Christmas candy

The lad from next door had no idea the power he held in his hands when he showed up at our door with peanut brittle.
I had not eaten or even seen peanut brittle in decades but as soon as I tore the wrapping paper off the box, I felt it transport me back in time. I immediately began thinking of Christmases at my grandmother’s house in Hughestown, and especially of my Aunt Dorothy who passed away in 2016. She would have been 92 on January 3.
Aunt Dorothy was what every child should have: a single aunt. She lived with my grandmother and always had the discretionary income to buy us Ackerman kids the “extras” our mom and dad could not afford.
Aunt Dorothy always had filled candy dishes around the house and at Christmas one of the treats was peanut brittle.
There were others.
Like ribbon candy. If you don’t remember ribbon candy, it’s kind of hard to explain, except to say it was shaped like folded ribbon. It was always a part of Christmas.
And bonbons. An internet search reveals that’s a French word for a variety of filled chocolates but the bonbons of my youth were coconut filled and coated with chocolate that in addition to being chocolate in color also came in pink, white and yellow. They, too, say Christmas to me.
Finally, the peanut brittle conjured up memories of clear toy candy.
Remember clear toy? For those who don’t, it was a hard candy molded in the shape of things like horses or dogs or reindeer or even chickens. The candy came in a variety of colors but it is my recollection that it all tasted the same. Sweet and delicious.
I’ve been treating my peanut brittle like gold leaf, eating just a tiny bit every now and then, trying to make it last. It was a perfect gift.

Ed Ackerman