Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Overheard at the playground:
"He used to work for M&M/Mars. He worked there for 16 years and he said he'd never go back, that they treated him like crap."
Doesn't that just sound wrong? I mean, it seems like everyone who works at a candy company should be happy-go-lucky and fun. I have this image in my mind that all the workers at candy factories are giddy and love their jobs. But I guess not, huh?
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
I'm the first person to rail against the whole wedding industry-- you know, that "it's the most important day of your life, therefore you must have the best of everything and put yourself (or your parents) into debt for the rest of eternity" kind of crapola. But apparently, the "hot" new thing is to have candy buffets as your dessert or favors. Instead of little net bags filled with ancient, stale Jordan almonds, you have a big, glorious table with jars and buckets and trays full of candies. Each guest gets a box or bag (maybe a Chinese take-out container or fancy tin) and they get to fill it with whatever treats they want. HOW COOL IS THAT?! I don't know what I'm going to do with this information, but it's so exciting. Maybe I could be the Candy Buffet Princess and run my own business. Ooooh! Or, more likely, I'll just have to have a Candy Buffet Party.
Monday, September 24, 2007
While I was busy carting a kicking and screaming Henri out of the library today, Alexandra was out in the field doing some research. She went to Target in search of Candy Corn Kisses and came back with the following info on Ghost Dots:
1) Apparently they look glow-in-the-dark but don't really glow
2) There are three flavors and you have to guess which is which
3) They're supposedly shaped like ghosts (which I guess is just a longer Dot)
She didn't buy any, but now of course, I'm intrigued. I don't really dig the idea of eating something that glows or even just looks like it does, but I suppose I can just try one and give the rest out at Halloween. Guess I'll be going to Target this week.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
- hard candies
- jelly beans
- candy corn
- gummy bears
- chocolate kisses
- gum and gumballs
So, being an ever vigilant parent, it's up to you to consume the above treats, if merely for the sake of your children's safety.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Although we worked in a fairly dense suburban area, our office wasn't really near too many stores of interest. Couple that with the fact that we were on the second floor and seemed to always be on deadline, and we didn't get the chance to get out much. You had to bring your lunch and snacks or basically you'd be screwed. One day, while enjoying our usual Lean Cuisine lunches, we came up with a brilliant idea: what if we started a snack stand in the office? We could go to B.J.'s and load up on candy and chips and sell it out of my office. Brilliant! We could provide tasty treats for our colleagues while at the same time supplementing our meager incomes. And thus, the Snack Shack was born.
I had a window in my office that looked out on the newsroom, so we set up shop there: a big box filled with Reese's, Snickers, Milky Ways, chocolate chip cookies, potato chips and other goodies. We charged a flat rate: 50 cents for any item. Some items (such as the cookies) offered a bigger profit margin, but we figured it would all work out in the end.
The Snack Shack was a huge success. We could count on the editor to buy a bag of chips for his lunch every day. The sports editor saw what a great value we offered and bought in quantity to take home treats to his kids. We even had frequent buyer cards. It was fantastic.
Oh, it wasn't without its problems. One day I caught Marcie's arch enemy, a saleswoman named Gail, snaking her manicured talons around the window to steal a bag of peanut M&Ms. The next day we put up signs saying the Snack Shack was being monitored by close-circuit cameras and that violators would be prosecuted. Another time, the General Manager was jonesing for a snack after hours and went into my desk to look for the Snack Shack key. And then there were always the dregs that nobody wanted: some random tortilla chips, plain Hershey bars and the like. These were sold in the occasional buy-one-get-one-free sale.
But overall, it was a huge success and we spent our occasional earnings on vodka tonics and nachos. Several months later, when I'd finally had it with the cheap-ass antics of the company, I got motivated enough to look for another job. It broke my heart to tell Marcie I'd be leaving the Shack. She decided that she didn't want to continue it alone, so we sold the business the sports editor. I visited the office a year later and the Shack was still going strong. In fact, he had expanded his offerings to include soda. Above the Snack Shack box o' goodies there was a picture of his twin daughters and a word balloon that said, "Please donate to our college fund."
Those were some good times. I hadn't thought about the Shack in a long, long time until I got an e-mail the other day from a guy named Logan. He runs a vending machine company that's been in business for 20 years. I asked him what the most popular candies are and he said definitely traditional faves like Reese's and Butterfingers, but the new hot items are energy balls. I've never even heard of these, so be on the lookout for a future entry about these. But it got me to thinking about owning a vending machine business. How cool would that be? That's up there with having an ice cream truck in the summer. Check out his website: www.vend123.com.
I'll have to give Marcie a call to reminisce about the Snack Shack. And maybe I can persuade her to start up her own vending machine business.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Given the usual quality of Palmer chocolates (and I use the word "chocolate" very loosely), it would seem that the younger Dale got the short end of the stick.
In the meantime, I just sampled the Nestle Crunch Stixx for the first time and wowee, those things are good. They're almost like chocolate-covered Pirouettes (or Yohays, depending on what you call them); crispy, crunchy, chocolatey and addicting. I can't have these in the house.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
- The Baron claims that I've gotten the Mr. Goodbar jingle wrong. He says it's, "Mr. Goodbar, Hershey's chocolate wherever you bite." This is still unconfirmed though. Can anyone help?
- Speaking of help, thanks so much to everyone who answered my S.O.S. for my friend's son who is searching for a way to make sour candy without artificial colors. As of the last update, his mom had ordered some ingredients and found a recipe for conversation hearts that they hope to modify. I'll definitely keep you posted.
- Another opinion on the Hershey's Candy Corn Kisses: Meemaw loved them. She said, and I quote, "They're so sweet and creamy, I could eat a whole bag." There you have it. She's hoping she'll be able to find some in Mississippi where she lives. Keep your fingers crossed.
- Yesterday I went to the God-forsaken Christmas Tree Shoppe where I had hoped to find some cool Halloween stuff for the lawn. No such luck, although I did get a child-proof latch for the toilet for $1. Woo hoo! Anyhow, while I was standing in the check out line, I saw they had bags of Limited Edition Caramel Tootsie Pops. I seem to remember these from when I was a kid. Am I imagining this? Anyone else remember these?
- Lastly, I hope all my fellow candy bloggers are having a blast at the All Candy Expo. I promised myself I wouldn't be sad that I wasn't able to go this year, so I'm anxiously awaiting to hear what's new and exciting. Have fun everyone, and eat an extra piece for me.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Here's the latest in my series of Candy ABC mini paintings. (Once again, the photo is crappy; these actually have more detail in real life.) I thought Jujy Fruits would be relatively easy to sketch out because they're such defined shapes, but they were actually really tricky. There's lots of stuff going on in them thar candies. If you check out the website for Heide (the company that makes them), you'll find this awesome little bit of candy trivia that you can use to impress your friends and family:
"The shapes of the Jujyfruits® include Pineapple, Tomato, Raspberry, Banana, Grape Bundle, Asparagus, and Pea Pod. The banana shape is stamped with 'HEIDE.'"
So apparently what you're looking at are two tomatoes (which I always thought looked like green peppers) and a peapod. Strange, isn't it, to have candy shaped like veggies? (This is where, if you're an obnoxious kid, you say, 'Look, Mom! I'm eating my veggies!' as you scarf a box of Jujyfruits.) (Here's a question: why are they Jujy FRUITS and not JujyVeggies?)
Anyhow, I had great fun doing these and in the process I developed a new love for Jujyfruits. They actually seemed smaller than I remembered (perhaps they are?) and softer, too. But I dig the flavors, especially the black licorice ones. After all that horrid European licorice, it was nice to chew on some good ol' American licorice.
Friday, September 14, 2007
I always underestimate my feelings for vanilla. I tend to think of it as boring, but a good vanilla can be very sexy. Such was the case with the Vanilla Bean Brulee. The dark chocolate is nicely balanced between sweet and bitter and the vanilla is fragrant. Yum!
The Mocha Creams are good, too, but they're really sweet. The bag describes them as "smooth mocha cream center enhanced by silky milk chocolate and finished with crisp white chocolate." I wouldn't say crisp, though. More like firm.
Anyhow, it promises to be a delicious weekend.
Monday, September 10, 2007
finally try it. The recipe said it was like a Tasty Cake, and I have to agree. Basically it's a layer of vanilla cake with a layer of peanut butter and a layer of chocolate. I overmixed the cake batter so it was a bit chewy and I used all-natural peanut butter which, let's be honest, just isn't as good as they chemical-loaded kind. Still, they were good and worth a second try.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
The wrapping is really cute: silver, orange and yellow swirly stripes. When you open the bag, you definitely get a very distinct aroma. Maybe some people will think "candy corn," but I instantly thought "Butter Rum Life Savers." Interesting, because I really like BR Life Savers. The kisses themselves are really cute: a layer of yellow, then orange, then white. How do they taste? Very sweet, very buttery. Unlike a regular Hershey Kiss, you wouldn't want to eat a whole handful of these. But I liked them more than I thought I would. These would be fabulous as the decoration on cupcakes or chocolate cookies, which is what I plan on doing with them!
Saturday, September 08, 2007
My grocery store just started carrying milk chocolate and hazelnut Pocky, so I splurged and bought the milk chocolate. What are Pocky? They're these thin little sticks (the nutritional info refers to them as biscuits; 13 in a serving!) that are dipped on one end in chocolate. Doesn't sound too exciting, right? But let me tell you, they are YUMMY!
Sue, my kick-ass-firefighter-garden-guru friend (SMKAFGGF) came over last night to introduce me to the world of Belgian beers. We had dinner and for dessert, Ben & Jerry's Vermonty Python (coffee liqueur ice cream with chocolate crunchies and chocolate cows) with Pocky. I know, I know. How am I supposed to kick the Baron's butt in our weight-loss contest when I'm eating like this? Well I just did a long aerobic workout in this sweltering, nasty, humid weather. That's gotta count for something.
ANYHOW! Pocky is a Japanese treat and it comes in all sorts of flavors. You can check it out at different websites, including www.asiafoods.com. I particularly love this "Men's" Pocky. Apparently women are too genteel to appreciate bitter chocolate. HA! If you can find some Pocky, I'd definitely suggest trying it.
Friday, September 07, 2007
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
I'm back from the big trip to Cape Cod where I learned a very important lesson: it's not fun to travel with a one-year-old. We had a good time, but travel just isn't the same when you have to work around nap schedules, temper tantrums and stroller-friendly locales. Anyhow, I did get in a little bit of candy hunting while I was there. I found a cranberry and almond bar that I was very excited about, but the pieces of cranberry were so minute that you could barely taste them. I'd post a picture of it, but someone ate the rest of it before I had a chance to save the wrapper.
Then, at a little candy shop, I found this bar of Castelain Chocolat Noir. I wouldn't have chosen it over the other goodies, but it was displayed next to an article from Gourmet that said it was one of the best new chocolates. It was good, to be sure, but enough to produce raves? I don't know.
I managed to avoid the fudge and salt water taffy, and I found a great new beer: Cape Cod Red. Now it's back to life as usual, and I'm looking forward to entering fall with all its orange, brown and gold-wrapped candies.