Sometimes I’m a terrible wife.
As some of you know, I occasionally like to dabble in making “healthy” versions of “food.” I love a good black bean burger, I’m still working on trying to perfect my spinach-based, “naturally-sweetened” chocolate “milk”shake, and you should really ask Tom about “death soup” sometime—it’s the one meal I’ve made that Tom has steadfastly refused to try (he also rejected the black bean burgers, but he took a bite first). As is probably becoming clear, Tom is understandably not enthusiastic about my efforts. Most of the time I try to “keep it real” and make meals that Tom is actually willing to eat.
But a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon this recipe for health-nut freezer fudge:
I’m a sucker for cookie dough anything, and I’ve been wanting to experiment with the food processor more often. Plus, the main ingredient is chickpeas, and I’m always a fan of chickpeas. As I Googled around, trying to figure out where one buys
“soft dates,” I concocted an evil plan to trick Tom into eating and falling in love with this fudge. It was going to be the gateway drug that led Tom into embracing my wacko cooking experiments.
When Tom came home from work the day I made the fudge, he asked me what I’d been up to. “Oh, you know, the usual,” I said. “Working, cleaning the things, making freezer fudge…” I mentioned the fudge casually, trying not to give away my master plan.
“Freezer fudge?!” he said, eyes lighting up as he swiveled around in his chair. “You’re so cool!”
Man, did I start to feel guilty. How could I take advantage of my innocent Tom’s trust like that? Seeing the pure joy in his face, I almost wished I had made him real fudge. But I tuned out my conscience, telling it that I was looking out for Tom’s cardiovascular health, and that he would thank me someday.
The fudge actually tasted pretty good when I tried it the next day, but it definitely wasn’t sweet enough for Tom’s taste—it probably needed more dates. Disappointed, I made peace with the possibility that freezer fudge would not be enough to revolutionize our kitchen activities.
Still, I was determined to get him to eat some of my creation. I waited until Tom was finishing off his after-dinner cookie before asking, “Ready to try some fudge?” I knew he would decline, as he had already eaten dessert, but I had to build his anticipation without seeming too eager and rousing his suspicion. Sure enough, Tom was clearly disappointed at having to put off his fudge experience. Again my conscience prickled, but it was too late to turn back—I was committed.
The next night, Tom excitedly pulled the fudge pan from the freezer. I faltered in my resolve, muttering that I didn’t think I had sweetened it enough. I hadn’t anticipated that his expectations would be this high, and I needed to lower them for my plan to work. Every single one of Tom’s female relatives, from his mom to his sisters to his grandmothers to his aunts, makes fantastic desserts, so Tom was very much accustomed to confectionary perfection. It became clear to me in that moment that I hadn’t thought this fudge thing through. My plan was doomed.
Tom, having sampled the failure fudge, thought for a moment. Then he said, “You know, I’m not a huge fan. But I really appreciate you doing this kind of thing for me.” He gave me a big hug. I felt like a criminal.
I managed to hold it together for a few hours, but eventually I cracked. The guilt was just too much. “Tom,” I said, “I can’t lie to you anymore. That fudge is made of chickpeas and dates.”
He made a big show of feeling betrayed. As I begged for forgiveness, I promised I would make him real fudge sometime. But then, Tom didn’t really have much of a foundation to stand on, considering how many of the cookies I’d recently made “for his home-teachees” he’d rapturously enjoyed.
“You think we can blend in some garlic and salvage the fudge as hummus?” Tom asked.
“I think the chocolate chips might make it a little weird.”
“Yeah, you’re right. Such a waste of ingredients that could have been good on their own!”
And that’s the story of how I deceived my husband and ended up with a sad pan of unwanted fudge in my freezer. I’d like to say I learned a valuable, life-changing lesson from this experience, but basically all I’ve got is that chickpeas are meant for hummus, not desserts. And maybe that I shouldn’t trick Tom. Sorry, Tom.