- Apr 11, 2001
Old Codgers everywhere- may you be sweetly remembered today of all days! Yes, those were the days my friends... I too remember television sets the size of fishbowls, chamber pots, slop jars and outhouses, pumps and Fletcher's Castoria, Bromo Seltzer, Lydia Pinkham and the simple pleasures of growing up on a chicken farm. The big thrill was hearing the Grand Ole Opry, watching the Lone Ranger in black and white, wearing bits of kid leather called "kits" in my hair so there would be ringlets for Sunday School, chicken every Sunday, the women chattering obstetrics while doing dishes after Sunday dinner while the menfolk snoozed on the front porch or watched Casey Stengel and Whitey Ford at Yankee Stadium, there were maybe 5 kinds of chewing gum, and Schwinn was the bicycle to have. My vintage is 1951 and most of the above is Gilded Age stuff-so too true, Bob and Dave- we were "almost there". But today- I am thinking of taffy. Yes- that 1880's seaside confection which was the #1 souvenir from Atlantic City to Brighton Beach and Torquay. The Brits will call it toffee and shipping companies put it up in tins- I have a small collection of Queen Mary tins. QE2 still has the toffee tins in their gift shop. Fralinger's at Atlantic City New Jersey is still in business. The tale goes that there was a storm and a local confectioner's candy shop was flooded with ocean water near the beach- all was a loss except for the taffy which he dried off and wrapped in waxed paper , boxed and the rest is history. It makes a good story. I still have a taffy pull about once a year using Granny's molasses taffy recipe. It is to be made in winter as humidity is death to taffy. Today is a grand taffy day- it is minus 2 here in Connecticut at the moment. Just remember to butter your hands! I bought a tin of Harrogate toffee recently- from that famous Gilded Age spa town- not a bit like American taffy. Ours is softer, usually pastel colors and fruit flavors or chocolate. Alas, with so much dental work, my taffy days are over.