Today is 'Parade Day' in my hometown in the Berkshires, the 'Fall Foliage Parade' to be exact. What fond memories I have of this annual event, especially from our younger years. As I recall, there were lots of special contests and activities surrounding the parade and leading up to it. One was a Hat Contest for kids. Having grown up in a family with six children, our mom always had to get creative when helping us with our entries. I recall one hat in particular she fashioned for me ~ a colander with macaroni noodles strung from it. I was a 'Yankee Noodle Dandee'. It was a winner.
Berkshire County is one of the most popular spots in New England for 'leaf peeping'. There are a variety of trees, which lend itself to a vast array of foliage. My favorite tree, popular throughout Massachusetts and just north of us in Vermont, is the Maple tree, which produces some fine syrup. Today, in celebration of leaf peepers everywhere, I think I'll make some Maple Fudge. Here's my recipe:
2 cups maple syrup
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
3/4 cup rich milk or cream
3/4 cup nut meats
Combine the maple syrup, corn syrup and cream in a pot and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Let cook without stirring after the boil until soft ball stage, or 236 degrees. Remove from the heat, add the butter and let cool to lukewarm. Beat the mixture until it begins to thicken and loses its gloss. Add nuts, pour into a greased pan and let cool before cutting.