expat life

Plenty of peppermint candy (or, why I love visitors)

19 Comments 01 March 2013

American peppermint candy

I shall never want for peppermint candy again…

I’ve been fortunate this past year that a lot of my family have visited me in the UK. Their visits make a big difference to my happiness–more so than I expected. Connection through Facebook and visits home are great, but the opportunity to show my family my life in the UK is fantastic on a different level.

Another reason I love to have family visit is the treats from home. When my cousin asked what I’d like from home I was thinking that actually there isn’t a lot left on my list of Things I Love From Home after other relatives had visited before her last year but then I remembered peppermint candy. You can get all kinds of lovely mints in the UK, but you can’t get the round, red and white peppermint candy that remind me so much of Christmas (ok, you CAN get it if you’re willing to pay a wheelbarrow load of money). I like to use these red and white peppermints to make a white and dark chocolate Christmas candy and I like to have a bowl full of these next to the front door all year round because it’s kind of fun having something a bit different and American in the house like that.

So I asked my cousin for peppermint candy.

In her preparations for coming over she went to Target or Wal-Mart or somewhere and bought the peppermint candy and FB’d a photo of the bags in her shopping cart. Cool, six bags, that was nice of her. They’d be just about perfect for the Christmas season.

Then my cousin arrived and started unpacking and brought out the bags of peppermint candies. I mean to say, she brought out the MONSTER SIZE bags of peppermint candies. No wonder her suitcase was so heavy when I pulled it out of the car. Seriously! Now I have enough peppermint candy to last me until the Apocalypse and that’s awesome. I can use it for barter come the revolution. Except I might just hoard it all for myself and my family if it comes to that.

The stack of candy is like a piece of furniture in my house and keeps getting moved from one place to another. And I love it. I love the mountain of red and white candy and if I had a giant glass goldfish bowl I would empty all the big bags into it and put it in the middle fo the room as a sculpture. Yes, I love peppermint candy.

Thank you again, cousin!

So what would you ask for when you have visitors, and why?


Your Comments

19 Comments so far

  1. Expat Mum says:

    I used to ask for Branston pickle but I can get it quite easily these days. I often ask my mum to bring those great Schwartz packets of sauces for casseroles. You can get a few like that but not the range of dishes. Also, of course, decent chocolate!

  2. Tammy says:

    When I had visitors from the US, I always asked for corn meal because polenta didn’t work the same in recipes.

    I think it is wonderful that visits from “home” are so uplifting for you. For me, the only time homesickness hit was after I had visitors. Emails made me feel closer, but their leaving made me feel so all alone.

    Enjoy your peppermint candies! I’d hoard them as well. Zombies be damned!

    • Ok, confession, I had no idea polenta didn’t work as well (not having ever been able to compare)! I have to remember that one.

      Yes, the leaving is always sad, and in the past when I’ve only had visitors every now and then I definitely have felt that, but this past year with so many visitors one set would leave and I could look forward to the next arriving soon.

      Indeed–zombies be damned!

  3. Iota says:

    Those remind me of church. There was a bowl of them in the foyer, and my kids wouldn’t feel like church had finished until they’d had a couple each.

    What would I ask for? When I was in the US, I missed sausages and bacon the most, but couldn’t ask visitors to bring those. Now we’re back here, chex mix (though I never allowed myself to buy it, because I couldn’t resist it if it was in the house), and supermarket birthday cakes that don’t have a sell by date on them of several weeks. And reading that previous comment, yes, corn meal. Can you buy corn meal in UK supermarkets? My son was asking me to make corn bread the other day, and I was wondering where I could get corn meal.

    • CHEX MIX!!!!!!! I love that stuff. And guess what I have the perfect blog post for you coming up Iota… 😉

      Different supermarkets sell cornmeal or you can use polenta but I have just learned the results aren’t quite the same.

  4. LOL!! They look like normal packs on the photo!
    I am lucky, there is a Swiss supermarket not far from where we live so when I fancy Gruyère cheese, “proper” raclette or the best coffee yogourts ever I go there.
    My visitors are always willing to stock me up with chocolate you cannot find here too… ;o)

    • Ha! I know they don’t look that big do they?! I tried to show scale by throwing a handful at the base but it still doesn’t work. Coffee yogurts?! Sounds interesting… I love yogurt and I love coffee, so maybe! I’ll have to find some sometime.

  5. Sian says:

    Not sure where you’re situated – but Cardiff has a whole shop dedicated to American candy – and Lucky Charms! Yum yum :)

    • I’m too far from Cardiff to visit and stock up! But Amazon do some things, which I’ve ordered before and we have a little shop that stocks Laffy Taffy, A&W rootbeer (YUM!) and YES Lucky Charms! But they’re sooooo expensive!

  6. rebecca says:

    love it i will be getting tea and chocolate from my folks in a couple of weeks your right so much better seeing folks in the flesh

  7. Mrs Darling says:

    I used to travel with work to the US and Canada a lot and I always had to bring back huge bags of Cheetos. Of course our supermarkets have cheesy balls but they are just not the same!

  8. I love pineapple lumps from NZ – and the absolute best – chocolate fish that have marshmellow inside

  9. Marianne says:

    I love those peppermint candies! They remind me of Christmas at my grandparents house! How great that you have family coming from home to visit too! I miss Hidden Valley Ranch dressing so much, luckily it is easy to send as you can buy it in little envelopes in the States and light enough to pack a bunch in a suitcase too.

  10. EmmaK says:

    My inlaws always bring me 20 or so gargantuan bars of Cadbury’s chocolate in every flavor known to man. Very well received! I don’t think you can get the massivo bars over here.

    so wierd what we miss isn’t it? i can’t stand that peppermint candy!

    • If my husband lived in the States he’d be just like you, wishing for the giant bars of Cadburys’ (fruit and nut).

      funny what you say about the peppermint candies–when I was living in the States I wasn’t very impressed with them. It’s living overseas that I’ve seen their value…

  11. It all really depends on where I’m located abroad. I always crave dill pickles, but those are hard to transport and not a problem to find in the UK (like they seem to be almost EVERYWHERE else in the world). I rarely eat peanut butter but, strangely, I crave it when living abroad. Although it’s usually a bit pricey it’s almost always easily found.

    My friend in France always asks me to bring Reeses Peanut Butter Cupps and Mitchum deodorant. Last year when I visited him, security stopped me and asked to investigate my bag because something in my suitcase looked strange when it went through x-ray… nothing too risk-ay, just 8 sticks of Mitchum deodorant.

    • It’s funny what you crave in some places and how it’s not always the same everywhere. I get that too. I’ve found there’s things I crave in the UK but when I visit home I may go the whole visit without seeking them out!

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An American writer in the UK for over 20 years. Lives in Essex. A pretend extrovert.

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