#%* Nuts

Not that F-word people!! It's FUDGE...with nuts! Did you all know that this past June 16th was National Fudge Day? Well if not, then too bad for you! No fudge for you! You really missed out I'm sorry to say. At work we had a fudge-making contest in honor of the special day. I like to enter any contest we have at work. As you remember I entered the guacamole contest for Cinco De Mayo, and LOST! I was pretty ticked. The only reason I heard people didn't vote for mine was because it didn't have enough cilantro in it. NEWSFLASH…it probably tasted that way because it didn't have ANY cilantro in it. Yeah I'm still bitter, but only because I know my guacamole should have been the real winner.

After the bust in May I was ready to compete again...but there was one problem. I'd never made fudge before! Let me tell you that my confidence was really high with this challenge. Never the less I still had to talk some trash to my other co-workers. I knew I was possibly setting myself up for some huge backlash…a small risk I was willing to take because I had a plan.

Years ago when I worked for my dad's company during the summers I became friends with Lori R., (not to be confused with my blogger twin Lori). She was one of the best co-workers I've ever worked with and taught me many valuable lessons. The most important one was how to have fun at work! That lesson is so priceless I'm telling ya. (Of course we did some work in-between our morning bugle breaks).

Lori is also a fabulous homemaker, designer and most importantly baker. She would make this 'snickers fudge' for my dad every year for Christmas which he LOVED, because snickers is his favorite candy bar. My sister tried for YEARS to get the recipe from her and she would never fork it over. She knew if my sister had it then she'd loose all leverage with my dad. Smart cookie, I'm tellin' ya. I knew it was a risky move to ask for the recipe, but she gave it over with ease. I didn't even have to use any profanity or threats! I think she either thought A) the chance of me actually making the fudge for my dad, (living 9 hours away), didn't seem to likely, or B) she knows I don't bake often and me making this fudge would probably be a one time thing. Both very possible reasons...I told you she was smart.

I get the recipe and look over the ingredients and I know what each one is!! SWEET! Already this process was going smooth. I head to the store later that week and can't find individually wrapped caramels ANYWHERE in VONS. However I did find some caramel crèmes. What the hell are those? How could they not have regular normal Kraft caramels? ( I guess I should have just Googled them and bought them on amazon.com. Who knew you could buy food on Amazon?)

So then I called CVS and the clerk tells me, 'Oh yes we have those! Come on down.' So I did, only to find the friggin' CARAMEL CREMES AGAIN! What is wrong with these people? Then the panic started to set in…what if in all of SLO County all of the normal caramels have been replaces with these crappy crèmes? My fudge would be doomed even before it began!

The next day I called Ralph's and they totally came to the rescue. After I bought them I headed home to start baking. Like I said before, I'd never made fudge before and now I am mad...how come no one has EVER told me how easy it is? All I had to do was microwave the ingredients and then layer them and wa-la! It was done! It was WAY easier than baking cookies.

The recipe called for the fudge to be chilled, so I chilled it over night and then asked John if he could cut it into 100 pieces. Little did I know that it needed to thaw for 10-20 mins before cutting, but even so, we didn't have that much time to spare the following morning, as I was frantically running late. John was a total champ and worked through the pain getting two blisters from the knife. There is no way I could have cut that fudge and I don't think that would have been a legit excuse for being late to work either.

Once I got to work I surveyed the competition. There were 5 entries:
1. a dark chocolate fudge with chopped nuts
2. a light chocolate fudge with chopped nuts (almost identical to fudge #1).
3. a peanut butter fudge
4. a fudge that looked EXACTLY like mine!

My reviews:
1. Pretty tasty, especially if you like dark chocolate
2. Totally blah...as a fellow co-worker said 'it does nothing for me.'
3. Pretty good, but only real peanut butter lovers would enjoy it. It was very peanut buttery.
4. It had an odd flavor. I thought it kind of tasted like chocolate frosting, and even though I LOVE frosting I didn't think it tasted that good. I guess I was in the clear of thinking it was the same fudge as mine!

I voted for mine of course...well not because it was mine, but it really was the best one there. I was worried that I would like another fudge better than mine, and then I wouldn't know who to vote for. Luckily none of them compared to my little pieces of heaven.

A fellow co-worker who was in there stuffing her face along with me told me she had narrowed it down to two, and mine was one of the finalists. She didn't know that of course, but then in the end she made the right decision. It was good thing because I told her had she not voted correctly I would have had to taken some unnecessary office retaliation which would have included her mouse...and maybe her stapler.

A little while later my boss came in after her tasting/voting and said 'The vote has been cast...it was so easy!' I slyly asked her if she would share which number she voted for and she told me she had voted for mine! Thank goodness because I could not have threaten her with office supply retaliation, ya know? She also mentioned that the two other people that were in the break room with her also voted for mine! I cannot tell you how excited I was knowing that I had a chance to win!!

A few hours after lunch I was told that my fudge was completely gone...the first empty plate. I was really hoping that was a sign of it being the best fudge and not the sign of some greedy person who decided to scarf it all.

I wouldn't find out until Friday at lunch who the winner was. The events committee has monthly lunch get togethers for the company, and last Friday was our one for June. I was so overly confident that I was going to win that I wasn't even nervous or excited! Can you believe that one? I really don't fashion myself to be cocky, but I totally was! I couldn't believe I was more excited about the possibility the day before!

I guess my gut instinct was right because I did win, and when Samantha announced it, I said "Yeah I knew I had it in the bag,' and then tossed the certificate to the side. Just kidding! I was very excited to receive my certificate. It feels great to finally have a win under my belt. Granted I've won a football pool at work before, and some other chance pools, but this was my first victory that depended on actual votes.

I forgot to take a photo of the 'Awarding Winning' fudge, but I made another batch today to take into work tomorrow as a thank you to my co-workers. Now I know some of you may think I'm sucking up to them, but I'm really not! I'm just really that nice...seriously...so you can just sit there and fell bad for thinking that.


Here is my official certificate! I was going to hang it up on the outside of my cube, but I thought that might have been a bit much.

4 comments:

Mauleigh said...

Congradulations on the win! It was worth all the trouble and looks delicious!

Judy S said...

I say definitely hang your certificate where all the
loser fudge-makers can read it and weep! I can't believe a daughter of mine finally won a cooking contest! You are a chip off the old block! Felicidades!

Amber said...

Two words for you WEDDING PRESENT! Think about it. Wink Wink.

Sarah said...

Hmm. There must be come major problem with the post office, FedEx and UPS because I haven't received my package of fudge from you. I'll make some calls. I can't miss out on "Amber's Award-Winning Fudge"