It all started sometime in very early elementary school when I had gone over to my cousin’s house after he got out of school. He had just had his Valentine’s party that day, and was loaded down with delicious looking Valentine’s loot attached to Valentine’s cards from all of his classmates.
(I wish I’d learned from this memory – I sent Ali to her Cubbies Valentine’s party with JUST cards, seeing as how that was what the instructions said. Imagine my feelings of inadequacy when she came home with a bag full of cards – but every one of them with candy, stickers, and other such gifts attached. Oops.)
Anyway, back to the 80’s.
Amidst my cousin’s plentiful loot was one of those colored-chocolate-suckers. A Red Rose.
(I guess it’s not really chocolate, but it’s the consistency of chocolate, except that it comes in all different colors, and tastes like White Chocolate, which was my childhood chocolate of choice).
I wanted that sucker so badly, but my cousin, ever the entrepreneur, wanted instead to try to sell his treats in the front yard to passers-by.
So we set up a Valentine-Candy-Selling Stand.
(Which, really, was quite the upgrade from the Rock-selling stand he’d convinced us to put up at our house once before.)
But his Mom wasn’t too keen on the idea of us selling Valentine’s candy to strangers (although surely it was better than us TAKING candy from strangers), so she came out and told us that we had to close up shop.
I, of course, was thrilled with this turn of events. This was my chance!! Maybe I’d end up with that amazing sucker after all…
But my cousin was quite upset at his foiled plans of great wealth, and to show his frustration, he feigned a kick in his Mom’s general direction. Which of course got him in trouble, and punished, and the candy taken away.
That sucker and I just weren’t meant to be.
Fast forward to 2011.
Since I was giving birth at Christmastime, I wasn’t able (or at least willing in ANY way) to do my traditional Christmas baking with which we typically gift our neighbors. So instead, I decided Ali and I would make a much less intense batch of Valentine’s treats.
…Which was the perfect excuse to regain my childhood Valentine desires.
I read the directions – this was going to be SO easy!! Why haven’t I fulfilled this desire earlier in my life? All those years I wasted, sucker-less…
Simply melt the candies for a minute in the microwave right in microwaveable Wilton Icing bags, then cut the ends off and squeeze it into the molds.
What could go wrong???
Well, hypothetically speaking, one might forget that twist ties, unlike the bags, are NOT microwave safe:
After the loud popping, sparks, and firestorm, Ali informed me that she was going to go in the living room for the duration of the microwaving process, “so that I don’t get scared.”
But once Ali tasted the yumminess of the (non-burnt) melted candy, she forgave me for my arson attempts.
The first day, we simply squeezed the candy into the molds and left it at that. But I desired a higher level of artistic intricacy.
(Plus, we ate all of the suckers we made, leaving none for the neighbors.)
So we went back to the store and bought a candy paint tray and brush…
We melted a couple candies in our tray and painted the details in the molds one color, then squeezed another color over them to fill the molds.
We bagged them up with Ali’s school assignment from that day – handwritten Valentines – and delivered them to our neighbors..
…And we might just have to make Easter Suckers when we run out.
Then Independence Day Suckers…
Then Labor Day Suckers…
You get the point.