Thursday, March 11, 2010

Why must they torture me so?

Just before every holiday Dean and Deluca sends me a catalog filled with the most beautiful little confections. Sweets so pretty, you'd have to be a monster to destroy them by sinking your teeth into them. 

When I was a little girl there was a candy store and lunch counter in Ann Arbor called Drake's. The midwestern version of Laduree. (Please check out this flickr album on Drake's it made me SO nostalgic!) Every Saturday we would go to Border's books. The original Border's books was in Ann Arbor. It was a great old bookstore, with two stories and a big staircase in the back that lead to the kids books section. We would spend the morning there, and after, we'd go to Drake's and my mom would let us each pick out what kind of candy we wanted out of the jars. I can't recall if we scooped it ourselves, or if they scooped it for us. But I always chose the same thing, violet pastilles. 

They must have been these C. Howard violet mints, but they were sold bulk from the jar, right along with the lemon drops, and the licorice. I didn't choose them because I liked the way they tasted. As a matter of fact they sort of made me gag. Candy should never taste like flowers. Blech! I chose it because it was beautiful. It was the palest chalky lavender. En masse it looked like Marie Antoinette candy, although this was before I knew who Marie Antoinette was. 

One day my mom opened up the desk drawer in my room and found it filled with parchment bags of violet candies. I told her that I didn't like the taste of them, but I thought they were pretty. Maybe the first sign of me hoarding pretty little things I have no use for. After almost 6 years of marriage, Nipper has finally learned that when I have amassed some weird pile of candy hearts en español, or scraps of fabric, or tiny little cardboard inserts with goldfish printed on them, not to bother asking "what's this for?" The answer is, I don't know. But someday I'll have a use for it. 


  1. i'm totally with you on the whole eating flowers thing. beer, candy, ice cream, salads ...none of it should taste like flowers! grodie.

  2. I miss Drake's. The used to have the best tuna sandwiches at the lunch counter.

  3. did you do a silent rendition of the hallelujah chorus when the hubby stopped asking "what's this for?", because the day my hubby stopped asking was a momentous occasion. i am rather certain it should be declared a national holiday!!

  4. I would just love to know the violet candies that you are talking about. You are right, they were bulk and violet pillow/squares. CHowards were also from that time but were more of a flat square and were wrapped in foil like you have pictured.

    If anyone knows I would love to find out!