“You’re a chink!”
I was sitting by myself at recess on my first day at a school in the United States when a older middle school, Caucasian boy welcomed me with those words. It was the aftermath of the the Vietnam War, and though the gene pool had actually given me more of my father’s Caucasian features than my mother’s Asian ones, folks back then were more cognizant of facial differences than today. (Today, no one believes me when I say I’m Korean. I have to show them pictures of my mom. So, times do change!)
Unfortunately for that gentleman, though I was younger than he, I wasn’t so easily intimidated, and he didn’t expect my response. “Shows how much you know,” I said. “Chink is a derogatory term for Chinese people, not Korean. I believe you meant to call me a ‘Gook’, but instead you’ve only revealed just how ignorant you are. So, please just go away and leave me alone.” To his credit, he walked away as the crowd around him snickered.
My victory didn’t make me feel any better, though, about such a “welcome” to my “home” country and new school, and at the end of recess my new teacher, Mrs. Petruska found me sitting in the corner of the yard, crying. She didn’t ask me what was wrong, so I presumed she must have heard from one of the other students. Instead, she handed me a small piece of chocolate (this was long before the day of food allergy awareness), patted my back, and said,”Take your time eating this, and when you’re done, I’ll see you back at class.”
Now, some may wonder what sort of teacher would handle such a situation by giving a child a piece of chocolate, but whether you agree or disagree with her actions, I have to say that I learned that day that if savoring a piece of chocolate can make you feel better, than life is not going to end from whatever situation you feel devastated by.
And strangely enough, as I’ve grown into adulthood, the only time I even eat a piece of chocolate (allergen free variety, of course!) is when I need a reminder that I will survive whatever “mess” I’m currently dealing with in life, and the only time I make chocolate truffles and fudge is for the holidays – and it’s always for giving away.
Chocolate, though, is one of those ingredients that can be deadly if you’re severely allergic to dairy or nuts. Fortunately for me, however, Enjoy Life makes wonderful chips, chunks, and bars which are everything free, so I can continue to make, give away and enjoy chocolate truffles and fudge when I want – and so can you.
1 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips
2 tbsp Polaner’s all fruit of choice*
Cocoa powder/coconut flakes/chopped nuts/crushed candies/dried chopped fruit
1. Melt the chocolate with the all-fruit over a double boiler, stirring constantly. (I put a small pan filled with water halfway on the burner and then stack a larger pan on top.)
2. Pour the melted mixture into a shallow pan and cool in the fridge until the chocolate is solid enough to shape. (It needs to be a rollable, fudgy consistency, not hard.)
3. Use a teaspoon sized amount of chocolate and roll into a ball. Roll the chocolate ball in cocoa or flaked coconut or chopped nuts (if you’re not allergic) or crushed candies or dried fruit and stored in a covered container in fridge.
4. Serve at room temperature.
*Note: You can omit the all-fruit flavoring and just make the chocolate plain. You can also substitute flavoring like mint extract (use a small amount like 1/8 tsp first and taste; add in increments to the strength of flavor you want).
Chocolate Marshmallow Fudge
3 cups Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips
Equivalent to 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk*
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups mini marshmallows
2 tbsp melted vegan “butter”
1. Line a pan with aluminium foil or parchment paper or wax paper, leaving flaps overhanging on all four sides so you can pull out the fudge.
2. Mix the chocolate chips with the sweetened condensed milk and the salt. Melt slowly over low heat, stirring constantly, until all the chips are melted.
3. Stir in the melted “butter” and one cup of the marshmallows. Stir until those have melted into the chocolate.
4. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and the remaining two cups of marshmallows. Stir just until the marshmallows are incorporated but still firm.
5. Scrape the fudge into the prepared pan with a rubber scraper and smooth the top of the fudge flat.
6. Cool in the fridge for several hours until hardened.
7. Use the flaps to remove the fudge from the pan, turn it over onto a cutting board, and peel away the foil or parchment paper or wax paper.
8. Cut the fudge into size and shape wanted and store in a container or individually wrapped in the fridge.
*If you don’t have milk allergies, use the canned sweetened condensed milk, but if you do: You can also try making homemade sweetened condensed milk by mixing about 2 1/2 cups of your type of “milk” (rice, nut, coconut, soy) with 8 tbsp sugar or agave. Stir well and simmer over low heat until the “milk” has reduced and thickened. This will take a couple of hours. Keep the heat low and stir frequently. When it’s thickened, you can add 1/8 tsp of salt and/or 1/2 tsp vanilla, if you’d like. Put a clear plastic wrap up against the mixture before cooling in the fridge to prevent a “skin” from forming. When you need it, use the sweetened condensed milk to substitute for a 14 oz can.