December 18, 2017

Food for Thought by Lillian Sanderson

I suppose there are more substantial aspects to making a home a happy place for a child, but I grew up with a candy cupboard in my kitchen.


I am pretty sure that my aunts had them as well.  I truly thought it was a normal use of space in an American kitchen.


Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s meant family dinners; most moms were stay-at-home types, and dads were gone until supper time and home all day on the weekends.  My family fit this stereotype.  It was not until I began to visit my friends’ homes and spend time with other families, that I realized the candy cupboard was not a universally accepted concept.


My mother and her two sisters were great cooks.   Family dinners with two or three desserts, all homemade, were taken for granted.  I guess there were a lot of sweet-tooth types in my family.   With all the overweight issues today, it is amazing that we did not fall into this category.  Sure, genetics plays a part, but I have observed something else:  the forbidden fruit effect.  Maybe our veggies and our candy could both be something we have around and enjoy.


The candy cupboard had a bunch of packages of various types of candy and some Dentyne, which my dad loved.  If someone felt the urge for a piece of  a goodie while doing homework, reading the paper, or watching television, it was pretty usual to just break off a piece of chocolate bar, or take a corner of peanut brittle, or tear off some taffy.  We left some for the next guy.  I would never in a million years take an entire bar of Hershey’s with almonds and eat it in one sitting, any more than I would have taken an entire apple pie and scoffed it down!  I knew once we got low on the favorites, like Bit-o-Honey or Maltballs, they would be put on the grocery list along with coffee and bread.


I do not ever remember being offered sweets as a reward.  That would not make sense because it is not that big a deal.


Often as a little girl, I would just as soon have a nice raw carrot to munch as a piece of candy.  I did not think of one as good and one as bad; I liked both of them.  Soft drinks were a rarity.  I think this was considered an extravagance and certainly not as necessary as milk or orange juice.   I loved pork chops about as much as desserts.  Perhaps, it was in the presentation.

“Oh!  Boy! Guess what I am making for you tonight?”


I never was forced to clean my plate or eat what I did not want.   But, since everyone knows that the human taste buds change every six months, my mother would suggest that it was time to try those peas or that lamb again. What kid would argue with such logic?  I was pretty old when I figured out that scam, but it really worked on me, and makes me laugh whenever I think of it.

Yes, I still have a candy cupboard! (and a big bag of carrots too! )







  1. Bethann Gyorke says:

    Really enjoyed!!

  2. Jessica says:

    I have tried to create the same opinion of sweets in our house. If my daughter asks for a chocolate covered almond or a ginger cookie, I always say sure and sweets are not a big deal. I am always intrigued watching her at a birthday party or holiday when she is served a big piece of cake with ice cream and she takes 4 bites and goes back to playing. I’ve also experimented with making healthy cookies and keeping them in the freezer in case she asks for one. As long as it has 3 chocolate chips in it, it’s a cookie.

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