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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Retro holiday recipe share

Normally I don't post recipes on my blog, but when the holidays roll around, I tend to reminisce about dishes my mother made or special recipes I shared with friends over the years.

Most of us consider candy a holiday treat. When I was growing up, the holidays weren't complete without my grandmother's homemade divinity or my mother's peanut brittle. As an adult, a candy I took to many a faculty Christmas party was a fudge made famous by a local department store. Stripling's super-smooth marshmallow fudge was a favorite in Fort Worth. The Texas department store is long gone, but the recipe is still being passed around, and I'd like to share it with you.

Stripling's Fudge

2 cups sugar
17 large marshmallows
2/3 cups evaporated milk

Melt all ingredients and boil for 5 minutes. Don't stir much. It will be streaked and yellowish.

Pour over:
1 stick butter
12 ounce package of chocolate chips

Beat 2-3 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour into a greased, thick container such as Pyrex. To speed the cooling process, you can put the fudge in the freezer for a couple of minutes.

Architect's rendering of the Stripling's store at Seminary South Shopping Center, c. 1962
Seminary South Shopping Center, c. 1962

Upper floor of Stripling's...when department stores were elegant and uncrowded


  1. Can't believe the amount of open floor space they have there. Were most department stores like this?

  2. @Nick: Yes, all the "nicer" stores I remember from back then were very spacious and elegant, compared to today's stores. In the hierarchy of stores, Stripling's wasn't as exclusive as Neiman Marcus but considerably more expensive than Sears or J.C.Penney, I'd say about like Nordstrom today. As I recall, the merchandising model of "cram the racks as close as you can" started sometime in the mid- to late 70s.

    Stripling's merged with another local store in 1983, and the last one of their stores closed just a couple of years ago and was razed, just a few blocks from me. Till the day the doors closed, they tried to hold on to as much of the old ambiance as they could.

  3. Oh... I loved Striplings! I was born in Fort Worth and my grandparents lived there a long time. They lived really close to the Striplings and Cox on Lancaster. I used to go there all the time as a kid. Shopping there and at Monnings downtown are some of my favorite shopping memories. I am so making this fudge for the nostalgic connection now! Thanks for sharing and for the memory.

  4. @CollectoratorToo: How cool that this triggered good memories for you! I'm still in Fort Worth, although our store is in Dallas. Where are you now?

    I live in Riglea, and the last holdout was the store on Camp Bowie Boulevard, just a few blocks from my house. It was demolished last year to make way for a new strip center. The new stores are nice...but I never turn onto Camp Bowie without missing the sight of that elegant two-story building. :(

  5. We are in Austin. I have the typical Austin story, I came down here for college and never left. I've now lived here longer than I lived in the Metroplex, although it will always be home. That's so sad that the last one is gone... Happy New Year!