Family Happiness Party!

Husband and I have been married over 35 years.  And, with the addition of our children (and  now their spouses and grandchildren) we are a Family with a capital F.  Way back when times could be very tough and we couldn’t afford trips to the mall or the movies or some main event.  What we could afford was ice cream!  And that was the beginning of a wonderful tradition which continues today.

In 1998 we were interviewed and contributed to a book call “The Heart of the Family:  Searching American for New Family Traditions that Fulfill Us” by Meg Cox. (you can find it…and the updated version on Amazon). Our family tradition of a “Happiness Party” when everyone is down in the dumps was included!

The rules of the “Happiness Party” are simple.  Anyone in the family can call for one.  The time and place must be rather immediate.  The requirements are ice cream, toppings, and lots of eagerness to let go of our blues.

We’ve had a rough few months.  My father got sick and passed away.  And nothing seemed to be going right.  And then husband and I got the worst colds of our lives.  (Still fighting that one.) So husband said that he was calling for a Family Happiness Party.

This holiday weekend we are gathering to celebrate and uplift.  The menu isn’t important….what is important is the ice cream sundaes that follow.

So…whipped cream (from the can is the most fun!), jimmies (sprinkles?), wet walnuts, peanut butter (heat it in the microwave and pour), and anything else that will make you smile.  This week STRAWBERRIES! (from the Collingswood Farmer’s Market….Springdale, Buzby, Viereck, Fruitwood…some, all!) and HOMEMADE HOT FUDGE SAUCE!  Oh, yes.  Homemade.  Hot. Fudge. Sauce.

The recipe is simple.

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
9 ounces of chocolate chips or chocolate chunks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.

In a heavy sauce pan on medium heat (do not want any of this to burn), melt two tablespoons of unsalted butter.  Add 3/4 cup of heaving whipping cream.  When the butter has melted and the cream is warm, add nine ounces of chocolate (chips or broken up).  We use a candy bar that is 85% Cacao and low in carbs.  If you like something a little less bitter look for a quality chocolate chip.  Be aware to the amount of sugar in the chocolate.  Do NOT use milk chocolate.  Stir until the chocolate is melted and the sauce is smooth.  Finally add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Stir again until smooth.

Makes about 1 2/3 cups of chocolate sauce.

If you have any left you can keep it up to two weeks in a glass jar in the refrigerator.  You can eat it cold by the spoonful (it’s fudge!) or gently reheat it.  That’s IF you have any left.

A Family Happiness Party doesn’t take our problems away.  It doesn’t solve our problems.  A Family Happiness Party brings us together so we can face whatever storm is out there, together.

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