If you can’t have milk

Okay, everyone who’s ever read one of my books knows how much I love to cook AND enjoy food. I have a problem with milk. It doesn’t like me in any of its forms. I’ve tried Lactaid pills and Digestive pills, but I’m fine….as long as I avoid milk. Then bad things happen.

My cousin, Jenny, who’s in a nursing home, has the same problems, maybe worse. And the thing about being in a nursing home–which she LOVES–is that everyone gets pretty much the same breakfast, lunch, and dinner as everyone else. But Jenny’s wonderful Saint Anne’s tries really hard to accommodate everyone. And the food there is wonderful. But let’s face it. When you go out to restaurants, or if you live in a nursing facility, cooks try to add flavor and pizzaz to a lot of meals by adding cheese. Don’t get me wrong. If I could eat it, I’d love it. But I can’t. And more often than not, the desserts are based on milk or milk products.

No ice cream for Jenny or me. No cheesecake. Nothing made with milk. I can make my own desserts and use almond milk as a substitute most of the time–not always. Try adding almond milk to instant puddings. You end up with soup. But Jenny’s Saint Anne’s tried, really hard, to accommodate her and bought sherbet to give her when they had milk in a dessert. The thing is, and no one believed me, but sherbet has MILK in it. Guess what? Jenny had a bad time of it. BUT, bless their hearts, Saint Anne had tried. Not even my sister believed me when I said, “Not sherbet. It has milk.” “No, that’s why it’s not ice cream,” everyone said. No, that’s why it adds fruit flavors TO ice cream. But, well, sometimes things go awry. Now, Saint Anne’s is going to get sorbet or almond milk ice cream for her. They’re a great place to be.

But, since Jenny knows I love to cook, she’s told me that she misses some of the snacks she used to love when she came to our house. So, I make some to take to her when we visit her on Fridays. Snacks with no milk. I’ve made her lemon cookies–one of her favorites, banana cream pie with almond milk, peanut butter and honey coated popcorn, Rice Krispie treats, and this time, peanut butter fudge–one of her favorites. I always make two bags of them. One of them for Jenny and one of them for her best friend at St. Anne’s.

This time, though, I was just downright lazy. I usually make her my dad’s peanut butter fudge. She loves it, but it’s a pain to make. This time, I cheated and went to my Ideals Candy Cookbook that I bought when HH and I were first married. You can’t find it anymore. And I made Sue’s Easy 15-Minute Peanut Butter Fudge and substituted almond milk for the milk, and it turned out WONDERFUL. So good, that I’m sharing the recipe. And if you’re one of the people who can’t have milk, it’s easy to make!

Sue’s Easy 15-Minute Fudge

In a deep saucepan, that will hold a candy thermometer, add:

1 c. sugar

1 c. light brown sugar

1/4 t salt

1/2 c milk (I used almond milk)

Cook to 240 degrees, stirring most of the time.

Remove from heat and add:

1 c. miniature marshmallows

1/2 c. peanut butter

1 t. vanilla

Stir with a wooden spoon for several minutes until thick and creamy and some of the gloss disappears.

Spread in a buttered 8 x 8 pan and cool.

Cut into squares.

I hope you enjoy this as much as Jenny and I did when you make it. Happy Snacking!