little_02_purchase.jpgI go to Pasadena often because my younger daughter’s cheer team practices there. Yes, I spawned a cheerleader because my parents don’t have enough to laugh about in heaven. It’s given me a chance to explore Old Pasadena and I’ve been loving it.  But the fact that “Of all the Gin Joints” so to speak, I mean that Little Flower Candy Company just happened to open a bakery in Pasadena was just dumb luck for me. The building is an art deco cubby that reveals itself as you’re zooming along what looks like a residential area. Pasadena is funny that way. 

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baconchocolate.jpg Here are three little words that might give the staunchest snacker pause: Chocolate-covered bacon.

It sounds so wrong. But it tastes just right, says Joseph Marini III, a fourth-generation candy maker who is selling the bacon bonbons at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk seaside amusement park.

"It's not just for breakfast anymore," he says with a grin.  And this isn't just a wacky West Coast thing.

This year, Famous Dave's at the Minnesota State Fair is rolling out Pig Lickers - dark chocolate-covered bacon pieces sprinkled with sea salt.

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crunch.jpg Candy has been a bond between me and my pal Joy since we first became best friends in sixth grade at Beverly Vista Elementary School in Beverly Hills, California.   Sure, there’s been humor, loyalty, shared heart-throbs, and tears…but from the get-go, there were shared Nestle Crunch candy bars filled with crinkly chocolate that we bought every day as we walked home from school together.  It became a ritual, peeling off the blue and white wrapper, then the foil, and eating the crunchy bar while hysterically laughing over some inside joke that was funny only to ourselves.  But it was better that way.

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ImageTrick or treating in Maine in the 60's was lovely...Simple costumes that we worked diligently on for at least a week. planning, using scraps of material from the tailor's discard bin at our parent's dry cleaning business. Stapling and glueing, borrowing our mother make-up when she wasn't looking because she didn't appreciate her red lipstick being used to cover such a large area of our face that it suddenly was only 1 inch tall when she opened it to use the day after Halloween.

We never had warnings to not wear dark clothes or have to check our bag of candy for dangerous anything. All we had to worry about was which house would have the best candy and goodies. We carefully planned it out by the street, starting our canvasing just as it was getting dark with large decorated grocery bag in hand and always a costume that was overly long and easy to trip over. We crossed street after street or passed piles of burning leaves that everyone always had burning eerily in front of their house.

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photo_kisstell.jpg Last night, at about 2:00 a.m I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep.   Normally I give myself an hour of trying to go back to sleep before I give up and go downstairs to watch TV. Last night I knew it just wasn’t gonna happen.

mars.jpg It was warm in the living room and our two Portugese water dogs, Stachmo and Gabby followed me, hopped up on the couch, and snuggled close. After five minutes of channel surfing, I landed on a documentary with the intriguing title: The Chocolate Wars. It was about the rivalry between the altruistic Milton Hershey and the odious Forrest Mars, son of Frank Mars, the founder of Mars Candy Company. 

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