Saturday, 24 March 2012

Salty in a Sweet World

I am a 'salty' in a 'sweet' world.   I adore salty food, crave it and face the daily struggle of resisting it.

Everyone around me loves sweets of some kind, and each one has a favourite - their Achilles Heel so to speak.  Carlo loves fudge, Sara loves Nerds, Becca loves Toblerone and Dad loves ice cream.  The old joke was that Mom would just buy Dad a case of ice cream and keeping bringing him dishes to his den whenever my grandparents would come to stay for a visit! 

Mom had a sweet tooth, and her weakness was for licorice allsorts.  She loved black licorice, and always had a stash on hand 'just in case'.   I was not a fan myself, and she would always try to convince me that I needed to give it another try: "It's good for the mugen (stomach) - aids in digestion".  Oy Mom, to this day I am not convinced!

Last night I popped into bulk barm for a couple of supplies.  I decided to get Carlo a treat while I was there...but what to get?  The man loves every kind of sweet imaginable.  He was no help - "I can't decide between jujubes, jelly beans or allsorts...surprise me".  So, off I went to kill 20 minutes before Sara would be finished at tutor, and leisurely strolled the aisles of bulk barn.  I found the almond paste I need for another recipe I've been dying to try, and the piping bags I'd run out of, and then it was off to the candy aisles. 

Don't get me wrong, I don't hate sweets, I just don't love them.  Maybe it stems from working in fro yo (frozen yoghurt) shops through my teens, and being surrounded by toppings - a sweet lover's paradise.  It just does nothing for me.  I do like the occasional sour soother, and peanut butter and chocolate is my weakness.  So walking through aisles of candy is not in the least bit tempting to me.  I stumbled upon the licorice allsorts bin and decided that this was his treat - why?  Because it was Mom's favourite, and in some way, it made me feel connected to her at that moment.  Off I went to get Sara and go home for Shabbat dinner.  Afterwards, Carlo and I plunked ourselves in front of the television and I got out the allsorts. 

Let me explain, as I venture further into my 40s I have noticed that I occasionally have a hankering for something sweet after dinner, just to nosh on while we clean up.  My mother-in-law has a little jar or jelly tots that call my name every time we go there, and I keep some dried figs on hand at home for just such 'emergencies' - the big jar or tots and/or soothers was proving too much for me too resist, and my waistline began showing signs of my weakness!

Mom, too,  had a nightly routine - she would finish up in the kitchen after dinner, and then go peruse her nosh (snack) stash, taking great pains to choose just the right combination.  Then she would head upstairs and settle in on her bed to watch her favourite shows and nibble on sweets - often a Costco-sized box of allsorts. 

So, last night, I sat down with Carlo and our allsorts when the phone rang.  It was Aviva, and it turns out that allsorts are her favourite too (no offence, but what is wrong with these people?!?!?).   Then the conversation started, and I discovered that there is an allsorts etiquette of sorts!  Seriously!  Both of them hate the candy coated ones (as far as I am concerned, the best in a bad lot of treats), throw out the plain black licorice ones (how wasteful!), and like the coconut centred candies.  When I called them on this, their explanation was simple - that I am weird!  That's ok - I can take it...besides, sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me!

Oh, well, I will leave the allsort officianados to their craft, and I will move on with the nice memory of my beautiful mother, relaxing with her allsorts, appreciating every morsel, especially the black licorice ones - after all, they are good for the mugen!

Until next time, I wish you a wonderful day filled with family, fun, friends and fantastic food.  B'Tayavon & Buon Appetito!


  1. Aviva Sherker Lifschitz24 March 2012 at 08:47

    Love this Naomi....Thank you for including me in your story. Your mother has very good taste in her choice of candy nosh.

  2. My mom loved her Allsorts. My grandmother, at 98, still enjoys them once in a while. I totally agree with Aviva's Allsorts "etiquette". Never did eat the plain black licorice or the candy coated ones. Thanks for the memories.