If you think about it, it's amazing how many memories can be conjured up by just thinking about candy.
When I was a kid, my mom used to have friends over to play cards and I always got to help her prepare for her guests. Of course, I picked the toughest chores...like filling the candy dishes. Break out the bridge mix bowl and the red one used for the chocolate covered raisins.
During the holidays I also got to bring out the gum drop trees! Sad how sometimes those gum drops would break apart while I tried to jam them on the branches. I couldn't waste them, so I was forced to eat the broken ones.<smirk>
(And speaking of those gum drop trees...I found them at one of my favorite catalog sites. Click here if you want more info to get your own candy tree as shown below.)
Earlier this year, I turned 40-mumble, mumble. While contemplating my birthday, I got into a nostalgia jag and started surfing the web to find things from my childhood. TV commercials, cartoon shows...and, of course, CANDY! I was thrilled to find a bunch of sites that had those same penny candies that I used to load into my little brown bag when I'd hit the corner mom and pop grocery store as a kid. No...they were no longer that cheap! After loading my virtual shopping cart with a pile of my old favorites, the damage was over $50. But what great memories I had when that box of candy showed up.
Although, after I started eating some of that stuff, I must admit that I wondered how we ever thought that junk was good! The jaw breakers and gooey, sticky things ended up going to the neighbor kids. And what were we thinking when we had to have those marshmallow ice cream cones? Blah!
But I saved the Clove, Fruit Stripe and Beeman's gum for myself.
The Sip 'n Stix went into my freezer to enjoy later. But just as when I was a kid, I forgot about them and they exploded all over my freezer! And this time mom wasn't around to clean up the mess.
The other day, I was thinking about all these old time candies when I was reminded of candy that I used to have at gramma's house. I swear I've dreamt about these candies over the years. I could somewhat visualize them and remembered the fruit flavors and the light sugar dusting on each that caused you to have to lick your fingers after choosing one. And how great it was to get the last one in the tin and get to lick out the excess sugar from the bottom of the container! But I had no idea what they were called. Then, as I was surfing around the web, I FOUND THEM!
I was thrilled...I was like, well...like a kid in a candy store!
I was ready to get a can or two...but the place was out of stock! Arrgghh! My search intensified. I finally found a site that had them in stock, but the site was a wholesaler so I was forced to purchase a case! Who cares. I've been dreaming of these things for 30 years...now a case of them was all mine. Maybe I'll share with my brother and sisters who would be the only others in the family who can still remember asking gramma if we could have some fruit drops. That precious, colorful black tin of hard candy...that she strategically kept on top of the fridge, out of our reach.
My daughter, who is now 21, never carried the memory of those candies. Although she did freak when I reminded her of Wacky Packs. Those obnoxious product spoof cards...with an old stick of gum inside. What could be better!
True, if you weren't a kid in the US about 40 years ago, you may not remember much of this stuff. So I got into a conversation with some of my MVP buddies and discussed childhood candies with many members from the UK. They remember heading off to the sweet shop to get a quarter of (1/4 of various weight measurements) of candy. Lots of hard candy and licorice treats and things I'd never heard of, like: Sherbet dip dabs, Blacks Jacks, Fruit Salad, KOLA Cubes, Wham bars, acid drops, and pear drops.
For the benefit of those of us who never heard of these concoctions, fellow MVP, Mike Hall, from the UK provides these details on some of his favorites...
- Black Jacks - 8 for an old Brit penny - not sure what flavour they were
supposed to be
- Fruit Salads - 8 for an old Brit penny - a kind of acidy fruity version of
- Flying Saucers - 8 for an old Brit penny - rice paper with kali stuff in
- Magic Wands - 1d - a liquorice tube with some kind of sherbet in them...red
ones were best
- Hollands toffee bars - 1d
- Sherbet Fountains - Paper tube with sherbet and licorice extractor - 3d
- Parma Violets - pill style and revolting flavour not unlike lavender - 1d
- Swizzel lollipops - hard, spherical, tooth breaking, sour tasting,
compressed powder, multi coloured - 1d
- Anglo Bubblegum - 1d.. the best there was.. way better than Bazooka Joe
I still haven't found out exactly what a humbug was, although I heard they were wonderful??? But, I think kids on both sides of The Pond enjoyed...Atomic Fire Balls. Wahoo!
Want to have some fun this holiday season and bring some joy to the big kids in your life? Hit some of these sites and load up that holiday candy dish with old fashioned candies that your guest haven't seen in years. Or celebrate an over the hill birthday celebration by getting your favorite big kid a fun basket of nostalgia candy from when they were little. Groovy Candies (linked in the list at the bottom) offers some fun sampler packs with favorite candies from different decades, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s.
When you were a kid...it was so easy to turn a bad day into a good one with just a handful of your favorite candy. This holiday season (or any time) when you're looking for something special...forget the expensive chocolates and think about splurging on some of that same old junk that made you so happy as a kid. You'd be amazed how much fun it can be!
You can search out many "old time" and "nostalgia" candy links on the web, but here are some favorites we found to get you started...
And here are some links passed along by some of the British MVPs, as their favorite sites...
Bob, a Canadian MVP, also chimed in with this site for those of you up north...
Oh! And if you wish you could find that favorite soda you once enjoyed, but can now no longer find...be sure to check out this TechTrax archive article: Soda Pop Stop
(Big thanks to my MVP colleagues who helped out by providing details and links for this article.)