EDITOR’S NOTE: The following appeared in the “Notes & Asides” section of the May 1, 1981, issue of National Review.
Dear Mrs. Wells:
I had a most engaging letter from Barnaby Conrad (III), the gist of which is that I must give you a recipe for your new book. I have been reluctant to do so not so much from any fear for my reputation, but for yours, since no red-blooded American would buy a book including a recipe by me without demanding his money back. The fact of it is that I am 55 years old, that I cooked feverishly during two summers, age 14 and 15, that I made a considerable sum of money from my cooking–something on the order of $24 or $25 per summer. I produced a most delicious fudge, which I sold via an old ladies’ institution in Sharon, Connecticut at 65 cents per pound (with nuts, 75 cents). My father was so unkind as to point out, somewhere along the line, that the economic model after which I had fashioned my enterprise was unrealistic inasmuch as I used exclusively ingredients provided gratis by my father’s kitchen. Anyway (for a double portion): 11/2 cups of milk, 4 squares of Baker’s chocolate, 1/2 pound of butter, 2 cups of sugar. Stir until you see what looks like discrete globlets. Test these by dripping, by teaspoon, a drop or two. If they come down fragmented, you must leave the mixture under boil. If they come down whole, you are ready to lift the mess off the stove. (On no account should you pass by stage two from inattention, because the effect of this is a granular fudge.) At this moment, you should add a teaspoon of salt and, a minute or two later, two or three teaspoons of vanilla extract. The point of waiting this long is that you must not allow the vanilla to evaporate. If you are living in the post-industrial revolution you may submit the whole to a blender, adding nuts or not, according to market demands, always assuming you are not a supply-sider: in which case you should add the nuts malgré soi
. The beating should continue until the stuff is very nearly cool, and only then pour it into a plate. Beyond that, I know only how to make a stew composed of ingredients from the Democratic platform, but that would be coprophagous.
Wm. F. Buckley Jr.