WHAT HAPPENED TO CANDY CANES?
December 21, 2000
Remember candy canes? Those peppermint-flavored red and white jobs that we all grew up with? Of course you do. I spent the morning at WalMart this morning. I was looking for gifts for the family weve adopted and discovered WalMart had some pretty good stuff at affordable prices. I loaded up my cart and decided to throw in some candy canes, cause all kids should have candy canes on Christmas, right?
Oh, I found the candy cane aisle, all right. There were chocolate candy canes and raspberry candy canes, and fruity candy canes, and bubble-gum flavored candy canes. In the whole section filled with candy canes there wasnt a single traditional flavored candy cane.
I guess Im a purist. In truth, I dont even like peppermint flavored candy canes, but its tradition. I left the store with no candy canes, figuring Id just pick some up when I went to the supermarket.
So I went to Albertsons, loaded up my cart with food, headed for the Christmas aisle and what do I find? chocolate candy canes and raspberry candy canes, and fruity candy canes, and bubble-gum flavored candy canes. Again, not a single peppermint flavored candy cane. Have they all disappeared?
I didnt buy them again and Im determined that somewhere in this town there must be normal candy canes. Ill keep you posted.
Its funny how our memories are so tied up with taste and smell. Christmas seems to be especially filled with memories of scents and tastes from my childhood. Mostly sweet, of course. Cause what is Christmas, if not an excuse to eat all those goodies that you get the guilties for eating during the rest of the year?
I decided to make cookies this year to pack along with the Christmas baskets to take to the Breaking Barriers clients. When I think of Christmas cookies, I remember two in particular. I later found out that they were called Mexican wedding cakes, but in our house they were goodness sake cookies, for reasons which I no longer remember. Flour, butter, pecans, and powdered sugar. Melt in your mouth goodness that I havent had in years. Those are on my list to make today.
I also remember a year she made thumbprint cookies. Orange-flavored balls, rolled in walnuts, with an indentation made by thumb and filled with some fruit-flavored jam. I dont know if she made them more than one year, but...strange...I still remember them to this day.
Sees candy was a big Christmas taste. I love Sees chocolates (much better than Godiva, which is too sweet), but it never tasted quite as good as it did with the box being passed around the family table after wed all finished our pumpkin pie and were relaxing before opening presents.
Not all the tastes of Christmas were sweet, though those which come first to mind are. Nothing has ever equalled my mothers turkey stuffing. Even when I grew up and discovered she added (oh horror!) ground up organ meats from the turkey, I still loved the taste. Now I make my own stuffing and I like it...but it isnt like my mothers was. Even her stuffing these days isnt like it used to be. Or maybe its just my memories which are sharper and nothing could really compete with that mental taste sensation
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Its not fair. The plan for tomorrow was that I was to call to make arrangements and then drive over to the Sacramento AIDS Foundation to pick up vouchers so my grandmother-friend can go shopping for her grandkids, who have just been dumped on her. I was also going to pick up a Christmas dinner for her family and deliver everything to her, along with the gifts I bought as well.
This evening I conferred with Breaking Barriers just to finalize plans and learned that the Sacramento AIDS foundation has closed its doors and laid off its staff and there is nobody to give me vouchers for my friend. She was counting on the vouchers, as she's been trying to scrape enough together to make happy Christmas for those kids (5 from her daughter who is in jail, but 13 all together).
If I cant contact the SAF, well just take on the family ourselves. Grandma is doing so poorly that I suspect this is going to be her last Christmas. I want to help make it a little happier for her.
Maybe by Friday, when I make the deliveries, Ill have found some of those real candy canes!