Bloglet: A Real Square

Yes, I am a real square. I can’t seem to stop making granny squares.  I donated about 20 granny square loveys paired with small stuffed animals to the Dane County Humane Society this past week and picked up about 20 more little stuffed animals that I will need to pair with 20 more!

This big batch of squares is destined to become my own big lovey, and I already have the  super-soft little animal I will pair with it! Begonia

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Pantry Candy: Four-Ingredient Fudge

I have a sweet tooth. I usually only make candy at Christmas time to give away as presents, but we were out of desserts and I didn’t feel like baking, so I decided to make fudge!

This four-ingredient fudge is foolproof. It is easier to make and never develops sugar crystals like my old recipe. There is no messy marshmallow fluff to fuss with and only one dish to wash when you are done.

Here is the basic recipe for Four-Ingredient Fudge:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 cups (24 ounces) of semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Line a 9 x 9-inch pan with aluminum foil.
  2. Combine chocolate chips and butter in a covered glass casserole dish, and microwave on high for 1 minute and then in 30 second intervals until it stirs smooth with all chocolate melted.
  3. Add extract and sweetened condensed milk to chocolate mixture and stir well.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and chill until firm.
  5. Lift out of pan and cut into 1-inch squares. Store in refrigerator.

You can vary the flavor of this fudge by using different types of baking chips. You could substitute or use in combination peanut butter, butterscotch, milk chocolate, white chocolate, mint, cherry, or cinnamon-flavored chips. You could also change or combine different flavored extracts, such as almond, orange, rum, or peppermint.

I added dried fruit and toasted nuts to my fudge: orange-flavored craisins, apricots, and toasted almonds, pistachios, and pecans. (Toast by spreading the nuts in a shallow pan and roasting them in a 350 F oven for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.) Add along with the milk and extract.

One piece of this fudge and a cup of strong coffee satisfies because it has so much flavor and sugar intensity. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Begonia




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Homeschooling: My kid the Artist

img_8117It is interesting that I feel more comfortable writing about homeschooling now that I have a certain amount of distance from it--my student is now a sophomore in college (and get ready, because I’m going to brag) pulling a 4.0. Homeschooling really does work.

One of the items on my child’s bucket list was to learn how to draw the human figure. We weren’t able to manage that in the homeschool because the person who taught art in our group wasn’t comfortable with human models. I decided that she would have to wait until college for life drawing. They use professional models and a studio environment and level of instruction that we were all more comfortable with. She came home on winter break with some very large nude charcoals, which now populate the walls of her basement living space. My favorite is a very abstract one that I was going to put on this page but decided some folks might be made uncomfortable, so you will just have to take my word that the kid does good work.

img_8119I noticed the other day her sketch book laying open with an entire page of noses–16 to be exact. This is my favorite of those 16. Gogol wrote a story about a nose that decided to leave it’s face and strike out on its own. It eventually outranked it’s owner. Without looking in a mirror, when was the last time you saw your nose?

She’s working on ears now. Did you know that ears are as unique to each person as their finger prints? They look weird disembodied. (You will be reassured to know that I don’t have a favorite ear.)


She did eventually fill the page with 16 ears!

These features were found on Pinterest. It’s a safer place to find faces, ears, eyes, noses, and photos of people groups to draw with less unwelcome explicit material that a search engine or a google image search might dredge up. HOWEVER–No place on the internet is really “safe.” I’d advise any family using it for subjects to draw to supervise their children closely.  I say this for the benefit of any homeschooling families out there with budding artists. Begonia

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