a place setting in time: i love lucy (birthday) chocolate fudge with walnuts recipe
Lucille Ball made millions of people laugh. She was an outstanding comedienne who made her mark in television, but also was a film, stage and radio actress. She blazed the way for today’s comediennes. On April 26, 1989 the legendary Lucille Ball passed away at the age of 78, leaving behind a body of work that has brought joy to many generations.
I Love Lucy, probably her most famous endeavor is one of our favorite TV show. However, Lucille Ball had an impressive career that did not start with that television series. She began modeling in 1929 and worked on Broadway during the same period. She was a radio actress and also had roles in many “B” movies; so many that she was called “Queen of the B’S”. Ever flexible, Ball transitioned to television and became a star. She continued to work in television and film, even becoming the first woman to run a television studio (Desilu).
Lucille Ball met and married Desi Arnaz, a Cuban band-leader in 1940 on the production of Too Many Girls. After four years of marriage Ball filed for divorce, but Arnaz and Ball reconciled. In 1948 she was working on a radio program called My Favorite Husband. CBS radio liked her work as a nutty housewife and wanted to make the program into a TV series. They asked Ball to star in the show and she agreed, but insisted that Arnaz be her husband in the series. CBS executives were not sure how well the public would receive them as a couple, Lucille Ball being all-American and Arnaz, from Cuba.
Initially the show was a flop, but instead of canning it Ball and Arnaz took the show on the road, doing a stage act. Lucy played the role of a wacky housewife trying to get into her husband’s nightclub show. The tour proved to be a success and CBS aired I Love Lucy which made Ball a legend.
A bit of trivia about Lucille Ball’s flaming red hair: The gorgeous Ball was a natural brunette. It wasn’t until 1943 when she had a role in DuBarry was a Lady that her hair was dyed red for the first time. It became her trademark.
One of our favorite episodes of I Love Lucy was when Lucy and Ethel (friend and landlord to Ball) worked in a candy factory. We get a kick out of all Lucy’s shenanigans, but particularly the zany times she shares with Ethel. We are just that wacky ourselves! Enjoy a clip from the episode and then make your own fudge, which requires no wrapping!
Chocolate Fudge with Walnuts
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cups milk
3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional
1. In a saucepan heat the chocolate and milk on low, stirring until it’s melted.
2. Add the sugar, corn syrup and salt and heat to the softball stage (236 degrees F). Use a candy thermometer to read the temperature.
3. Add the butter and pour into a mixing bowl to cool.
4. Add the vanilla and beat with a paddle until it starts to lighten; then quickly add the nuts.
5. Continue beating on low until it loses its gloss and thickens. Pour into a parchment lined pan and spread evenly.
6. Let cool completely and then cut into 1-inch cubes.