Willy Wonka Doesn’t Live Here – #JusJoJan

Remember that movie? The hunt for candy bars containing one of five golden tickets and a chance to win chocolate for life? Well, there were no chocolate factories where I grew up.

Our chocolate consumption was limited to Hershey Bars and Kisses, Mounds & Almond Joys. Those were the most common chocolate candy bars with the occasional Crunch bar and Mallow Cup thrown in the mix.

Grocery stores did not carry fancy chocolate either. I do not remember ever having Nestle Toll House cookies. Most homemade chocolate (including chocolate milk) started with Nestles Cocoa Powder – an unsweetened bittersweet cocoa or Bakers unsweetened cocoa squares. OnceI a while we would have Nestles Quik or Bosco chocolate syrup to make cold chocolate milk – much of which would fall to the bottom of the glass to be later eaten with a spoon.

During the holidays we often had lots of fudge. It was a chocolate paradise! Mom made homemade fudge and we LOVED eating the wet balls of chocolate resulting from the soft ball testing of the cooked chocolate – ice cold water, hot chocolate mixture dropped into the cold water to see if it would form a soft ball. We got to eat all the tests!

Homemade fudge of all kinds was a Christmas staple. Chocolate fudge, peanut butter fudge, penuche fudge, maple fudge, and mom’s divinity fudge.

Throughout the year, cakes were topped with hard candy icing made of either brown sugar or cocoa powder. This cake topping was semi-hard and tasted like candy. Holes were often made in the cake with the handle of a wooden spoon and the ‘icing’ was poured into the holes. We often had naked cakes lying around because people would sneak and peel off pieces of the frosting to eat. This was a favorite pastime among the grandchildren at my grandmother’s house.

But back to Willy Wonka. The closest I ever came to such a thing was visiting Hershey, Pennsylvania. You can smell the chocolate before you reach the city limits. The street lights are shaped like Hershey Kisses and you can actually tour the chocolate factory. They have (or did have) an old clackety white wooden roller coaster in the park. You can have the rides, though. I will be in the gift shop.

Written as part of Linda Hill’s JusJoJan.

Prompt word today (chocolate) submitted by Ritu from But I Smile Anyway.