I can get behind this one. No fruitcake today! It is however a pretty broad holiday to celebrate. Chocolate candy can be chocolate covered anything. Or just straight up chocolate I suppose, like a Hershey bar.
This is a good time of year if you like movies because all the Oscar bait movies are released so they can receive consideration for the 2016 prizes. So after a few months of mediocrity at the box office, you are suddenly overwhelmed by an influx of good quality films. Plus, it being that week between Christmas and New Years, it feels like a festive time and that you should be relaxing and enjoying yourself. Going to the movies is one of our favorite things to do, so Lola and I usually see a few movies this time of year. That’s what we decided to do today which would also be a perfect spot to enjoy our chocolate candy too.
The idea of going to a movie came to us late in the morning after both of us were busy doing our thing. We decided that we wanted to see the Casey Affleck movie called Manchester By the Sea which was playing about fifteen minutes away in Dartmouth, MA at the AMC theater. That’s one of those fancy theaters with the reclining lounge chairs. It’s always packed, so I bought our tickets online. I kind of like the ability to pick your seats too. It gave me an idea of how crowded it would be and where our seats would be. It’s a good system. We made our way there and with five minutes to spare, I headed to the concession stand while Lola made her way to the bathroom. We were having a Siskel and Ebert lunch. I got our usual: medium popcorn and medium soda (no, I do not want the larger size for just a quarter more). But then the choice of candy was at hand. I picked up a box of Milk Duds, Lola’s go-to movie candy. I perused the display for a while looking for my choice. If I had my druthers, I would have gone for Nestle Crunch bites which are sometimes a nice little addition to the party, however those were not an option here. In the end, I opted for a candy I don’t think I’ve ever purchased at the movies: Reese’s Pieces.
I don’t usually eat candy in a movie – I stick to the popcorn (I’m a bit of a health nut, you see). But when I do get candy, it’s always a nice little surprise. Reese’s Pieces are as good as you remember. The chocolate shell with the smooth creamy peanut butter inside. They have a different crunch than your typical M&M. They are less hard, almost soft to chew. A great combination of flavors too. A Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup would be too much at once in the movies. The Pieces allow you to sustain your enjoyment over a longer period of time (and this movie was particularly long). I will say the bag was hard to get into. I was in fear that if I tried to pull it open too hard, Pieces would fly everywhere in a moment of movie shame. I could have used some better packaging. I got it open slightly so one candy could slide out at a time, but I wanted the whole thing to be open. Other than that, I was happy wth my choice. At some point I dumped them into the popcorn for a ‘popcorn salad’. The salt and sweet combo together – that’s good living.
The movie is long like I mentioned, but it’s really good too. It has a tone to it that perfectly reflects the emotions and feelings of the Casey Affleck character. He is especially good in it too. It deals with grief and life and adjusting. It is honest about pain and about hearts that are broken. You’ll hear more about this film around Oscar time, but it has the Dan and Lola seal of approval. Casey Affleck will definitely be nominated for Best actor, but the other cast were great too, even with their Boston accents. It was filmed locally and the scenery of Manchester By the Sea is a vibrant character in the film as well. Lola did not know that Manchester By the Sea is a real town in Massachusetts even though we actually drove through there once on our way to Gloucester. I think when spring rolls around, we may make the trek back there because it’s a beautiful spot.
The only negative part about the whole movie was the guy next to me – an elderly gentleman with his wife (which you expect to see at a matinee). First, he was awful at whispering. I think there should be a license for whispering because so many people are terrible at it, yet it somehow never stops them from talking. He wasn’t too bad in how much he was talking (I’ve seen much worse), but it was just one of those little annoyances. Then he started eating. He would shake his popcorn bag to get the good bites, plus he brought some snacks from home to indulge in including some kind of candy that was wrapped in very crinkly individual packaging (was he eating caramels?) and an apple. That’s right, an apple. A crunchy, juice-slobbering, crispy apple. Can I get an usher please?
When we got home, we went back to doing our things. I tried to keep the candy party going and opened up a bag of York Peppermint Patties that I had leftover from my recent batch of cookies. That’s one of my favorite candies, but you can’t eat too many at once – the peppermint is too much. In moderation however, they give you a nice little burst of freshness wrapped in chocolatey goodness. I then wondered if my fudge would count as chocolate candy. I came to the conclusion that it did because it is definitely chocolatey. I cut it into bitet size pieces, so it’s like having a piece of candy, and candy is defined as “a sweet food made with sugar or syrup combined with fruit, chocolate, or nuts”. That means my fudge qualifies, so to cap off my Candy Day, I enjoyed a nice fresh piece of homemade fudge.
My Peanut Butter Balls get a lot of hype, but I will say my fudge is pretty good. I make it with the Never Fail Fudge recipe right off the jar of Fluff. Actually, I use the recipe that they used to have on the jar – they altered it slightly over the last ten years. It’s chocolatey, smooth and sweet, just like me. Lola likes to have a piece with an occasional glass of wine in the afternoon. She says they pair together perfectly. Our nephew Brickie likes it too. He calls it Chocolate Sludge. I’ll take that. In any case, if I am celebrating Chocolate Candy, it was nice to have a stash of homemade goodness tucked into some Tupperware just waiting to be celebrated.
That’s how today rolled by and it couldn’t have been better. There are a few more movies that are out now that are on our list to see, so this may not be the last of our movie adventures of 2016 (although next time there will be less chocolate). We took the time today to appreciate the greatness of chocolate candy. We enjoyed it as part of one of our favorite pastimes (watching movies) and we enjoyed it in the comforts of our home. We ate the popular kind, the chewy kind, the minty kind and the homemade kind. That’s a day full of chocolatey goodness. Candy is a special treat, so we should never take it for granted. But we should always take it for celebration, unless it’s from a stranger – there are rules about that.
Next Up: National Pepper Pot Day