Sweets for Little Sweets

I found this recipe in Hadassah magazine, which adapted it from the Naomi Cookbook.
It’s very sweet, but also yummy.
According to the magazine, this candy was made in Ukrainian orphanages during WWII, using condensed milk sent by Jews from the United States.

Ukrainian Orphan Candy

1 12-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Place sweetened condensed milk in a non-stick, 10” sauté pan. Add salt, then sift cocoa over pan. Stir to incorporate. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring until cocoa is dissolved, then until liquid thickens and becomes difficult to stir (about 12-14 minutes). Remove from heat, add walnuts and completely cool mixture, about 30 minutes. Working in batches, roll about 3 Tablespoons of cooled mixture in confectioners’ sugar. Form into a ball, then roll out on lightly sugared countertop, forming 1” longs. Cut logs into 1” pieces.

milk

New Orleans

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I lived in New Orleans for a year, and it’s quite unlike any city I’ve ever experienced. In the short time I was there so many odd things happened that I have particularly sharp memories of those days. Just two blocks away from my apartment a Tulane student was murdered (a professor I knew – a man who always dressed in white – discovered her body); the case was never solved. I met a young woman who allowed birds to fly freely throughout her apartment. I often wandered around the French Quarter, where I bought a perfume called Pirate’s Gold and walked through the shops that sold everything from “voodoo dolls” to animal teeth in magic shops. I went to Mardi Gras and caught necklace after necklace of shiny green, purple and gold. I went to the World’s Fair, drank coffee with chicory, dated someone whose father had so many Mafia connections I never had to pay a parking ticket and who became the center of an infamous murder trial (he was accused of killing his wife. Imagine my astonishment when I couldn’t sleep one night and turned on “The New Detectives,” only to see an episode on this very case). I ate so many snow cones with the most wondrous flavors (I liked wedding cake.)
Living in New Orleans I felt alive.
All the colors, the tastes, the sounds of this city have stayed with me so perfectly. And sometimes, when I want to wrap myself in the past, I simply take out my tiny container of Pirate’s Gold perfume and smell, and there I am.
New Orleans also is famous for its pralines, which are called prah-leens, not pray-leens, as anyone who ever lived there will tell you. I ate plenty of these, too. Here’s a recipe I received from my grandmother:

Pecan Pralines

1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup cream sherry
3 Tbsp. butter
1 cup pecans

Boil sugars, sherry and cream to soft-ball stage. Add butter and pecans. Beat until it starts to get thick, then drop by spoon fulls on wax paper.