One of the lovely things about the holidays, for me, is remembering traditions from childhood and passing them on. A favorite Christmas treat around my house are my Grandma’s favorite, Chow Mein Chocolates. Growing up, my Grandma lived just up the road from us on a dairy farm. I remember her and I making these before the holidays most years. Then, whenever I would go visit her she would say, “go get the Chocolates!”. I always knew right where they were, in the cold stairway leading upstairs. I would open the door and feel the blast of freezing air come into the room. I would fumble for the right freezing cold, tin can (there were many) and close the door fast! Then Gramma and I would sit playing Chinese checkers, chatting, eating and laughing.
My children, like all children I think, love to hear stories about my childhood. Today, I told my son Michael the above story while we made Grandma’s chocolates. Another story I love to tell is how she would always ask me, “What is the first rule of baking?” I would come up with all sorts of silly answers for her and she would say, “No, the first rule is to wash your hands”. And so I would. Now, I ask my children the same question and if they come to me with unwashed hands I say in a lilting tone, “Grandma would be mad…” My son Michael knows just what I mean and runs to wash.
My beautiful Grandmother on the left, long before I knew her.
Chow Mein Candy
12 oz Chocolate Chips
12 oz butterscotch chips
4 T peanut butter
Large Can Chow Mein Noodles (or half or so of a bag)
Melt in a double boiler. Add large can of Chow Mein Noodles and 2 cups of Spanish Peanuts. Stir. Drop on wax paper & cool in the fridge or freezer.
They make a beautiful & tasty gift as well. This year I’ll be sending my Gramma a tin can full. I hope they will bring back the same fond memories for her.