January 14, 2011

A Cake of Juicy Fruit & A Stick of Horehound

great pa

There are certain things we remember from childhood that always stay with us as a way to keep the ones we have loved near to our hearts. I have been blessed with many grandparents, all colorful characters who enriched my growing up experience. My “Great Pa” (maternal great-grandfather) was a tall, handsome man known for his patience both in hunting/farming and also in dealing with his feisty red-haired wife.

horehound plant

I have lots of beloved memories about my pa, but one in particular is his dedication to providing all the kids in the family with unlimited candy and gum. He kept a stash of sweets next to his chair and never tired of offering some to every visitor who dropped by. My personal favorite treat was a stick of Juicy Fruit gum, which he called “a cake.” Something he enjoyed which was not my favorite was horehound candy. The horehound plant, pictured above, is similar to mint and was used in olden times for medicinal purposes.

DSC01671

I saw some recently and immediately thought of my pa. True horehound candy is brownish-colored, but sometimes regular old fashioned peppermint sticks are called horehound as well. These days, we are never far from a chance to enjoy some candy, whether in the grocery store check-out lane or from a vending machine. I guess we are a little spoiled in this way, taking it for granted. My grandpa was always happy to share it with us, even though in his days, it was probably a rare occasion to eat a store-bought treat. Are any of you fans of horehound candy? It’s an acquired taste that holds a sweet memory for me.

 

12 comments:

  1. My mom loves horehound. Me? Not so much.

    When I was a kid, there was a sweet little old man at my church that always carried butterscotch candies in his pocket for the kids. This post brings back sweet memories :-)

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  2. i've never heard of it - thank you for the SWEET mini history lesson! what a nice thing to remember your "great pa" by!

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  3. If I remember correctly, I think that horehound candy is referenced in the Little House on the Prairie books. I'm thinking in Farmer Boy, but I may be mistaken. I never knew what it was referring to though (probably should have looked it up, lol). Neat.

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  4. I'm not sure if this is horehound or not-i've never heard that term before- but my Mom used to give us oranges w/ a stick of peppermint (maybe horehound?) in the center. You suck the orange juices through the peppermint-like stick. I loved this as a kid! She always gave us those at Christmas-time.

    This was such a sweet post Kate! God bless your Great Pa :)

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  5. What a wonderful memory! My "candy man" was my Great Uncle Pete. His job was to ride around in his candy van and stock up the area stores. When we visited Tx., he always let us pick something out of his van, and stock mom up on our trip back home.
    I don't know that I've ever had horehound. I've heard of it, though.

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  6. What a lovely memory and such a fun little reminder of your Great Pa!

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  7. My dear Granny also loved horehound (she never said horehound candy, just "horehound") We would also pick her up a back from Cracker Barrel, the best place to get old Southern treats. Does anyone remember BlackJack, Clove, and Beeman's Gum? I used to love it as a kid and haven't see it in years. It is another old-tyme treat!

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  8. My father-in-law loved horehound candy and always kept some by his chair in the living room of his house. I never have liked it.

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  9. So sweet. I remember one of my grandfathers always having mints in his desk drawer.

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  10. I think that plant grows in great abundance around my house! I have never had the candy though. Just one county north of us is a huge mint producer. It's a yummy trip to my folks' home when it's time to pick the mint. It smells WONDERFUL!

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  11. Horehound candy? Never tried it. But with a name like that, I can see why it would be an acquired taste.

    There's something about childhood memories of candy that stays with you forever. When I was growing up, my father ran a little Variety Store in our small home town - and next to the checkout counter was a big display of candy, and many of the neighborhood kids used to stop in regularly on their walk home from school. On Sundays as a treat, my sibs and I were allowed 10 cents worth of candy from the store. Best day of the week!

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  12. Juicy Fruit and old southern church just go hand in hand! I miss all my grandparents so very much (I think probably the more I age the more I miss them!).

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Lay it on me y'all!