My youngest daughter took her Grade 6 piano exam on Friday. And it took me back to my own piano lessons when I was a kid. Now if this was Andrew’s blog, he’d write about taking lessons from a nun, who made liberal use of ruler to back of hands when necessary. But I had two kindly teachers, neither of whom believed corporal punishment had any place in piano lessons.
I took lessons for years, eventually getting my grade nine piano, and I have mostly good memories of my exams. When I took my first one at the age of eight, my mother tells I came skipping out of the room with a grin, saying, “That was fun! Can I do it again?”
The best part was always the treat afterward. We lived on a farm in a very small town, and taking an exam meant a half-hour drive to the nearest city. Not only would I miss a day of school, my mom always gave me a treat afterward – my choice between a new book of popular music or an ice cream sundae. As I got older, I went for the music book. (Barry Manilow Live, anyone?) But the first few exams were always celebrated with a banana split, while I told my mom about every minute of the exam.
My tastes have changed a little. I’ve never lost my sweet tooth, but an ice cream sundae is a bit too rich for me. Now I’d go for vanilla frozen yogurt with either chocolate or butterscotch sauce. And since this is the weekend after her exam, I gave my daughter the choice. She chose chocolate. This makes a small batch, so feel free to double the recipe – if you can withstand the temptation!
Hot Fudge Sauce
(adapted from my mother's recipe box)
3 1/2 Tbsp cocoa
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Melt cocoa and butter over low heat. Add half and half, sugar and vanilla. Increase heat to medium and stir until thick and smooth.