Ready or Not #77: Candy Storage

We are now going into the candy season.  This is, as they say, “the best of times and the worst of times.”  Candy is going to be prevalent for the next four months.  Okay maybe not so much for Thanksgiving, but that holiday seems to get sandwiched in between Halloween, Christmas and New Year’s.

The best part of candy is that it is so store-able and so cheap, especially if you buy it off-season.  The worst part is that you can gain weight.  Of course you have to buy candy before Halloween (unless you are a dentist and then you give out toothbrushes and coupons to come in the next month for tooth repair).  But did you know that you can buy Halloween candy REAL CHEAP the day after Halloween?  Of course you did.  I know that your kids will have a large stash of their own candy the day after and you will be grateful when it is gone.  But that is their candy, not yours.  You are buying the candy to store for a later purpose, possibly an emergency or disaster – really.

I am assuming that most of the candy you will be buying will be covered in chocolate and have nuts, that is the kind that I would invest in.   In making that investment, I would want to make sure that it doesn’t melt, get stale tasting or have weird stuff happen to the nuts.  My suggestion to that would be to freeze them.  Throw them in the freezer, at the back where your kids can’t see them, and they will last longer.  You can do that not only with the Halloween candy, but also with after-Christmas candy, the after-Easter candy and after-Valentine’s candy.  Some people complain that freezing chocolate will make it turn white in places, but I have never found that to be a big problem – it ate well anyway.

Now, there is candy out there that isn’t chocolate.  I know this because I have seen it and have even eaten it at times.  This is the easiest type of candy to store because it doesn’t go bad.  Just keep it out of the heat and it will last for a very long time.

I am not advocating that we become gluttonous and eat candy until we cry sugar tears.  No, I am saying that it is important that we store a little sweetness as a morale booster for just an every-once-in-awhile treat.  When I was very young, my parents were going through some tough financial times and we were very limited in the variety of foods that we ate.  Basically we ate a lot of pasta, chicken and canned green beans.  That can get very old, very fast, and it can be very depressing to be limited in what we eat every day.  Fortunately, my parents had come across some hard Christmas candy for really cheap and they had bought a bunch of it for our food storage during better times.  I don’t know why they had taken the candy out of the cellophane packages, but I suspect that it was because they could fit more candy in the five-gallon bucket that they filled to the top.  Like I said, it was a good sale.

The point of this story is that the bucket of candy was an emotional lifesaver (ha – that’s a candy too!).  The fun part was that because of the normal humidity, the candy ended up sticking together and we would have to use a butter knife to break the pieces apart.  Sometimes mom would suggest that we go down and chip off chunks for each member of the family.  Of course as kids we would sometimes sneak downstairs with a butter knife and hide in the food storage room while sucking on a piece of candy (my siblings savored the candy. Me, I always chewed it up. I just can’t help myself).

Treats are an important part of food storage.  Attitude is about 90% of how well, or how poorly, you are going to do in any situation.  So if you are going to be miserable, you might as well do it while sucking on a lollipop, or a piece of Christmas ribbon candy, and then maybe you won’t feel so miserable.  Sometimes the right piece of candy can really boost your morale.  Remember to only use the candy responsibly during an emergency.  This is not for everyday consumption.  Of course you can define what is, or is not, an emergency.  I leave that to your discretion.

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