Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Dear Orange Moon Friends

Friends, Christmas greetings, and a gift for you...

"The Chemistry of the Spirit"

     I am not a chemist, and in fact, did not do well in the subject during my school days.  I do, however, love the chemistry involved in baking and candy making.  It thrills me as I measure, combine, stir, and bake (if necessary) to know that things are happening at the molecular level invisible to the eye, and knowable only by the end product of fudge (a batch just made), cookies, caramels, cakes, breads, and pies (and yes, if you insist, I will include my fudge recipe at the end of this essay!  You will want to make this, barring blood sugar issues, and give the glory to God as your eyes roll back in your head upon first bite).

    We often suggest in these essays that with God, there is always more to the picture than meets the eye.  Creation teems with the dynamic involvement of His heart and hand - "God... worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Ephesians 1:2; 11).  We see relatively little of the Divine activity, even as the Apostle John wrote concerning the earthly life of the Lord Jesus Christ, "
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written" (John 21:25).  As with the myriad molecules that dance, repel, and unite in the process of producing culinary delights, so the living God works in all things to reveal the sweetness and sustenance of the Lord Jesus in those who trust Him.  "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).

    We often do not know what God is doing.  We only know that He is doing.  Indeed, the great Chemist, as it were, somehow formulates the components of a creation vast beyond our comprehension and measure into a singular, sublime purpose of "gathering together in one all things in Christ" (Ephesians 1:10).  The glory of the Lord Jesus shining forth from within and upon all things -  the chemistry of the Spirit will ultimately result in an infinitely myriad number of components perfectly united to provide the Savior as the Bread of life for all things...

"O taste and see that the Lord is good!  Blessed is the man that trusteth in Him."
(Psalm 34:8)

Old Fashioned Fudge (the only kind you really want, as opposed to the  modern versions that, if you ask me, provide overwrought slickness and sweetness for what they lack in proper texture and flavor).

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup milk (at least 2%, whole is best)
4 and 1/4 tablespoons real butter (don't put margarine in my fudge recipe!)
1 and 1/4 teaspoons vanilla

Fudge is chemistry.  This means the formation of sugar crystals, which involves gentle stirring so as to not draw down crystalized molecules into the mixture as it cooks.  In simple language, try not to slop the mixture up the side of the pan as you stir.  Gentle does the trick, at first... 

In a large saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa and milk.  Cook over medium heat, stirring continually until the mixture boils and is smooth.  At that point, reduce heat and attach a good candy thermometer to the side of the pan.  Allow fudge to reach 238 degrees without stirring.  Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla, and then beat forcefully with a sturdy wooden spoon until the fudge thickens and looses its sheen.  This will take 10-15 minutes, and it will make your forearm hurt.  You will not regret the pain, however, I assure you!

Add fudge to a 8x8 square pan, preferably lined with buttered parchment paper (you can just butter the pan itself).  Allow to cool several hours.  Clean bowl in which fudge was prepared with spoon and tongue.  Cut fudge into bite size pieces.  Give thanks to the Lord, partake, share with others, and think good thoughts about yours truly...

Merry Christmas, my brothers and sisters.  I cannot imagine life without you. Or without fudge!


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