Sweet as ……. tablet?

Whoever said running was an individual sport has never (a) attempted to run a marathon or (b) been injured.

The journey, so far, has seen me consult (in no particular order): a doctor, podiatrist, physiotherapist, masseuse, nutritionist and hairdresser (in her life as a 100+ marathon runner – I get the bonus of much needed free advice and a great haircut). On top of this, there’s been the trips to the health food store and core strength (ouch) classes. And I’m not even a real athlete.

Having spent years trying (unsuccessfully) to be somewhat careful about what went into my mouth, it was exciting when the lovely Rebecca (nutritionist) said I needed to eat more carbs and sugar. This was sounding good. I had a sudden craving for Russian Fudge – so off to the kitchen I went. Unfortunately, Rebecca and I were not on the same wave length, she inclining towards that gastronomic delight: creamed rice. And, goody, some ‘gel’ shots (not of the vodka variety) washed down with water. Yum I can hear you say…

Once I had the image of fudge in my mind, nothing could stop me (sorry Rebecca). I did, however, decide to do a bit of research first. I had always wondered where the name came from. What do you know, it turns out some old Estonian dude invented it in Glasgow in the late 1800’s. Check out this blog for a huge amount of detail on the background of this sweet and creamy delight – it’s pretty interesting and even has a Dominion Post reference. Another great snippet I learned at the same time is that fudge is known as tablet in Scotland. “Anyone for a piece of tablet?” Sounds appealing.

On that informative note, which I have on good authority from the ‘Glaswegian Gourmet’ (you know who you are) is true, I’ll move on to Aunty Milly’s recipe:

Line a baking tin (mine is 27x18cm) with baking paper or give it a light spray with cooking oil. Put 2 1/2 cups of sugar (I recommend using Chelsea as have had problems with some budget brands in the past), 1/2 can condensed milk, 100g butter and 2 tablespoons of golden syrup into a large heavy bottom saucepan. It needs to be a good saucepan or it will burn and burnt fudge is bad fudge.

Stir frequently until the sugar dissolves and begins to bubble. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Once it gets to the soft-ball stage, take it off the heat.

Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence (I prefer vanilla paste) and sit for a couple of minutes. Then beat with an electric hand beater for 5-10 minutes until it becomes really thick.

Quickly pour into the prepared tin and pop into the fridge.

Cut into squares when cold. I keep it in the fridge – not that it lasts long!

And, in case you are wondering, I have learned to tolerate (even almost enjoy) vanilla creamed rice! Five weeks, five days, five tins of creamed rice and 21 training runs to go…

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