My Love Affair with Candy
I inherited a sweet tooth. A double whammy sweet tooth, as each of my parents are Irish and there is something about the Irish and their sweets. My father would pour three spoonfuls of sugar into this coffee each morning. We had to watch him, as he grew older he tended to loose count. Every evening, after dinner and seated side by side in their Electric Chairs (as my mother refers to them, as the seat raises to help you out), watching a western – as my father loved Westerns – my Mother would whip out her box of chocolates and offer the box to my Dad, who would take two, then Mom would take two and if you happened to be there, you would then be offered the box and you could take two too.
Every Christmas, Easter, Mothers Day,and Birthday she receives several boxes of confectionary delights, and at two pieces apiece, they last awhile. Now that Pop is gone, they last longer, but I think she now has three…one for him!
Bourbon Balls are my Mom's favorite. As a child I remember the Rebbecca Ruth bourbon ball’s box were housed in a round container, the balls stacked on top of each other. Mom would “hide” the box high up in her closet. As a little kid, I would push a chair to the closet and find that box, extract one and gnaw the chocolate then dispose of the bourbon soaked cream candy center. It was yucky back then to my child taste buds. Now a days, the more bourbon, the better!
When I was a kid there was a corner store in each neighborhood. The store would have a soda machine outside the store on the porch and on the inside were the basics one needed if one did not want nor need to make a trip to the A&P downtown. Milk, bread, canned veggies, and an ice cream cooler, a Coca Cola cooler in the back that held those 6oz. glass bottles and a large glass deli case with sandwich meats and where you could also have one made for you.
But the big attraction, the only reason I ever went into the store was for the candy!
The cash register sat on a wooden counter that held the gallon jars of pickles and pickled eggs. Behind the counter, running all along the back and around the window sill were the candy jars. Full of penny candy! Hot balls, pixie sticks, cinnamon balls, licorice, chocolate gold coins , chick-o-sticks, bazooka bubble gum, smarties, wax bottles, jaw breakers…everything you can imagine. The candy bars were displayed under the penny candy. Baseball cards, Red Hots, Mounds, Hersey bars, Zagnuts, Peppermint Patties,Good-N-Plenty, candy necklace, Pay Days, Sugar Daddy sucker, Necco’s, cigar bubble gum, Slo pokes, candy cigarettes -some even puffed out smoke!, red vine licorice twists, Boston Baked Beans, Turkish Taffy - in strawberry , vanilla, chocolate & banana which you would put in your freezer and then crack on the table making it split into pieces, Neapolitan coconut slices, Heath bars....I think that's about it.
Anytime you found a penny or -The God's are Smiling!- a nickel, we would run down to the store and slap down our loot, choose and point.
There was one candy bar that cost more than a nickel (remember, this is when dinosaurs roamed the earth). The Blue Monday, the ultimate of all candy bars, cost a dime! It was a large (back in the day I remember it being much larger than it is today) chunk of pulled cream candy covered in a semi bittersweet chocolate made locally. It was so sweet, I could not eat it all at once. It came in a shiny silver wrapper with blue lettering. You would slit one end open and when you could take no more, you would slide it back in and save it for later.
It’s a wonder I have any teeth left. I still love a Blue Monday every now and then and lament they are smaller than before. But rejoice that they still taste the same.
(Cross posted in JAHG)