I always liked the movie “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” Charlie, a dirt-poor kid was hoping to buy a Wonka bar that contained the golden ticket that would gain him admission to the chocolate factory.
Charlie and his mom lived in a tiny home with both sets of grandparents. I was always amused that his grandparents were all sick and confined to a bed — the same bed. All four adults slept together.
Sure enough, just as he was giving up, Charlie landed the golden ticket. His ailing grandfather, Jack Albertson, mustered enough energy to accompany Charlie to the factory.
Among the other winners was the bratty Violet Beauregard, a gum-smacking kid with lots of attitude. Her dad was played by actor Leonard Stone, a supporting character actor who always played a shady, wise guy.
After being warned about touching anything without permission, Violet grabbed a piece of Wonka’s prototype gum, which tasted like various elements of a full mean. In the end, it tasted like blueberry cobbler and turned Violet a shade of violet and eventually out the door.
Now comes Brach’s, the candy company known for individually wrapped candies and seasonal items like marshmallow peanuts and candy corn.
Brach’s has introduced a candy corn that contains all the flavors of a Thanksgiving dinner. This includes turkey, green beans, sweet potato pie, cranberry sauce and stuffing. Obviously, Brach’s is located somewhere else. We don’t have sweet potato pie; we have a souffle and I won’t delve into my thoughts about stuffing.
When I eat candy, I’m OK with sweet, sour or some combination of the two. I just don’t know that I’m ready for a piece of candy that tastes like turkey or vegetables.
I always think of candy as an after-dinner thing designed to clear your palate. Nice restaurants often bring a mint when they bring you the check. Others have a candy bowl sitting in the lobby.
A small piece of candy before a meal may result in additional hunger. It may whet your appetite. I don’t think Brach’s sees this as a replacement for a meal, just a little hint of what’s to come.
But there are several things that no piece of candy can replace. I love pulling out the good china and silver to dress the table. My mama thought that a holiday table was incomplete without the color and sparkle of her best tableware.
I enjoy the after the meal conversations. No one should get in a hurry to get up from the table just because everyone has finished eating. Sometimes the conversation recalls memories of Thanksgiving in the past.
I like the blessing that is said before a Thanksgiving meal. Depending on who is delivering it, it can delve into a bit of an editorial or it may be a remembrance of those who are no longer with us.
I like passing the platters and bowls of food. Some of the entrees rely on a recipe that has special meaning. A dear friend gave me a copy of Sen. (Richard) Russell’s sweet potato souffle. I don’t know if the late senator ever cooked up a souffle, but it was something he apparently liked. I like handwritten recipes of someone who had a distinctive handwriting. You don’t have to look to see who wrote down the recipe.
Yes, like everything that has happened since March of this year, Thanksgiving may be different, but rest assured it won’t come in the form of a piece of candy.
Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Weekend Life page and on www.gainesvilletimes.com.