Thursday, October 27, 2011

Candy Me!

I've had a life-long love affair with all things sugary.  Cookies, ice cream, cereals, cake and, of course, good ol' candy, candy, candy!

I was very particular in rationing my trick-or-treat bags and Easter baskets as a kid.  I knew candy only came in troves twice a year and I could make one holiday's worth of candy last for months!  Mainly by rotating my stash between several secret hiding places.  Protecting your cache from sibling invasions was the number one strategy in homeland candy security. 

I'd like to say I was pretty cautious in controlling my inner sugar fiend, but I could no longer admit that after I was old enough to realize that Kool-Aid didn't count as a serving of fruit juice and Pop-Tarts were hardly a healthy start to my mornings.  (Especially when considering the fact that I would only eat the ones that were filled with vanilla frosting and topped with cocoa sprinkles.)

Looking back, I'll now timidly confess that I had been know to fill my morning bowl of Cocoa-Puffs with grape Kool-Aid instead of milk.  And, it's with even more shame that I mention that, on quite a few Saturday mornings, when my cereal/Pop-Tart morning fix wasn't quite enough... I'd sometimes simply fill a Dixie cup full of pure white sugar and sit in front of my cartoons.  Dixie cup in one hand, spoon in the other.  (Don't tell my parents!)  Probably the reason I became hypoglycemic in adulthood. 

Yes, my ailment has certainly forced upon me the lesson of self-control.  I know exactly how many grams of sugar my saccharine-shocked body can now stand.  (Not many.)  I can quickly break this mathematically down into how many rectangles of a Hershey's Cookies n' Cream bar falls into this category (four).  Or, how many pieces of candy corn I can safely consume (8.3 ie. 8 whole ones plus one yellow stripe!)  Or, how large of a bowl of Trix I can pour myself, from time to time, when the moment calls for it (1/4 cup.)  And, which things are forever crossed off of my edibles list (Krispy Kremes) until I once again meet up with them in Heaven.  (PLEASE tell me there are Krispy Kremes in Heaven!)

So, in honor of the candies that I still savor in nibbles and to the ones the ones that got away, I give you:
  • Candy Corn - If you eat them whole, you have no idea what you're doing.  I don't care if you start yellow end heading white, or white end heading yellow... They must be eaten in thirds.  (A special treat is saving all the white pointy ends for last.  They're extra crunchy!)
  • Twix - Putting a cookie in a candy bar?  In the eighties this was genius!  Adding a peanut butter option later on?  Nobel Prize worthy!
  • Hershey's Cookies n' Cream - White chocolate is my favorite.  I was the kid in the house that preferred the white chocolate bunny every Easter to the hollow milk chocolate kind.  I could easily swap any number of jelly beans and Peeps to end up with four white bunnies every year.
  • Kit-Kat - In high school I had a special way of eating my Kit-Kats once the Michigan weather would turn warm.  I'd buy one out of the cafeteria vending machine (using my milk money. Sorry Mom!) and go outside to eat in the sun with my friends.  As I ate away at my sandwich and other lunch contents, my Kit-Kat would bask on opened wrapper in the the sunlight.  By the time I was ready for it, it would become four naked cookie sticks swimming in a warm puddle of liquid milk chocolate.  Drag the cookies through the chocolate melt like dip and consume.  Now, you can break me off a piece of that any day!
  • Snickers - I never appreciated Snickers until adulthood.  Children have that deeply-planted peanut fear, you know?  Before my days of limited sugar, back when I worked in retail, I'd be known to make a meal of a Snickers during busy hours when taking a full lunch break was impossible.  Winning it the most filling (tastes great!) candy award.  (And, those new Snickers commercials are frickin' hilar!)
  • Candy dots - I don't even know what these are called.  Probably because they didn't come wrapped with a label or anything.  You bought them unprotected and unsanitary, on a long strip of paper with rows of dyed sugar dropped on in perfectly measured lines.  I got my nine-year-old nephew to try these last summer.  He looked at them confused.  I instructed him, "Just scrape them off with your teeth. You might eat a little paper... that's normal."
  • Fun Dip - In my day it was called Lick'm Aid and we gagged our way through the unmixed Kool-Aid portion just to eat the white sugar dipping stick in the end.  Rich kids would just throw away the Kool-Aid part and only eat the sticks.  I couldn't afford to be so frivolous!
  • Bubble Gum - Any flavor, any shape, any time!  Gum balls, Bazooka, Hubba Bubba, Big League Chew???
  • Runts - Don't know what they really are, how they were invented, or if they were just some happy kitchen accident in the Wonka factory... But, give me a half-grape/half-strawberry pack, stat!
  • Skittles - They begged us to taste the rainbow. And, apparently rainbows stick to your teeth.
For the record: If you see me out this Halloween night, any and all of the above will be accepted in any of my nieces or nephews sacks. 

Siblings: I'm officially volunteering to do the candy checks this year.

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