Friday, December 16, 2011

Did you know...

...that today, December 16, is National Chocolate Coated Anything Day?! I just learned that bit of information a few minutes ago and I'm sad I didn't know it this morning because I would have celebrated. In November and December this year I've been helping the owner of Colonial Candy Shoppe, a store we discovered in 1979 and immediately loved because they sold Ben Heggy's chocolates. I didn't work today but if I had, I certainly would have (unknowingly) celebrated National Chocolate Coated Anything Day by eating a chocolate coated marshmallow, peanuts, cookie, raisins, mint, malt ball, or some other delicious item(s). Some folks advocate celebrating the day by coating non-food items with chocolate. In my opinion that's a complete waste of chocolate (unless, of course, it's the nearly-non-edible, Palmer imitation chocolate).

This may not seem like a family history post but I can turn chocolate toward nearly any topic and it's especially easy to turn it toward family history. I'll share some chocolate memories. I always thought my mother did not like chocolate. Chocolate was visible in our house only on rare occasions:
  1. if someone brought us a box as a gift
  2. when my aunt brought home Heggy's chocolate from her visits to a friend's house
  3. when my mom made chocolate chip cookies or chocolate cake
  4. when my father walked to the drugstore and brought home a bag of chocolate candy bars (which I can remember happening exactly two times); or
  5. if I bought it myself
When I was a kid M&Ms were probably my favorite candy. They cost 69¢/pound. The small bags near the cash registers cost 5¢. My mother dissuaded me from buying the small bags because they were much more expensive, comparatively, than buying a pound. So I saved my allowance of 25¢/week and bought a pound of M&Ms about once a month. If I earned money babysitting or cleaning my aunt's car I could buy a pound more often. Sometimes I ate them from the bag but it was more fun - because of their beautiful colors - to pour them into an open candy dish and take a handful. I especially liked them when they were just slightly warm. Not melted, just not cold. I still like M&Ms, but there are other chocolates I like more these days.

When my mother and I were older, when she was in her 70s or 80s, I learned that she really did like to eat chocolate and realized that she probably just didn't like her children to eat chocolate. Which makes me wonder if she had a secret stash somewhere during my childhood and ate it while I wasn't around. Hmmmm. My oldest daughter didn't know about chocolate until she was 5 or 6 because I kept my chocolate hidden and ate it surreptitiously.

My grandmother sometimes rewarded my good grades or other successes in school with a 6-pack of Hershey bars. I know I could have eaten them all in one day, even when I was six, but I'm sure my grandmother and mom warned me against such piggish behavior. Strange that I only remember receiving them, not eating them.

My brother makes delicious peanut clusters around Christmas time. They are a favorite of many, many people and I think he may make them by the 100-pound batch. Or maybe it's just a 25-pound batch. Whichever, I know he used to make a lot. They are delicious.

Those are my spur-of-the-moment chocolate memories to celebrate National Chocolate Coated Anything Day. Did you celebrate National Chocolate Coated Anything Day? Do you love chocolate? Do you have childhood memories of or family history associated with chocolate?


  1. Oh I would have celebrated, too! And like you, I can relate almost anything ton chocolate - or family history. Connecting them both? A piece of cake - the chocolate cake Mother made every year for our birthdays, covered with M&Ms!

  2. I haven't celebrated yet, but now that I know (thanks to you), I will buy some chocolate tomorrow. I see some rum balls in our future. We buy hard liquor when we throw a party, but then it seems like nobody drinks it. So, here I have this bottle of rum and National Chocolate Coated Anything Day. I think I know what to do. Thanks!

  3. Well I'm glad I had the giant chocolate brownies for lunch today! I'm putting this holiday on the calendar for next year.

  4. I am so sorry I missed it. I never could have a bowl of chocolate lying about because my brothers would have eaten it.

  5. What a shame I missed it too - and funny that you remember receiving the chocolate, but not eating it. I suppose that says more about our anticipation of it than the actual consuming :-) Jo


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