Opera Cream Candy

December 2003

The question is ….do concert pianists cook? Ernest Ulmer did and here is his seasonal “opera cream candy” recipe as told by his sister, Mrs. Marion Ulmer Leatherman of Dawson, Nebraska.
When we were growing up in the 20′ and 30’s we had little entertainment as we have today, but that never bothered my brother, Ernest Ulmer. At the age of three he started pulling mother to the piano to help him play. Throughout our teen years it was a battle to try to listen to the radio because Ernest was always playing the piano. Every spare minute of the day found him there rehearsing.
As a result Ernest made a career of the piano, studying and playing in London and in cities in Europe after his discharge from the army in World War II. He settled in New York, playing many concerts in the Town Hall and Carnegie Hall. He taught piano at the Manhattan School of Music there, and was head of the piano department when he retired. He currently is retired and living in an assisted living center in Lincoln, Nebraska and still plays when asked.
One vivid seasonal memory I have is the Opera Cream Candy he made at Christmas time, which seems very appropriate in view of his musical career. All of the friends and relatives of the Dawson Pennsylvania Colony have enjoyed his specials at the Dawson Church and concerts he has played in the community. He has played for several years now the offertory at the memorial service for the Colony Picnic Sunday in August.
Melt together slowly
¾ cup milk
2 squares of chocolate
2 cups sugar

Boil together to 228F. Flavor with 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon of butter. Let stand until cold. Then beat with a spoon until it becomes resistant and creamy. Drop in round balls on waxed paper and enjoy.