Friday, March 10, 2006

Indulge me...

I don't know - it might be that it's Friday after a long week - a bit of a hard week - with migraines and backaches and more than you want to know...

Or it might have been the picture of the Tiny Size chicklets over at Donna's.

and her mention of that striped gum we used to chew so long ago...

Something sparked this nostalgic voyage to virtual candy shops - finding the favourites of my childhood.

My poor mother would shudder to see a picture of this sugary item - "Ton O Gum". It was about the size of a deck of cards and my claim to fame was that I could put the whole thing in my mouth at once - chew - and blow the biggest bubbles of all my friends. Oh, it made my jaws ache!

But the best candy of all was MacIntosh Toffee. It came in a cardboard box and it was the best buy for your money when it came to treats. Only 10 cents a package! And if it didn't pull your fillings out, it would last through the whole Saturday afternoon matinee at the "Show Hall".

I still love toffee treats although I avoid MacIntosh - it's already caused too many dental disasters in this mouth and it's so hard to look like an adult when you're sucking on a long, sticky streak of toffee.

But I still splurge on these dainties - a more grown-up version of the same type of candy treat.

It just wouldn't be Christmas without a tin of Quality Street. At our house it's a tradition, with almost a ceremonial flair, to open the tin and take out the insert that lists the descriptions of each brightly wrapped confection - Hazelnut in Caramel - Chocolate Strawberry - Orange Crunch - and my favourite, Chocolate Covered Toffee Finger!

This brings back another memory. Shortly after my husband and I were married, we travelled all around Europe and the British Isles. We spent a few weeks in Scotland on a little island called Raasay - near the Isle of Skye. While there we attended church in the free Church of Scotland - a small stone building that has housed worshippers for hundreds of years.

The service was very solemn and formal. There was a large family seated in the pew behind us and the children were very well-behaved. There was no whispering, giggling or shuffling but I could hear a noisy smacking all through the service. They were sucking on "sweeties" for the full hour, everyone one of them, from the very large papa to the little toddler. Upon asking our host, I discovered that eating "sweeties" during the service is the custom.

One final sweet memory

During that same trip, we spent some time in the southeast part of England, in the little coastal town of Folkestone. I remember an old-fashioned sweet shop that made different coloured rock candy - Rowland's Confectionary. A crowd would gather outside the store window watching the candy makers in action, as they rolled the mixture out on large tables before cutting it to size.

John Bricknell of Rowland's Confectionary, Folkestone, England

Ahhh - sweet memories!

And if I've whet your appetite for a tasty treat go HERE.

I think I might try the PEPERMINT BARK or maybe the DESSERT DAISIES.

Hmmm I wonder what LOLLYGOGS are??

sound delicious too...

But if you're trying to battle the bulge - or avoid a sugar high - you just might want to pop over HERE and have a visual feast.

Now - what do I need?
a few more pounds of sugar,
peppermint flavouring,
Where is my candy thermometer??
I know it's here somewhere....

Hope your weekend is sweet!