a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

More Copy-Cat Candy Bars

Inflation has taken a HUGE bite 

I just came back from the big box store where I priced M&M’s.  What was recently  a 1-3/4 ounce packet is now smaller and costs 74 cents. A 12.67 ounce package was a much better deal at $2.67 or 21 cents per ounce, so of course I bought the cheaper-by-the-ounce one.

It also could be a dilemma in the chocolate is a weighty matter category.  I guess I could/should divide the big package into 7-1/2 small packages at a cost of 36 cents per package.  Quite a savings. Handy for lunch boxes also.

What I did do is add them to a big bag of dried fruit and nut trail mix I already had, along with extra dried bananas and extra peanuts. Makes for yummy munching.

Now it is on to more “copy-cat” candy bars and candies. For gift ideas check out (if you haven’t already) the earlier post about opening your mail with your thinking cap on in Show-n-Tell.

Before I begin, here are a couple of discouraging statistics from one of the “bookettes” (which is my made-up term for a 9x11 comb-bound 25-40 page series) I self-published beginning in the last century!

In 1940 a chocolate candy bar cost 5 cents and weighed in at 1-5/8 oz.
(I wasn’t born yet)

In 1960, the same thing costs 5 cents but weighed in at 1 ounce.
( I was making $1.10 an hour that year.)

In 1979, the same candy bars sold for 25 cents and had gone up to 1-1/16 ounces.
(And by that time I was into making our own!)

In 1992, they were 50 cents and just over 1-1/2 ounces each but not back up to the 1940 weight.

“Krunch” Candy Bar
2-1/3 cups crisp rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)
1/4 cup margarine (½ cube)
1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
Put cereal in a sack and crush it to make about 1 cup. Set aside. In a large saucepan combine margarine, chips, corn syrup and vanilla. Place over very low heat and stir continuously until contents are smooth and blended. Remove from heat. Thoroughly mix in powdered sugar (I use a wire whisk). Stir in crushed cereal until thoroughly coated. Quickly press mixture evenly into buttered 9x9" pan. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into bars of desired size. Wrap in clear wrap and store at room temperature.

Coconut Moundlings
½ lb (2 cubes) margarine
1 can or 1 recipe sweetened condensed milk (recipe follows)
2 lbs powdered sugar
14 oz. shredded coconut
2 T vanilla
chocolate coating ( I like “almond bark” but you can use more expensive if you like)

Line 9x13 inch pan with lightly buttered waxed-paper. Set aside. Melt margarine and combine with condensed milk, powdered sugar, coconut and vanilla. Mix well. Spread in prepared pan, pressing down firmly. Refrigerate overnight. Cut into small squares or rectangles. Dip in chocolate coating. Return to waxed-paper covered surface to harden.

Almondy Joys
Prepare Coconut Moundlings as above but after pressing mixture into prepared pan, press almonds firmly into the top, spacing evenly. When chilled cut into shapes between the almonds. Dip as above.

Condensed Milk (equals one 15 ounce can)

2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup boiling water
1/4 cup margarine
1 to 1-1/2 cups dry powered milk (amount will vary with types/brands of powdered milk)

Put sugar, boiling water and margarine in a blender or food processor. Process at low speed until smooth. While turning processor on and off, add dry milk 1/4 cup at a time until the condensed milk is thick and creamy like the commercial product.
Note: Success varies when using this homemade condensed milk in a recipe that requires baking.

This seems like a fitting place for the next item----it could be me!

I went to the doctor for my yearly physical. The nurse starts with certain basics.

How much do you weigh? she asks. "195," I say.  The nurse puts me on the scale. It turns out my weight is 250.

The nurse asks, "Your height?" "5 foot 11", I say. The nurse checks and sees that I only measure 5 foot 8.

She then takes my blood pressure and tells me it is very high.

"Of course it's high !" I scream. "When I came in here I was tall and slender! Now I'm short and fat !"

'til we eat again,
                Simply, Gail

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