There may be a little sticky smudge of marshmallow creme on my keyboard. Today I was in the kitchen making one of our holiday favorites, Christmas fudge. For the un-Martha Stuart person that I am, this recipe is very easy and only requires a few ingredients. Fudge is one of the treats my mom made when we were kids. The others she prepared and distributed were popcorn balls, peanut brittle, anise cookies and granola (remember I grew up in California). My sisters and I did the delivering to our neighbors, but were not allowed next to the stove because of the large pot of dangerously boiling sugar for the peanut brittle. We’d pull up stools and watch as she checked the candy thermometer attached to the side of the pot. We looked on as she buttered her hands and molded the popcorn with melted marshmallow into grapefruit-size balls. Eventually we grew old enough to take part in the slippery butter covered hand cupping of the sticky warm popcorn. Those December days in my mom’s kitchen are clear in my mind. I still smell the licorice-like anise and the toasted nuts for the granola. I can taste the chocolatey fudge or sweet sticky cooled off marshmallow spoon we got to lick.
Today Koda and Summer laid on the floor watching me stir the bubbling butter, sugar and evaporated milk. They did not get to taste any sweet leftover fudge on the wooden spoon. Yet I have to believe that they did enjoy the smells and listening to the Christmas music. Over and over again, I read in my dog books that it is all about the environmental energy for dogs. Just consider what dogs do when people argue, they hunker down across the room, waiting for the tension to clear. But put several family members in the same room laughing and singing along to Christmas carols, making fudge, and the dogs are right there gloriously basking in the glow of the positive energy.
I see this with other pets too. At my friend’s house during our weekly meetings, her little dog Hazel runs around sniffing at our feet as we loudly chit chat upon entering the house. But then when we all settle comfortably into her family room with cups of tea and coffee, Hazel relaxes and finds her spot to take in the positive energy from the group. Our Kitty used to sprawl out in the center of the floor as we cooked dinner, without any fear of being stepped on. She wanted to be in the center of the action of the people congregating in the kitchen. Our Aussie, Dot, enjoyed our family energy so much she would take her place under our table right after loudly lapping up water as we said Grace.
Some may think a dog laying under the dinner table is a dog waiting for scraps and napkins to fall to the floor. That was not the case with Dot or Kitty, nor is it true for Summer and Koda. They just want to connect with the exchange of positivity circulating around our family. And if by chance a piece of food falls to the floor accidentally, that’s just the icing on the cake (or the melted marshmallow on the spoon).