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A father's recipe for fudge is a decadent dessert meant for sharing


All this season, we've been sharing stories from our listeners of their favorite family recipes. It's a series we call All Things We're Cooking. Today we hear from Jan Kincaid, who brings us a dessert meant for sharing with friends and neighbors.

JAN KINCAID: I was very happy to submit a recipe called Pete Kincaid's fudge. Pete Kincaid would be my father. Well, we made it as a family. But my father started to make it in batch after batch and give it to people as a gift at Christmas time. He was the director of vocational education for our school system in East Chicago. So he was in charge of home economics, vocational arts - which would be print shop, woodshop, machine shop, things that aren't even offered in schools now. My mother would do the shopping. So she would always get the evaporated milk. She would get chocolate chips. She would get the butter and the sugar.

Then we'd set up in the kitchen. We had a little, tiny kitchen in East Chicago. And it was a big pot. And we'd follow the recipe. And then I would stand on a stool. And I was in charge of stirring it for the 11 minutes - or my dad. And we'd stand there and talk. With fudge, you can't double the recipe. You can only make one batch at a time. And that's where the patience came in with my father. He was an extremely patient man. And he could probably spend hours just making batch after batch.

You know, gift giving wasn't such a big thing where I grew up. And it just was a gesture of friendship and goodwill. So when I was first married, we lived in the Chicagoland area. And then my former husband's job took us to Cincinnati. And so it was a way to make friends. You know, I was there all alone with a little baby. I was expecting another baby. You know, I didn't know anybody or anyone. And it was a way to kind of connect to people, to make a gift or knock on the door.

The funny thing about it being called Pete Kincaid's fudge is my mother would always stand behind my father and roll her eyes because she said it was - actually, the fudge recipe came from her. But my father was - he was a very personable, sweet man. And so people really related to him and liked him. And so, of course, it became named after him. My mom quit rolling her eyes after years. But we always laughed about that. It tastes so good because it's so full of fat and sugar and chocolate. Be brave and try it. And you'll be really happy with the results.


FENG: That was Jan Kincaid. She lives near Los Angeles now. You can find her fudge recipe and all the recipes in our series by searching for All Things We're Cooking at npr.org. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Emily Feng is NPR's Beijing correspondent.