This is one of the mainstay recipes in our family. We have always called it Papa Els' recipe, although it certainly came from either his mother or his sister. My money says it's really Aunt Esther's Chocolate Sauce, because she also made a killer bourbon sauce that is very similar. Whoever taught it to George-- it is a winner. Elizabeth had the recipe memorized by the time she was in high school; Sarah, by the time she was 11 years old. None of the ingredients are perishable so I keep it all on hand. And every time she comes to our house it's all right here ready for her.
1 cup sugar
a 5 ounce can of Evaporated Milk
1/2 stick of butter
pinch of salt
2 squares of semi-sweet chocolate
Put everything except the vanilla into a pan with a stout bottom so it cooks slowly and deliberately. Stir as everything melts. The better you stir, the more homogeneous and creamy it will be. A wire whisk or electric mixer does a great job. As soon as it starts to bubble, give it an extra whirl with the mixer and take it off the heat. I think this keeps it from being grainy or having sugar crystals form.
Now you add a healthy dose of vanilla, maybe a Tablespoon. Once Sarah's hand slipped and we thought she might had added too much but it didn't hurt anything. You know how we are about our vanilla. Stir it again and and pour into 1/2 pint jars. It will fill two jars perfectly. You can use it on top ice cream now if you want to call them hot fudge sundaes. If you let the jars cool the lid makes a neat popping sound as it cools. Sometimes Beaven gets into a hurry for it to cool and he puts the jar in a bowl of ice. It will thicken as it cools.
You should probably store it in the refrigerator but we've never had it last long enough to spoil.