Tag: Candy

The Archie McPhee Odd Candy Taste Test

 

This last Sunday, Eustace C. Scrubb posted about his foray into the strange world of Archie McPhee. He posted several rather odd flavors of candy cane that one can find at Archie McPhee. Now, I have long been a connoisseur of Archie McPhee’s fine offerings of useless crap and odd foods. I once gave my brother a yodeling pickle (wearing lederhosen, no less) from Archie McPhee.¹ It is a place where one will not find items in good taste. Occasionally, they do offer things that taste good, but kale-flavored candy canes may not be in that category.

Still, I am a man of adventure. I decided to take the challenge and try some of the offerings. Most of the flavors of candy canes also come as hard candies in tins. This offers several advantages, but the main one is that they are individually-wrapped, bite-sized pieces. Candy canes, even for a mouth the size of mine, do not tend to be bite-sized. I ordered five flavors of their candies.

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Earlier posts this month broached the subject of Halloween loot. The question before us now is: what is the best and worst of Halloween loot, present or past. Herein, a few candidates for your consideration. Back in the early 70s there was a brief movement towards healthy alternatives to candy. Hence apples. But then the […]

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This afternoon, I spent a delightful few hours at lunch in Washington PA with a long-time member of our Ricochet family (I’m learning the Lefty idiom, just in case), and his wife.  I’m happy if he’d like to identify himself, but won’t presume. I enjoy promoting our local Southwest PA products, and sending them all […]

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It should be. My 83 year old mother-in-law whipped up a batch and presented it on Saturday in a decorative glittery holiday container. Today it is half gone. What is it about little rice, wheat and corn squares, mini pretzels, nuts, those little cheese it fish, butter, a dash of Worcestershire, and a secret seasoning […]

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Some say Necco wafers. I feel about them like I do about pumpkin pie–a seasonal thing, of which I want one serving per year.  But not the worst. Others will point to candy corn, Smarties, circus peanuts. Lame, but whatever, y’know? By all means share your favorites, and your hate list. Preview Open

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You’re Doin’ It Wrong

 

Today is Halloween, which means that tonight is Beggar’s Night. Or as I like to call it, my neighbor’s annual chance to confirm that someone actually does live in that house. At 6pm, I’ll need to be outside, as a bunch of rando people come walking up my driveway expecting me to interact with them.

What a horror show.

Suckers for Jesus! Or, Holy Kitsch!

 

I can’t call it “only in America,” because kitschy and silly, though harmless, religious trinkets seem to be a universal phenomenon. Still, there is something endearingly American about this online Christian storefront, selling Testamints, crucifix-shaped lollies, gourmet Scripture suckers, chocolate tulips (must be for the Calvinists), and little gummy Jesus “footsteps”: show that you walk in His footsteps by eating His feet!

“Take and eat… do this in remembrance of me.” In a religion based on the Eucharist, I suppose it’s not exactly blasphemous to consume Jesus in gummy form, though I doubt my grandmother would have agreed: she would have seen candy shaped like all or any part of Jesus as blasphemously irreverent, even if abstract religious symbols were commonplace in eats where she came from. Part of the wider Christian culture in America is to downplay aesthetic differences: high church or low, contemporary or old-fashioned, why argue adiaphora, huh? At the same time, aesthetics go to the heart of worship: whatever we think “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” means, it only seems fitting to give of our best (whatever that is) in acts of reverence. Religious kitsch occupies a funny place, not just strange, but amusing — and not just amusing to snobs who wish to disdain the rubes. The Babylon Bee, a favorite site of many of us here, often pokes fun at Christian kitsch, and it could hardly be said to disdain American Christians: it pokes fun at the kitsch because it’s run by American Christians.

What even counts as kitsch depends on your background. My grandmother, raised very Lutheran, had pretty exacting standards for what wasn’t kitschy. Were the sanctuary and music too contemporary and informal? Kitschy. Were they too ornate? Kitschy. Most religious statuary and paintings? Also kitschy. That she was Lutheran may have had less to do with her severe standards than the kind of Lutheran she was: she came from a place where Lutherans and “Papists” (Catholics) didn’t quite get along, and when she arrived in America, she was (mostly) eager to assimilate. More eager, she thought, than her Italian neighbors, who might plant a bathtub Madonna in the midst of their front lawn.

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This week, there’s a bombing in Saint Pete, we’re about to nuke Jong Un, there’s a Senate filibuster that’s about to change the tune (there’s a Scout Troup short a child, Kruschev’s due at Idelwild…). Etc. but *we* gentle listeners, are going to talk about panic…as in panic attack…as in the L.A. Times has this time really lost it. And the left can’t take it anymore. Talk to your liberal friends – or find some liberals to befriend and talk to them. They *believe* that Trump is on the threshold of impeachment. Trump’s tweets prove it. It is fascinating and fun to watch the meltdown. (What is a meltdown called when it is pereptual?).

The Rule of Culture vs. Fiat in Holidays, or, In Which I Don’t Get How My City Can Assign a Date for Trick-or-Treating

 

shutterstock_921171Does anybody else live in a city that “decides” when kids will go trick-or-treating…and it’s not on Halloween? We moved to Huntington, West Virginia seven years ago and this was the first place I’d ever even heard of such a thing. It rubs me the wrong way, because this is a cultural practice that’s evolved, independent of government, over many hundreds of years. It strikes me as a gross overstepping of authority for a city to assign a date on which the custom will be carried out by individual citizens, especially when that date isn’t when the culture says it should be.  It’s almost as if the city decreed that people will open their Christmas presents on December 23rd.

I’m not all that interested in justifications for why they’re choosing a given date, though I’ve heard rumors that it’s to avoid kids being out when drunk adults are driving back from their Halloween parties. I’m mostly wondering how a city thinks it can insert itself into this aspect of private life. And what is it that the city actually does in assigning the date? Do they pass a law? Surely not. Do they have some informal resolution of the city council encouraging people? More likely, but I’ve never heard the details.

This is so foreign a concept to me that I’m amazed the citizens all go along with this. If it were a recent innovation, there would have to be push-back, but I’m not hearing any. So I assume this was all fought out decades ago. Yet it’s the first place I’ve ever heard of it. My elder, teenaged daughter (who knows everything) tells me that the entire state does this, and that I should stop complaining. I have my doubts. But another city over the border, where I teach, does it too, and I wonder if it’s some regional thing.