By Susan Amerikaner
We recently celebrated our 35th Wedding Anniversary. We are not big entertainers: not party-goers or party-givers. But my husband felt we ought to somehow mark this milestone in style. And thanks to CandyFavorites—and my own planning–our party was a wild success.
People have been asking me how I did it. So I decided to write and share. This was a decidedly adult affair, but you can easily adapt for children’s birthdays. We used candy, creativity and the film Casablanca. For children, you could easily use a film such as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory! (I prefer the original with Gene Wilder, but the newer one with Johnny Depp would do also.)
We have long loved the classic film Casablanca. We’ve seen it so many times, we can quote lines to each other. Casablanca has special significance for us, because the first time I met my husband he impressed me with his Bogie imitation of “Here’s looking at you, kid.” I was a goner!
We live in a community with a choice of party rooms, and we got one with a projector and sound system. I made the place look as much as “Rick’s Café” as I could. Inexpensive Moroccan style candle lanterns for each table worked well, plus movie posters and a six-foot-stand-up of Humphrey Bogart. We would serve Greek food—and then show the film while serving candy, popcorn and cake.
Then I came up with ways to make the movie “interactive.” If you have ever been to a Sound of Music Sing-a-Long or a Grease Sing-a-Long, you know what I mean. The audience gets a small bag of “props” to use at certain moments in the film. It’s great fun. These films also have song captions on the screen. Casablanca isn’t a musical, but it still has memorable moments to “play!” This is what we put in our party bags:
- Chocolate Cigarettes
- Bubble Gum Cigars
- Chocolate Gold Coins
- Mini Boxes of Junior Mints
- “Lip” Whistles
- Biplane “Whizzers”
- French Flags
We instructed our guests that whenever they hear the line, “Here’s looking at you, Kid,” they take a sip of champagne. Whenever a film character smokes a cigarette, enjoy your chocolate ciggies or gum cigars. When Rick and Ilsa kiss, blow the lip whistles! When you see and hear the propellers of the “plane to Lisbon,” use your Biplane Whizzers. When Rick goes to the Roulette Table, throw your Chocolate Coins on the table. And during the famous scene in the café when they all drown out the Nazis by singing Les Marseilles, wave your French flag!
The purpose of the Junior Mints? I can’t stand to watch a movie without them. Since the room had to be darkened to show the film, we also included little flashlights in each bag. I found these online for a buck a piece, including the batteries. I got the flags from a flag company and the whistles and whizzers from Oriental Trading.
We sent out invitations asking people to come in forties attire if they desire. Our party was a major success. Guests keep calling and saying how much they loved the candy and the props. I was sure to order quality candy from CandyFavorites. Inside the candy bags, I had a little instruction sheet and also some trivia about the film itself. Believe it or not, some people were seeing this gem for the first time!
We don’t just enjoy selling candy, but also have fun playing with it too. Please enjoy this stop-motion animation New Year’s greeting and have a sweet 2015!
Trolli Santa & Elves Mustaches Gummi Candy
Classroom/movie Munchability: 5 (the fun is in the dress-up play!)
Melt Measure: 0
Trust me, it is as much a surprise to me as it is to you that the elves of Santa’s toy shop have the same type of mustaches that Santa has! I always imagined the elves as baby faced little characters running around childishly as they assembled toys for the undersides of all the Christmas trees of children. (Despite growing up Jewish, I have still had many daydream about Santa and his elves).
Perhaps the elves were not preparing Christmas gifts, and instead were growing and grooming each other’s mustaches. Perhaps these little elves look up to Santa and show their respectful admiration by mimicking his mustache, or lip brow, if you will.
With three flavors: Cherry, Cherry & Lime, and Strawberry & Cherry, and three different ‘stache styles, this gummi provides adequate variables to balance with the consistency of the texture and chew density. Each gummi provides a substantial bite into the thickness of sweet delight.
Since I love to share, and I had more mustaches than I cared to try on, I offered to some of of these Christmas candies to my friends during a day of rock climbing in Connellsville, PA.
Here are some things that were said about the Mustaches:
|“The flavor is not overpowering, it’s not in your face.”||“Tastes just like an elf!”|
|“They are enjoyable… they are refreshing. Refreshing, that’s definitely a word that should be in there! I was chewing away, tasting some cherry and before I knew it I was wondering, is that lime I’m tasting? It totally was lime. Lime makes it refreshing!”||“How’s the aroma?…I can smell them from here and my nose is stuffed…”|
|“You actually enjoyed it?”“Yes, and I’d have another one, and another one and another one. It might just be my new favorite candy.”|
|“I will remember them with pleasure.”|
Have fun with wearing the Santa & Elves Mustaches. I challenge you to try to wear the mustache, say “Ho! Ho! Ho!” and eat the mustache all without using your hands! You might even get some candy aroma therapy from this game, as the sweet tastes trickle into your brainwaves through your nasal passage. Have fun and get a laugh outa this gummi candy!
Allow me to go ahead and answer your first question: What is the difference between Mentos Rainbow and Mentos Fruit? The newer product, Mentos Rainbow, features seven flavors, five of which are distinct from the original fruit flavors: pineapple, raspberry, apple, watermelon, grape and the old school orange and strawberry. Mentos fruit keeps it simple with the trio of flavors: strawberry, orange and lemon. Either way, you’ll find 14 pieces of fruity chew balls in each package.
My favorite Mentos flavor has always been the pink strawberry. I used to buy rolls of Mentos, pick out all of the pink ones and give the rest to my brothers.
Most people are probably more familiar with the minty version of Mentos. Pierre Van Melle conceived the idea of the Mentos in the Netherlands in 1932. In 1973 new flavors were introduced, cinnamon to the U.S. and fruit flavors to Europe. (I would love to try cinnamon Mentos! Where did that brilliant idea go?) In 1990, the Freshmaker campaign took sales of Mentos on a soaring current of success.
Regardless of which flavor is the best, flavor isn’t even half the fun of the Mentos experience! What makes a Mentos a Mentos is the “secret” structure. Chewy center. Crunchy layer. Fresh coating. Could it be better balanced?!
Mentos are considered dragée candies, which means that they have a hard outer shell. Another example of a dragée candy is the Jordan Almond (see the blog here: http://www.candyfavorites.com/blog/jordan-almond-i-now-pronounce-you-man-and-wife/). Break through the shell into the soft chewy center and let the Mentos dragée take its time and run its course.
“I like Mentos, but I don’t like what they break down to.”
“You don’t like the chew?”
“No, I just don’t like that it’s still in my teeth.”
Take the #CandyBucketChallenge to help fight ALS. For the next 24 hours, $3 will be donated for every order placed at CandyFavorites.com. You can also win the Bucket of Candy by making the best guess for the number of candy pieces dumped in the video! Please share with your friends to make this fundraising effort a sweet success! Place your order NOW!
Classroom/Movie Munchability: 8
Melt Measure: 8
It might not be the simplest candy to spell correctly, but this Hershey’s bar shows simplicity with style. It is the classic milk chocolate bar with a little crisped rice crunch to keep you paying attention.
When Krackels was originally introduced in 1938 as a full size candy bar, it had almonds and crisped rice in the formula. Soon after, peanuts were added to the party. In 1941, while war was at large on the other side of the globe, Krackel became a crisped rice, and crisped rice only, chocolate bar. In the late 90s, Krackel availability shrunk, in physical size. For almost 20 years, the Krackel bar has only been available in the miniature fun size bar, and now, the bar the people have been asking for is back. Catch up with the Krackel full size! It’s a blast from the past, the old school krunch in its old school/new school size!
Classroom/Movie Munchability: 8
Melt Measure: 8
“I’m not a huge caramel fan, so my experience is jaded, but honestly it’s good”
“It’s like a Caramello log!”
It’s no surprise that Mars created the MilkyWay candy; this candy bar is out of this world! If you really try, you might even be able to find a resemblance between the evolution of the MilkyWay bar from the nougat-caramel combo to caramel-solo and the dynamic Milky Way galaxy.
Between 100 and 400 billion stars paint what we see of the Milky Way galaxy and they say that there is at least one planet for every star! I have no idea how they create number estimates like these; who is counting how many of the hundreds of billions of stars?! It’s absolutely mind blowing, just like the Milky Way Simply Caramel!
In the center of this Milky Way is a thick and gooey, soft and satisfying caramel core, slightly less chaotic than the supermassive black hole that is theorized to reside in the center of our Milky Way galaxy. It is supposedly a hole that is four million times the mass of the sun (over a million earths fit inside the sun) where stars zoom around like leaking balloons in formation. If you close your eyes, you can let this caramel delight, take you on a flight into the supermassive black hole of the MilkyWay Simpy Caramel.
After reading the “a bit about Becca our resident candy blogger” bio for the first time in five years, I felt a little embarrassed that that’s what is informing the current candy lovers about their resident blogger. Allow me to quickly catch you up on what I was doing during the five years that I was not writing candy blogs.
Last you heard, I was a sophomore at the University of Colorado in Boulder, beginning to discover myself. Since then, I took two years off of school. I lived in an intentionally community on a small farm in Israel, learning permaculture/small scale farming and sustainable living practices. I served people food in Pittsburgh and in Boulder. I harvested vegetables on an organic farm. I got involved with community initiatives regarding food, gardening, music and open mics along the way, all the meanwhile rock climbing every chance I could get. I transferred to Warren Wilson College near Asheville, NC in 2012 and graduated with a B.A. degree in Outdoor Leadership last May (2014). I just finished my first out-of-college summer job as a field instructor for a wilderness therapy program in North Carolina. I am currently funemployed with infinite worlds of adventure at the tips of my toes.
Candy blogs are a good way for me to remain engaged with consistency while I decide on my next steps, be they in wilderness therapy, urban gardening education, rock climbing, skiing, beatboxing or something else.
I hope you all enjoy reading my blogs, because I enjoy writing them. Take my thoughts, ideas and opinions with a grain of sugar and try the candies for yourself. I hope you find places you agree with me and places that you disagree, and I’m happy to hear about both.
I’ll leave you candy lovers with a quote from the book I am currently reading. He is describing a large arch rock formation in the desert of Utah:
“The Delicate Arch explains nothing, for each thing in its own way, when true to its own character, is equally beautiful… If Delicate Arch has any significance, it lies, I will venture, in the power of the odd and unexpected to startle the senses and surprise the mind out of their ruts of habit, to compel us into a reawakened awareness of the wonderful—that which is full of wonder.”
These peeps are of an unfamiliar sort. All cramped up inside the bag, 24 to a room, it’s the factory farming of peeps. They took them out of their bag free, free-range boxes and stuck them into a bag. After yesterday’s “Peepa” march against bagged peeps, I decided to get a bag to see what the disturbance was about.
I rip off the seal and unzip the dark cave where the peeps reside. My hand reaches down and the bag crinkles. It’s warm and soft, I just grab something because I’m not sure where each one starts and ends. I pull it out of the bag and it looks just like I’d expect any bagged peep to look after transport. Squished; no structural stability whatsoever, I can see the sadness in its eyes, it knows that life wasn’t supposed to be like this, it dreams of what else could be out there, but it knows of nothing else but the bagged life. He has heard stories of the strong, brightly colored peeps with a whole box of room shared with only four others, where they were able to grow strong and stand up on their own. But those stories are as good as myth to this cramped marshmallow creature.
These mini peeps are a soft, melt-in-your-mouth style gooey substance, not quite the feeling of a typical marshmallow. (My guess is that they must have been affected by the inhumane culture of the bag). This gooey substance is the tar of a hot-chocolate-packet-tasting feather.
Satisfying and highly sharable, but these peeps lack the structural soundness of that classic peep that holds the memories and taste of Spring.
Hot chocolaty squished peeps… hear them shqueep.
The world of candy blogging has called me back. Maybe it is the expanded appreciation I have now for sweets; working in wilderness therapy, a treat of sugar at night, when all the students are zipped into their sleeping bags, brings a moment of absolute solitude and bliss. Nothing can interrupt the sweet serenity of a well-earned bit of melting chocolate on the tongue. Maybe I am back because it would be selfish and rude to pass up the candy blogging opportunity that every child dreams of… The reasoning is less important than the result, which is that Becca is back, which means the creative blogs that you’ve been waiting to see more of are back too!