Sunday, July 30, 2006


Damn, I think I'm onto something with this making my bed every day business! I came home Friday to find another package from my folks waiting for me (hmmm...I you think if I keep making my bed every day, there will be tickets for a cruise or a new car parked in the driveway? haha).

I think my parents should join one of these interenet Secret Pal exchanges, because they totally have it wired. They left a bottle of wine from a favorite local/Napa winery, a couple of scented candles, annnnnnnnnnnd....

a bag of BARLEY POPS!!!

Seems like just a lollypop, but no no no no NOT be mistaken...these little gems are one very big deal. These are a unique flavor from my childhood that can only be found on the East Coast. They are a highly coveted item in my family, as they plant a huge smile across whosever face one is shoved into. When I suck on one, I am instantaneously transported back to being five years old with dirty knees and sticky stuff on my chin and not having a care in the world. Their consumption guarantees total bliss.
Shut up about the knees.

Several years ago, my folks made a trip back East and brought a few barley pops back home, and we all went bizzerko over them. And that's when my daddy discovered that they could be special ordered on the internet by the case. I haven't seen them around our house in a few years, though....they are sort of a luxury-item, if it makes sense to you how a lollypop could be considered a luxury....and my family has had a couple of rough years full of hosptial drama and no barley pops.

I see the arrival of these pops as heralding a return of all things good and sweet and full of wonderment in this world :-)

Some things you probably never knew and maybe never cared to know about barley pops:
The Lobster shape is a critical flavor variant. Even though the pops in the shapes of Santa are made out of the same damn candy, they don't fit in your mouth the same you slurp them differently...and I swear it affects the way the sweet goodness lands on your taste buds.

And so here's the last thing about barley pops: they go bad. Just like sugar-based lollipops, they will eventually spoil, getting all soft and sticky and crystallized, but with barley it happens faster. They aren't quite as "hard crack" of a candy as a sugar product, if you know your candy making.

This creates the rationing dilemma. Now there is the problem my family now faces which is one of how to hoard the stash without letting them spoil. And they spoil fast. One day they are all perfect, and the next time you go for one, they might be mush. And you feel like a drug addict checking them daily for signs of deterioration so that you can eat them all as fast as you can. But you do it anyways. Because when they spoil, well, you just want to cry. You should have eaten them, but you were saving them because you love them so and they make you feel so happy on a bad day and so you want to have them around just in case you need a fix. But you can't.

It's a zen thing. Enjoy what you have when it's in front of you. You can't enjoy the merits of things by keeping them unused and saved for later. 'Cuz there aint no later.

How did I get all spiritual and shit over candy?? hahaha


Anonymous said...

I'm headed to the East Coast in two weeks. If your stash of barley pops is diminished by then, let me know and I'll see what I can find. The tourist trap I used to work in also had them in the shape of moose and they don't fit your mouth well either.

JohnK said...

I have kept barley pops in the freezer with a little bit of success. My sister always gives me some at xmas. I am partial to the zoo animal shaped ones myself.

Anonymous said...

Barley pops.
Shaped like a lobster.
Right, because "lobster" and "barley" are two flavors that one *immediately* associates with each other.

That's . . . odd. But hey, if it makes you happy!

Anonymous said...

If you're not going to wax spiritual over candy, I don't know what you would wax spiritual over.

The fall maple leaves look like a good shape for flavor delivery, too.