Friday’s Weekend Column
Fixing Up The Old Truck

by James Glaser
February 25, 2005

A few weeks ago I was writing about digging my old truck out of the snow bank and bringing it into town for Pete McKenzie to work on. Well I stopped there today and the box is all done and primed. He has the new rubber around the back window and one door is rebuilt, with new rubber and window guides. It is going to look sharp, but now I have to think about having the interior done too. That isn't that bad, door panels and seat cover.

I look at that truck and start thinking of spring. Right now spring sounds so great, but when it does get here it will be constant work for several weeks, but outside work in nice weather. Oh, it isn't bad out right now, but it is only 25 degrees and I want 70.

My sister Jodi got me a pedometer. You hook it on to your jeans watch pocket and it tells you how many steps you take a day. She says I should shoot for 10,000. I have been averaging 6,800. It is a good way to see if you are picking up your activity level. I bet I double my number when the weather gets nice out.

I have been working on the house every day and I see a lot of progress. I am doing the bathroom now. I have the new faucets in and am going to swing my big cast iron tub over so it is parallel with the wall. Right now it comes out in the room at and angle with the corner. I want one of those nice chrome shower enclosures and new tub faucets too. Big bucks.

While I was in the cities I bought a nice beveled mirror for the front of the medicine cabinet I am making. I need a ceiling light fixture and one for over the sink. I have the walls, floor and ceiling all done, but plan to buy a couple wall cabinets for towels. The bathroom is usually the smallest room in a house, but you can sure stick a lot of money in there.

One year Charmaine got me a towel warmer for Christmas and I thought, how dumb. I thought how dumb, until I had a nice hot towel after a bath and they are nice. Americans really do live a lot better than most of the world. My sink faucets cost more than the average yearly wage of a person living in Afghanistan. Yes we really have their country up and going. The average per capita income there is now up to $190.00 per year. They are some of the 2 billion people who live on less than 2 dollars a day. If Afghans worked the hours Americans did, their pay would be 9 cents an hour.

I went to the cities to buy chocolate, expensive chocolate, and is it nice to cook with. Is it nice to eat too!

I came home and made "48 Hour Set Fudge." This is very dangerous fudge, because at the beginning of the recipe it states, "Every so often, fudge should be checked to see if it has set yet." Well how do you check fudge? I take a piece out of the pan and taste it to see how it is doing and if it tastes real good, the "every so often" comes around a lot.

Ingredients

1 pint of marshmallow crème
(4) 20 cent packages of Hershey's chocolate bits
4 ½ cups of sugar
(1) 14 ½ oz. evaporated milk
2 tps. Vanilla
2 cups of broken pecans

You can tell this is an old recipe because there are no 20 cent packages of chocolate anything now and the 14.5 oz. can of milk is down to 12.

I used 24 0z. of Callebaut semisweet chocolate and I added ¼ pound of butter.

Put your chocolate and marshmallow crème in a large mixing bowel and butter the bottom of a 9 x 13 glass cake pan and set both aside. Break up your pecans and set them aside too.

Then put the milk, butter, and sugar in a heavy deep pan as this combination will really climb up the sides when it starts to boil. Bring up to "soft ball" 238 degrees stirring all the time. Keep it boiling for 4 ½ minutes. Pour this into the mixing bowel with the chocolate and stir it until it is smooth. When it has cooled some add vanilla and nuts, stirring them in. Now pour all of this into the cake pan and eat the contents left in the pan. After a while, when you start thinking how good that was, it is time to start testing the fudge to see if it set yet. This is a big batch, so don't worry, you will be very sick before you could eat it all, so there will be plenty for the family. After about 48 hours it has started to set, 72 hours if you added the butter. This is a very good fudge and this recipe makes about 5 pounds and the pieces are about two 1 ½ inches thick. People will love you if you share this with them.

My house is all cleaned up and seeing that it is late afternoon, I think I will not start anything new now. I am going to run down to Bemidji and see about getting a new driver's door glass for the truck.


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