Unbagging the Cats 1

Unbagging the Cats 1

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sweet, Sweet Memory Lane

Sorry for all of you trying to keep your New Year's Resolutions...but I simply must get this off my chest. Here is my latest addiction. By "latest" I mean since Christmas. I don't buy these to keep in my home. Because they don't keep very long. Like I said, it's an addiction. I can't have just one. Though one should be plenty, because they are so SWEET. In fact, that's part of their name. Somebody's got the right marketing idea here.
I buy these for my mom every year at Christmas time. Two raspberry, two orange. She knows by the shape of the box what she's getting. Except for this year, when I stowed them away in a bigger box with some Cardinals World Series commemorative picture books, a Regis Philbin autobiography, a linen kitchen calendar, some slippers, and some candy-cane striped footies. Don't be whispering that Val is a cheapskate where the woman who gave her life is concerned. I also bestowed upon her an office chair for her computer, and a new coat. But they are not nearly as tasty as jelly sticks.

No, I didn't dip into Mom's gift. I'm not that addicted. But Hick and the boys had the good sense to gift me with my own jelly sticks. And I noticed upon consumption that they are smaller than they used to be! Shocker, huh? Like many other food products, their packaging and price has stayed fairly constant, but the size of the item has decreased.

My delicious jelly sticks used to be fatter than my middle finger, and longer. Now they are the length of said badfinger, and as skinny as LeAnn Rimes. I have pencils fatter than my current jellies. And they're not the bloated, just-learning-to-write pencils that go with Big Chief tablets, either. My jellies are emaciated. It takes more of them to satisfy my voracious sweet fang.

It really does no good to complain. Except to make me feel better. Getting that topic off my chest provides more abdominal room for...JELLY STICKS!

I can't live in the good ol' days when jelly sticks were hearty, rib-sticking confections. My love for the jellies goes way back to my childhood. To Sears on Grand, where the candy counter housed an amazing display of treats. Because it was considered a lengthy trip from Backroads to St. Louis, my family had to stock up on provisions for the drive home. We each got to choose our poison. My sister went the way of nonpariels.

I must admit that I am no fan of the nonpariel. Those white hard candy thingies ruin it for me. I would sooner dip into my mom's choice of bridge mix. Even though half of them were not very tasty to my juvenile palate. Still, I took my chances. Who was I to turn down a bite of someone else's treat?

My dad liked the maple nut candies. I must say, I approved of his choice. The maples were a welcome respite from the chocolate.

My treat was jelly rings. I can not find a photo to do them justice. The picture here shows a chocolate raspberry jelly ring. But mine from the Sears-on-Grand candy counter were white chocolate, with a variety of jellies. If I held them up in the headlights of the car behind us, I could somewhat see the color of jelly inside. Green, yellow, orange, red. I liked them all. But the red was my favorite.
So. This has not ended well. I fear that I might have caused several resolution relapses. Surely you are made of stronger stuff! Just looking at these pictures, and visually stuffing yourself with all of the eye-sugar, should be enough to make you a bit queasy. Perhaps a picture of hot, salted nuts is in order. That's what the Thevictorian family used for an antidote to soaring blood sugar. Mmm...can you smell them? Cashews. Pecans. Mixed nuts. All under glass, beckoning with a cartoon vapor trail to draw us into the candy counter area to start with. It's a good thing we only made that trip once every three or four months.

Back to your salads and protein. Forthwith.


Carol said...

Not a problem here, Val. If I find a jelly in a box of chocolates, it goes straight in the....trash.
But that also means more for you. Because now I can give them all to you instead of throwing them away. Especially the loathsome red ones ;)

irishoma said...

Hi Val,

Yum. Looking at all the candy is making me hungry, and I'm trying to cut down on sweets.

When I was in high school I worked in the candy department at the Sears on Kingshighway and Easton (now MLK Drive). That's where I had my first taste of pistaschio nuts. I also learned that people like mixing jelly beans and redskin peanuts. Sounds weird, but it tasted good.

Thanks for the sweet trip down memory lane.


Sioux said...

Val--My sister makes these chocolate and orange concoctions. Apparently they're easy to make and quick to prepare as well.Perhaps I should send you the recipe?

Yes, I'm going to reach out and grab some of those pecans, to help me resist something sweet.

Stephen Hayes said...

Nonpareils are the best. They're kinda an old lady candy so I don't admit to eating them. As a rule.

Linda O'Connell said...

Val, your post took me right back to the Sears on South Grand where I not only bought candy, but the best chili dogs in the world. I can still smell the aromas of popcorn, peanuts, candy and chili.

Val said...

We can't all have the discipline of R. Lee Ermey.

You know. The Drill Sergeant from Full Metal Jacket, and more recently of GEICO commercial fame, where he offers the guy on the couch a tissue, the throws the box at him. While calling him a jackwagaon and telling him to chug on over to Namby-Pamby Land for some self-confidence.

But your selfless donation of jellies to me sounds right. We're the new Jack Sprat and platonic wife, but without all that platter-licking.

You need to put in a call to Carol there, up above you. Or R. Lee Ermey. They'll be a great help with your willpower.

Never heard of the jelly beans and red-skin peanuts. But how about some candy corn and dry-roasted peanuts? A handful of Payday candy bar is what you get with that combo.

If it's simple enough for a Sixteen-Year-Old Male, and doesn't violate any unwritten rules, like requiring a pink apron and hairnet, I'll take that recipe.

Well, my sister IS an old lady, if I do say so myself. Even back then, with her boy toes in silver sandals, peeling Elmer's Glue off her fingers for sport, I knew she would grow up to be an old lady. Simply because of her taste for nonpareils.

I didn't know they had CHILI DOGS! They must have been supersecret. In need of a password to purchase them. The smell of the nuts drew me to the candy counter. There I would be, up the escalator in appliances, watching the beach ball float over the reverse vacuum hose, when I would get a whiff and have to start tugging on my mom's arm, whining that she had seen ENOUGH Kenmore refrigerators and washer/dryers. We'd round up Dad from the Craftsman tools, and rush the counter. Oh, yeah. And my sister always managed to keep up with us, despite my best efforts to lose her.