Let’s Talk Candy

Easter approaches.  And I am a connoisseur of the Easter candy (can I get an Amen!)  Actually, I’m a connoisseur of candy in general.  But, not what is traditionally thought of as “grown up” candy.  It’s common to hear grown men and women whimpering about chocolate.  A confession:  I’ve never really developed a taste for dark chocolate.  Eh, just doesn’t really float my boat.  Actually, I could probably go the rest of my life without eating another piece of chocolate.  How many of you gasped?  Sacrilege!  I am, at the heart, a kid when it comes to candy. Red licorice, Jelly Belly’s and Gummi Bears are my absolute favorites.  Followed by things like Skittles, Starburst and Sour Patch Kids (though they kind of make my stomach gurgle in an unpleasant way these days).

Now, Easter is an exception to my chocolate rule.  There are a number of chocolate-y Easter delights that I love:  Cadbury mini eggs, robin eggs, the little foil-wrapped Hershey eggs.  I also believe in shopping for holiday candy early, when the best selection is available.  Nothing worse than a picked over candy aisle. I have been known to go to multiple stores around Christmas time hunting for mint M&M’s.  And, since Easter is early this year it meant that I found myself perusing the candy aisle long before St. Patrick’s Day (yes, I did wait until March).

I bought too much.  Way too much.  My excuse?  We’re hosting family for Easter dinner.  “Oh, we’re having guests!  I’d better buy enough for them to enjoy!”  Read: we’re having guests, I’d better buy extra so that I get my fair share.  This was the load that came home:

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Psssst…remember…WE DON’T HAVE CHILDREN!!  It’s just the two of us!  So, yeah, that’s pretty ridiculous.  But, wait, the confession isn’t over.  I stopped by Costco one evening to pick up a couple of things.  I was walking through the aisles and suddenly I heard singing.  I stopped, cocked my head, and listened.  Singing? “Here comes Peter Cottontail….”  I followed the sound.  I wound through gallons of condiments, sides of beef, pallets of toilet paper…and found myself standing in front of….

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Yes, that’s my paw in a vat of Jelly Belly’s.  Four pounds of Jelly Belly’s, to be exact.  And the husband is not a fan.  So, who is going to eat four pounds of Jelly Belly’s?  I promise, I’ll pace myself.  🙂

It was the Jelly Belly’s  The beans were singing Easter songs.  I responded.  If there is ice cream in the freezer it sings, too.  The sweetest of songs.  That’s why I don’t keep ice cream in the freezer.  Here’s how I rationalized it:  I’ve been wanting Jelly Belly’s for Easter.  They sell for $8.99/lb. Do you know how much the vat cost?  It was on sale.  $11.97.  Even I can do that math.  It’s like $3 a pound!!!  What an amazing deal!

Jelly Belly’s and I go way back.  When I was 25 or so I went to visit my Aunt and Uncle.  They live outside of San Francisco.  While visiting, my Aunt and I went to the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield.  I felt like I had come home.  Watching those beans get made…first emerging as an unpolished, unassuming little bean, then covered with a shiny coating and stamped with that beloved logo.  It was a beautiful thing.  I’m sure I smeared my nose all over the viewing windows.

When we got to the gift shop I discovered Belly Flops.  Those are the “seconds.” The beans that turned out not-quite-right.  Misshapen, sometimes stuck together. The land of the misfit beans.  They…holy crap!  I just looked at the Jelly Belly site and they want $9.99 for a 2 lb bag of Belly Flops.  I can get 4 lbs of perfect beans from Costco for $2 more!  I digress.  At the time, way back when, a 2 lb bag of Belly Flops was around $3.  I loaded up.  I don’t even remember how many pounds of beans I came home with, but I’m surprised I didn’t have to pay extra for the weight of my suitcase.  It was a great trip.

Know what goes good with Jelly Belly’s?  Wine.  Oh, and please don’t try those ridiculous flavor combinations on the back of the package.  Jelly Belly’s are meant to be savored one at a time.  Except for the watermelon ones.  I used to feed those to my parent’s dog when I lived at home.

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