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A dandy day: Lutheran Home residents celebrate candy

By Brenda Zimmerman
For The Salisbury Post
At Lutheran Home, staff and residents often celebrate more that just the usual holiday such as national religious holidays, Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day.
Celebrations over the years have included National Pickle Day, National Egg Day … sometimes a special day identified in the Chases’s Annual Events listing becomes a month long celebration.
In June residents were “treated” to a Candy is Dandy party as part of National Candy Month. This was the end of a month full of discussions and memories centered around candy.
Some remembered digging into big wooden barrels to pull out a handful of chocolate crčme drops or fireballs. Some remembered going to the corner store and buying a nickel Baby Ruth or a huge Tootsie Roll for a penny. They had never heard of such things as a box of Nerds or Lemon Warheads. They recalled using candy such as horehound and rock candy as medicines.
Whatever the memories, whatever the age, statistics show that 99 percent of all American households purchase some type of candy at least once a week!
The dictionary says that candy is “a confection made from a concentrated solution of sugar in water to which flavorings, spices, colorants, nuts, fruit, oils, emulsifiers, milk products, cocoa or eggs may have been added.”
Now if you ask anyone around what candy is they will tell you that it is “a sweet treat that is gooey, chewy, creamy, crunchy, satisfying, energy boosting, diet busting and totally irresistible!”
Candy as we know it today had humble beginnings more than 3,500 years ago in Egypt ó earlier than that if you count cavemen stealing honey from the bees. Egyptians mixed honey with fruits and nuts to create sweets.
In the Middle Ages, sugar was added to the process and the created products were so expensive that they were only enjoyed by the very wealthy. In the American Colonies, boiled sugar candies (variations of hard tack) were popular.
By the 1800s, American factories were producing penny candyfor stores to sell in bulk. Milk chocolate was first made in Switzerland by David Peter and Henry Nestle, who added evaporated milk to cocoa in 1876.
In 1868, Richard Cadbury created the first heart shaped box of candy for Valentine’s Day. He hand painted it with a picture of his daughter and a kitten. Milton Hershey had made a fortune in caramels when he went to the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893. There he saw a German machine that made chocolate … and as the saying goes, the rest is history.
Bette Pollock and Shay Cohen of the Okey Dokey General Store provided a wonderful display of candies such as Bit O Honey, Mary Janes, Atomic Fireballs, and Horehound drops. The display was accented with scoops and decorative containers with renditions of giant Butterfinger and Baby Ruth Bars set in the background.
To add excitement to the month, creative folks were offered an opportunity to participate in a contest to invent a candy bar.
Judging would include packing and presentation for the confection as well as the taste test.
Four entries were judged on June 29.
The family of resident Pauline Mowery brought in a wonderful bite-sized treat made with pretzels, nuts and caramel. The activity department submitted an entry made with salted toasted almonds, craisins and a few secret ingredients dipped in dark chocolate.
Linda Beaver, an employee of the home who is known for her culinary skills brought in an original Chocolate Oat Bar that took second place with the judges.
Bette and Shay took first and third places with their Breakfast (sort of) Bar, and their Gold Bar.
The Gold Bar had a marvelous filling that tasted a lot like you were licking the frosting beaters from a home made German Chocolate Cake.
The bars were carefully wrapped and label with gold foil and presented in a small, handmade “vault.”
The breakfast bars had everything needed for a complete breakfast including orange juice (candied orange peel) and coffee (Kahlua). They were presented in an old-fashioned box adorned with two cocker spaniels sitting down with a breakfast tray.
All of the treats were then served to the residents, who raved about the homemade treats. Prizes were awarded and included an enormous selection of old-fashioned candies gleaned from the shelves at Cracker Barrel, and a candy tower cake made by Shay Cohen.
During the party, residents were able to name more than 75 brand names of sweet treats. Many names were familiar, such as Milky Way, Hershey bar and Snickers.
Others included Chick a Stix, Lemon Warheads and Jujubes.
There were the silly names such as Raisinettes and Goobers.
I am still waiting to see if a Squirrel Nut Zipper is really something that could pull a sweet tooth!
The party ended with some trivia about candy:
– More than 2 billion candy canes are sold each December.
– Thirty-five million pounds of candy corn are sold annually
– The average American consumes 23.9 pounds of candy annually.
– The amount of chocolate candy consumed by U.S. citizens is 11.6 pounds per person per year.
– Fifty-five percent of candy purchases are impulse buys.

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