Posts Tagged ‘Candy’

English: "Holyland" brand matzah, ma...

“Holyland” brand matzah, machine-made in Jerusalem and purchased at Trader Joes in the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tonight which as you know is unlike any other night or if you don’t, you can check out a previous blog of mine https://pbenjay.wordpress.com/2010/03/30/why-is-this-night-different-from-all-other-nights/.  Anyway tonight we are going to my sister-in-law’s home for a Seder dinner.  It will of course be a feast, and being the balabusta  she is, she is cooking a very traditional meal as well as adding vegetarian dishes for the one or two non-meat eaters in the group.  And by group I mean she is seating and serving 11 people tonight!

I asked what I could bring and was assigned an asparagus dish.  I’m going to make a room temperature asparagus platter with an egg sauce on top.  If I haven’t already posted this recipe previously, I will tomorrow.  It was a traditional Easter Sunday dinner side in my family for years.

And then if I can organize myself, I plan to make some Matzo Crack!  This is a surprise addition to the meal.  Naturally Stacey, our hostess, who is size 2 is planning on serving strawberries and cream for dessert, something light and moderately healthy.  I, on the other hand, am hoping for the taste of chocolate and in keeping with the holiday tradition of no leavened bread, I’m going to make chocolate toffee matzoh! 

So simple to do (they say) and since I’m posting this prior to actually making it, I can’t attest to that but I do believe this is not going to be difficult at all.

4-5 pieces of matzo

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 cup ( 2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 cup bittersweet chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate bits

Toppings as desired

Preheat oven to 375º

Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and/or parchment paper.  Place matzo in one layer on baking sheet, breaking it when necessary to fill pan complexly.

In large sauce pan, melt the butter and brown sugar together over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Once mixture reaches a boil, continue to cook for additional 3 minutes, still stirring, until thickened and just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Remove from heat and pour over matzo, spreading evenly with a heat proof spatula.

Put the pan in the oven, then immediately turn the heat down to 350 degrees.  Bake for 15 minutes, watching to make sure it doesn’t burn.  If it looks like it is starting to burn, turn heat down to 325 degrees.

After 15 minutes, the toffee should have  bubbled up and turned a rich golden brown.  Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle the chocolate over the pan.  Let sit for 5 minutes and then spread the now-melted chocolate evenly with a spatula.

You can leave as it is or add a topping such as sea salt or toasted nuts.  Let cool completely, then break into smaller pieces and store in airtight container.

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With Halloween just around the corner, people all around the country are decorating their front steps and porches with  Jack-o-Lanterns, their lamp posts wrapped with cornstalks and scarecrows.  You might see little white handkerchief ghosts swinging from the branches of front yard bushes.  Moms are stashing bags of candy on top shelves.  And costumes?  Oh there’s hand-wringing, attic-scavenging and ideas offered and discarded as quickly as you can say, “Trick or Treat”.  Kids are gearing up for the visit of the Great Pumpkin and highest of high sugar highs.

So what do they do in Manhattan?  Well there are carved pumpkins in apartments, candy is bought in hopes some kids from your building will be trick or treating that night  and if not, there’s always LOTS of adults ( young  and not so young) dressed up and out in the bars.  Actually Halloween night is really for adults in Manhattan.  The kids seem to start trick or treating when it’s still light out, like 5:00 even!!! REALLY?? And if we work, how is it possible to be home to answer the door at 5:00?  No candy for those kids!  And in an apartment building, the kids can’t come to your door begging for candy UNLESS there is a sign or symbol (as provided by the building) posted on your door.  That makes it very easy to diss the kid portion of Halloween evening.  You don’t have to turn off all your lights, lock your door and pretend you’re not home…you just don’t put that symbol on your door!  Instead, you don a crazy costume and go out to eat and drink in Macabre Manhattan and Halloween becomes a night alive with grown-up kids( like me) unwilling to give up one of their favorite holidays!













All photos taken on East 61st and 62nd St between 2nd and 3rd Avenue – Thanks to Helen for sharing!!


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Ho,ho, ho, Christmas is almost here! And what will be under the tree for me? AND what will be in my Christmas stocking?  As a kid growing up in the 50’s my Dad always made sure Santa filled our stockings with goodies.  It was most definitely a simpler time then and what went into the stockings usually wasn’t very pricey but oh it was fun to sit in front of the tree and empty out the contents, wasn’t it?  Only Santa knows what kids today expect in their stockings.  This is the kind of stocking I had growing up and I found two in an antique shop years ago so I still hang a stocking up every year!

"...and their stockings were hung by the fireplace with care..."

“…and their stockings were hung by the fireplace with care…”

There are several legends and versions of the origin of the tradition of hanging stockings the night before Christmas for Santa Claus to fill;  I grew up with the one about the young boys and girls in the Netherlands leaving their wooden clogs filled with straw for the reindeer out on Christmas Eve.  Then Sinterclass would leave treats for the children.  Later the clogs would become stockings and the saint would become known to all as Santa Claus.

Then there’s the legend of the nobleman with three daughters who lost all of his money through bad inventions and was forced to move into a peasant’s cottage.  The girls did all of the washing and cooking and had no chance of marriage because they had no dowries.  The girls washed out their stockings and hung them by the fireplace to dry and that night, knowing of the father’s despair stopped by the house after all had gone to bed.  He saw the stockings and was inspired to toss three pouches of gold coins carefully down the chimney, each one landing in one of the stockings.

Lastly there’s the North American theory dating back to the XIX Century;  Some believe that stockings hung by the fireplace was first mentioned by writer, George Webster in a story about a visit from Santa Claus and in an illustration by Thomas Nast

What did you find in your Christmas stocking?  I found all kinds of goodies like:

  1. A tangerine or orange was always in the toe
  2. Yo-yo
  3. A card game like Old Maid or Go Fish
  4. Jacks and Ball set
  5. Candy canes
  6. Hershey’s chocolate kisses
  7. Crayons or markers
  8. Chocolate coins
  9. Cellophane packet of cat’s eyes marbles
  10. Licorice

I wonder what Finley Ray expects to find in her stocking this year?

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I know I said I was a woman of a certain age but now I guess I’m really going to date myself.  Penny Candy! I remember a couple of small stores where my friends and I would go and buy penny candy.  We’d spend quite a long time deciding just what sweet to buy because you just never knew when you would have another nickel or dime to splurge on candy.  Taking a walk down nostalgia lane (that is the 50’s!) these are some of the toothsome delights I remember best; just like being in Candyland.

Bazooka Bubble gum Soooooooo sweet your teeth hurt with the first chew.   A good choice though, because for a penny, your treat lasted a long, long time – depending on how strong your jaw was as this pinky pink confection turned to a hardened rubbery plastic ball in your mouth.  But wasn’t it fun snapping the gum and blowing enormous bubbles?

Smarties – These neat little cellophane  rolls were great when you just wanted to pop one in your mouth and put it under your tongue.  Best way to eat candy in a classroom!  Multi-colored and not too too sweet, they were great for sharing and lasting.

penny candy, old time candy, pastel candies,

School Smart Candy

Squirrels – short for Squirrel Nut Chocolate Caramel Chews; Now that’s a mouthful, literally and figuratively.   There were a lot of flavors packed into those small 2 inch rectangles. They came wrapped in semi-opaque waxed paper and what you go was a sticky, gooey, chocolaty, stick-to-your-molars mouthful of taffy-like caramel with nuts too.   Sometimes on Halloween, we’d end up with a bunch of Squirrels, Smarties and Bubble Gum at the bottom of our sacks.  Not everybody gave out big candy bars in my neighborhood.

Atomic Fire Balls – OMG these things were HOT HOT HOT!  So why did we eat them? Remember how your lips stung, your pink turned hot pink and by the time all the hot went away, you almost cracked a tooth trying to bite the now white ball into pieces?  I understand they’re still around burning up the mouths of brave and foolish kids.

Mary JanesYummy molasses bite-size candies with a peanut butter filling.  Now that I think about it , it’s  possible these golden flavorful goodies started me on my peanut butter addiction!  And if you thought Squirrels stuck to your teeth, well Mary Janes practically glued your upper and lower teeth together.  Do you remember trying to talk without drooling when you had a Mary Jane in your mouth?

molasses candy, peanut butter filling, penny candy, old time candy

Mmmmmm Mary Janes!

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Thank God it wasn’t a Tea Party being held in Boston but rather a Halloween party for kids in the South End.  A gathering at the Ringold Playground for some fun and treats and to meet up with friends.  Then the Boston police park a cruiser to block automobile traffic on several streets forming a safe square of blocks where the kids can trick or treat.  And something I never saw before but realize it probably takes place in NYC wherever there are brownstones – the homeowners sat on the steps enjoying the parade of costumed and sugared-up kids as well as maybe sipping a glass of wine while handing out the candy.  It was great fun to see Finny run up to the steps and ask for candy with her sweet “Trick or Treat“.   We spent two days teaching her the concept of saying ‘trick or treat” for candy and “thank-you” and what happened was that most adults greeted the kids with “Happy Halloween”! That works of course with slightly older kids but it was funny to watch Finny just look at them while she reached into the candy bowl.

I saw a couple of kids at the playground whose costumes were just too cute and took a few photos.

Boston traffic light, halloween in Boston

Hey, RED means Stop!

photo by Lori

Ringold playground, Boston Halloween, South End

Peter Pan

photo by Lori

Captain Hook, halloween, Boston South End,

Captain Hook was his Daddy

photo by Lori

And last but not least by any means, SNOW WHITE

Snow White princess, Finley Ray Clark

The Princess Sits

photo by Lori

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