May 18, 2015

A Hot Fudge Emergency

In our home, we believe in emergency preparedness.

And by emergency preparedness, I mean that we try never to dip below two bags of chocolate chips in the pantry at all times.

One reason for this staunch adherence to crisis readiness is that you never know when you will need to make a batch of Emergency Hot Fudge Sauce.

What are some possible crises that might necessitate the making of Emergency Hot Fudge Sauce? Well, I can think of several, but then chocolate is my preferred coping mechanism. Still, to give you an idea of what I'm talking about, here are five scenarios which may or may not be purely hypothetical:

1. (Husband, after septic system guy drives away): "Honey, how do you feel about installing a new drain field in the back yard instead of getting new kitchen cabinets?"

2. (Child at school using the computer to email home during English paper research; subject line, "I hate school"): "Mom, I just failed my algebra test. I cried while I was taking it. Can I come home?"

3. (Pediatrician): "Yup, that's lice."

4. (Orthodontist): "Well, it looks like [insert child's name] will need braces after all!"

5. (Radio DJ): "It's Monday."

Or whatever crisis you might realistically suppose warm, velvety, homemade hot fudge sauce would be some kind of solution to.

Of course, there are limits to how prepared you can be for an emergency. That's why they're called "emergencies" and not "normal life." But keep some chocolate chips on hand (along with a can of evaporated milk and some mini marshmallows) and at least you'll have the comfort of knowing you're as ready as you can be.

Emergency Hot Fudge Sauce

Got a Hot Fudge Emergency of your own? If you're up to sharing it, post a comment here or on our Facebook page? (Misery loves company and all that...)

1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules or freeze-dried espresso (no, your fudge sauce will not taste like will just taste more like chocolate)

1 teaspoon hot water

1 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark)

1 cup mini marshmallows

1 cup evaporated milk (I use 2% or skim)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Dissolve the coffee or espresso in the hot water in a large (8-cup at least) microwave-safe bowl or in a medium-sized saucepan. Dump in the other ingredients except the vanilla and mix rather halfheartedly. Microwave on high power until thick and bubbly--about 4-6 minutes total, stirring after every minute. This is not the time to walk away unless you're going for the chocolate volcano effect in your microwave. If you're using the stovetop, cook over mediumish heat until bubbly and thick, stirring constantly. (No walking away here, either. Scorched chocolate is a very sad thing.) Once your E.H.F.S. is thick and enticing, stir in the vanilla and cool slightly before serving or storing in a glass jar in the refrigerator. The basic recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups but is easily doubled or tripled. (Or quintupled, if you're making enough for a high school marching band post band-camp ice cream buffet. For instance.)

*This recipe in its original form can be found in More House Specialties, by Michigan cookbook author Deanna House.

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I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me what you really think. Years ago, I explained to my then-two-year-old that my appointment with a counselor was "sort of like going to a doctor who will help me be a better mommy." Without blinking, she replied, "You'd better go every day." All of which is just to say I've spent some time in the school of brutal honesty!