Another holiday means another holiday-candy dilemma.
I laughed last fall when I read John Kessler’s column about Halloween candy. I laughed because as a child, he ate his most treasured piece of Halloween candy in mid-December. That’s about the way it goes at our house — the Halloween candy still snatching shelf-space in December.
Candy has become associated with holidays and for each we buy and/or receive far too much.
This year at our house, we put mostly loose change, small trinkets and Chuck E. Cheese tokens in the Easter eggs with only a little candy mixed in. But between multiple egg hunts, gifts from family and from parties, we still ended up with a mountain of sweets.
We usually allow our kids to eat a few treats on the actual holiday and then a piece after dinner each evening for a few nights while candy is still foremost on their minds. After that, they only ask for a piece when they wander into the pantry itching to satisfy a sweet tooth.
Each Easter, I purge the shelves of the Valentine’s Day candy. Halloween will signal the departure of the Easter candy and Christmas will wipe out Halloween’s bounty. And so the cycle goes.
What will you do with leftover candy?
Of course, you could throw it away. Or, you could chop up the chocolate bunny and add it to cookie dough or brownie batter. Try melting it for fondue or hot fudge sauce. Jolly Rancher-type candies can be melted and used in windowpane cookies.
Another option is to donate the (heat-resistant) candy to troops overseas. Turn the candy into a service project. Challenge your kids to gather a group of friends, fellow scouts or sports team members to help collect candy and other items needed by the troops (toiletries, magazines, batteries). Have them create care packages to send. They can even include self-addressed postcards to initiate correspondence with the troops that receive their packages.
I think we’ll donate our leftover Easter candy this year. And just maybe the kids will remember that more than the eleventh package of Easter jelly beans they would have had… in December.
For more information and addresses, see the Operation Shoebox website.
–by Jenny Turknett, Food & More blog
– Jenny Turknett writes about Southern and Neighborhood Fare for the AJC Dining Team. She also publishes her own blog, Going Low Carb.