It seems a dangerous undertaking on my part, to comment on the Harper Lee book Go Set a Watchman before it even lands on my Kindle tomorrow, but I must – amidst all the brou-ha-ha surrounding the flawed Atticus Finch as seen in Watchman and the virtuous paragon first introduced in her Pulitzer Prize-winning book, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Perhaps it is only part of the western myth – this idea that there were once level-headed, no-nonsense, reasonable-minded, salt-of-the-earth people who could not be snookered by politicians and other snake oil salesmen – but we sure could use people like that at this stage of our world's development. You know the type I mean – memorialized by western authors in books and movies, often as a crusty old rancher who "thinks on it" for a long while before he gives you his hand.

Many resources identify penuche fudge as a southern treat, although some form of the confection can be found in many countries. I suspect the recipe migrated to Texas by way of Mexico, since penuche comes from the Spanish word panocha, meaning brown sugar. It entered my life by way of my mom's Christmas feast of turkey with sage dressing, yams, pecan pie, real eggnog, and this sweet candy made in a cast-iron skillet.