Friday, June 12, 2009

A 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.

Like Childhood.


a corgi said...

I never heard of a Blue Monday, but I'm off to find a candy store to see if I can find one to try; sounds heavenly delicious!!

I share your love affair

I'm amazed your parents could stop at just 2 pieces of candy; such control and restraint! an opened box is an empty box in my household

thanks for the memories

enjoy your weekend


Anonymous said...

I usually think of the 2 of us as "about" the same age, not now. My candy was more expensive. I'm still stuck on Blue Monday being a state of mind because I've never heard of that candy bar until this entry. I've had Butler's Irish Truffles & Irish potato candy(I didn't think I'd like the latter, but I did), though I didn't realize that the Irish were a little more sweet-toothed than the rest of us. I want an Irish truffle now. ~Mary

Nelle said...

This was a great entry and as usual, your great entries fill me with memories. When we lived on the Western shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland there was an awesome store with TONS of penny candy. I loved the Squirrel candies and the ice cubes the best. WE didn't have Blue Moon but it sounds similar to a Charleston Chew. Now I am diabetic and have to seriously restrict my sugar intake. My Mom, the Irish sugar lover eats candy several times a day. Her favorites are Chunkys and those are always hidden in her underwear drawer. One Christmas my Uncle Stewart made homemade fudge, as he did every year. Mom hid the tin under her bed to hide it from us kids and forgot about it. She found it many months later covered in mold! My sister told her God punished her for being selfish. That was so funny. Have you ever had the "Irish potato" candy. If not do you like coconut? There is an Irish shop near me. All the candy sold there for twice the price. lol

Louisville Kentucky Bourbon Candy said...

This is great. As I was born and raised in Kentucky, well I can not really compare because I have lived in Louisville my whole life not quite a small town, however none the less Kentucky born. I remember when I was little we had the local convenient store a couple blocks away. During the heat of the summer, Mom would take me and my two cousins in the morning for a walk, but it had to be before noon because that is when it was blazing hot outside. I think back and wonder if the walk was a ploy to tire us to nap later in the day. Anyways, we would walk to the store a couple of blocks away which seemed forever then, and we would be able to pick out a piece of candy. They had the big white tubs full of bubblelious bubble gum (all flavors), boxes of lemon heads and red hots, now n laters, the candy cigarettes, the backs of gum with the baseball player on the front and sixlets. I always remember those special days where mom would let us pick out more than one piece. We thought we hit the jack pot carrying home our brown paper bag full half way of candy, all that candy probably cost all of 2 dollars. O the memories.

Anonymous said...

Growing up in Kentucky I had Blue Monday every chance I could. Yes, they cost a little more than regular candy bar, but well worth it. I moved away from Kentucky 40 years ago and never found them again. I remember the creamy flavor every time I shopped for candy, even though I could not remember the name, Blue Monday. Today, I had a short layover at the Cincinnati airport (located in Northern Kentucky) and guess what I found in the Kentucky Gift Shop!! I instantly recognized the package. Remembering how rich they were, I only bought one. My mistake, but I have the website now!