I remember the candy and sweets in my life… the perfect pink chocolate boxes with robin egg blue writing, delivered frequently to the house by Mr.?
And waiting to be invited to pick a piece of chocolate, always hopeful it was a vanilla caramel. I remember the intense, shiny, dark chocolate square, perfectly shaped with a “secret code” design on the top; only the chocolatier knew the meaning. How I tried desperately to memorize that sign for future reference.
I remember frequenting a candy store with Mom—Moran’s. Just walking into this perfectly spotless store was like walking into another world. The smell of chocolate permeated the air. Mom knew exactly what to order: dark chocolate everything. Caramels, marshmallows, and butter creams were her favorite. I would stand quietly and patiently waiting for my reward.
Another special spot with Mom was Jenny Lloyd Jacobs, a small bakery where they served lunch at the counter. While we ate we could watch the women in their starch white uniforms and funny little hairnets miraculously produce any type of cake imaginable. Of course Mom and I always had angel food cake with a drizzle of bittersweet chocolate around the edge. Mmmmmm! That first forkful, trying to separate a piece, with good manners, and then the feel of this lightweight, white, soft yet chewy goodness in my mouth along with a hint of bitter chocolate. It was Heaven. Heaven being in one of my favorite spots. Heaven being with my Mom.
Another spot we frequented was the prestigious Nan Duskins in the City. It was always a treat to be invited to accompany Mom when she got her hair done. I felt like I was with a celebrity. But the best part of the day was lunch at Rindelobs Bakery. Again, we’d sit at the counter splitting a liverwurst sandwich on fresh rye bread with mustard. We were always entertained by the activity behind the counter: people restocking the shelves and filling orders. Then came the treat. A big, perfectly heart shaped Linzer cookie with a glance of raspberry jam peaking through the heart-shaped cutout in the middle, dusted oh so lightly with powdered sugar. Making a mess while trying to eat it was unavoidable but oh so worth it. Mom would get a slice of coconut cake. Later, my choice changed to a slice of cheese pie. Yum.
Lastly, at the beach in Longport, N.J., Mom found a candy store that met her expert criteria for good chocolate. The name escapes me, as does the location, but what I do remember is the woman who owned the store. She and her husband came to the States and opened this little place. It was the first time I had ever seen a tattoo of numbers on anyone. Yes, she had been in a concentration camp. I wanted her little candy store to flourish; she deserved it. I never knew what became of that little candy shop, but I never forgot that woman.
So many memories around candy, chocolate, love … and my mom.
Haidee Sullivan | Wayne, Pennsylvania