16 November 2009

"Can it be that it was all so simple then..." --Barbra Streisand

When I was a kid, my Mum would slice a lemon in half, pour sugar on a plate and give it to me. I'd dip the lemon half in the sugar and lick it. This was a treat. The original sweet-tart.

I still love really tart/tangy lemonade: lots of lemon with simple syrup and water, but I have a hard time imagining sitting down with a plate of sugar and half a lemon and going to town at this point in my life. It sounds like a strange thing for Mum to do but I have to believe it was probably better for me than the Pixy Stix and the Wax Bottles and the Zotz and all the other candies I happily ingested as a child.

[Anybody remember this candy? I always wound up peeling bits of paper off the back of the buttons. And I don't remember it coming wrapped in cellophane--just sort of dusted with cornstarch. At least, I want to believe it was cornstarch.]

I don't know anyone else who ever dipped lemon in sugar and licked it. I know people that sucked lemons through peppermint stick candy, but that's as close as I've gotten. Of course, I never put my question out to the interwebs before.

Have you ever dipped lemon in sugar and licked it? Did you enjoy strange treats as a wee bairn that you (probably) wouldn't eat today?


FoggyDew said...

I remember the whole "lemon in sugar" thing, just like you. But, even more, I remember sticking a peppermint stick in a lemon and sucking the juice out. Or at least I think it was a lemon. Also, favorite childhood candy: Charlestown Chew. Ummmmm.

Brando said...

I remember making popsicles from juice in the ice tray with toothpicks. The things we would go through since my mom balked at buying us treats!

The Bug said...

Nope - I've never done the lemon thing. The one thing I remember from my childhood that I probably would never repeat is making snow cream - mmmm. Snow & milk & sugar - & maybe some vanilla? I don't really remember, but it was yummy (the three times in my life that it actually snowed enough in NC to MAKE snow cream). Don't think I'd trust the snow now...

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

I never sucked on lemons, but I have found that using lemon as a salad dressing on bitter greens (which is the primary green of choice in salads in Switzerland) makes the salad edible. And I do like me a lime here and there.

Gilahi said...

Remember them little orange-colored, peanut-shaped marshmallows? They made them stale in advance so they wouldn't have to sit around the factory very long before selling them. I used to eat those by the bagful. Amazingly, I never weighed 300 pounds. As an adult, I found some of those, had a flashback to childhood, bought a bag, and ate exactly one. God, it was vile. I threw the rest away.

The Maiden Metallurgist said...

Limes! I'd slice limes into wheels and dip them in sugar and eat them peels and all.

And the buttons and wax bottles and pixie stix too.

Cyndy said...

I did the lemon thing. Yummy! Do you remember candy cigarettes?

Liebchen said...

We never did the lemon thing, but we used to get the giant, nearly two-feet long pixie sticks. Because any child needs that much sugar. Oy.

Jason said...

Candy buttons! I used to love those. And pixie sticks, and red hots, and...uh oh. Candy nostalgia overload.

Mike said...

Never heard of the lemon thing. But the candy buttons, I remember them on long strips on paper from a roll, bought by length.

Alice said...

i totally did the lemon thing! although it wasn't my parents' idea - they thought i was nuts. i'd take the sugar packets from restaurants and pour them on lemon slices, then chomp away :-)

brad said...

i don't remember lemons... but i do remember the giant pixie sticks Liebchen mentioned. we used to just tilt our heads back and pour. it's a wonder my teeth lasted my childhood.

Herb of DC said...

Was Johnny Mathis a secret Bergman? Or are you saying he wrote "Dipped in Sugar and Licked It?"

AbbotOfUnreason said...

I remember those buttons when they came on a strip from the penny candy store (which for us was High's). At some point, the buttons disappeared because (as my mother said at the time) some stupid parents were afraid they were laced with LSD.

It is only now all these years later that I notice any humor in the fact that the store was called High's.

Drama Queen said...

I remember the "dots" - and the wax bottles. The wax bottles were my favorite. :)

But I never sucked a lemon. I might have told someone to go suck a lemon - but I never did it myself. :)


Hannah said...

I've licked a lemon dipped in sugar a few times when I was a kid. I also loved to stick a whole bunch of marshmallows in a bowl nuke them in a microwave and then eat them with a fork. Hmmm!

Tina said...

Yup on the lemon thing, and the wax bottles, candy cigarettes, pixie sticks, and candy buttons. The weirdest sugar treat I can recall from childhood though, was Jimmie sandwiches. Two slices of white bread - buttered and then crush a monster load of those cake /cookie decorating thingies (we called them Jimmies hence the sandwich name) between them and eat. WTF was my mother thinking?!? My favorite was the chocolate jimmies but I don't recall ever turning down the mixed color ones if we were out of the chocolate.

Toe said...

We used to eat flour tortillas with butter and peanut butter melted in them as a kid. I do remember eating the candy dots along with the paper that stuck on the back of the dot. I wonder if that was bad for you?

Titania said...

Yes, yes, I did it!! I used to dip lemons on a plate of sugar as a child, and absolutely loved it (although I did it hiding from my mom, she didn't think it was such a good idea)

Bowie Mike said...

Jimmie sandwiches? Tina, you must have roots in New England. It's also common to put sprinkles (hagelslag) on sandwiches in the Netherlands, Belgium and Indonesia.

I never did the lemon and sugar thing. I did do the homemade popsicles and we even tried the snow cream just last winter.

My mother used to make a simple treat by spreading homemade chocolate frosting between two graham crackers. They tasted better after sitting in the humidity of the refrigerator for a while. They're still good (but not as good) with the store bought frosting.

Maya said...

Nope, no sugar of any kind for me at home. I probably would have had to lick the lemon straight up (though I don't remember doing that either).

Barbara said...

Makes my lips pucker just to think of sucking on a lemon -- even one dipped in sugar! I could have eaten my weight in Pixie Stix. Loved 'em -- especially grape.

mylittlebecky said...

i TOTALLY did that with lemons. i think a lot of little kids like that really tarty tartness. man i loved lemons!

AND! buttons! mmmmmm, so yummy. oh, the memories!

Alex said...

I don't know about lemons in sugar, but I do like licking salt off my hand, throwing back a tequila shot, and sucking a lime...

kansasmediocrity said...

I wanna be dipped in lemon and sugar and then licked, or at least I did when I was young.
Now I just want a nice meal and a nap.

The candy reminds me of LSD from my youth.

Felisa said...

I still do that with lemons! So bad for your teeth though..

I can't believe my mom gave me this but I used to love bread with butter and sugar. It's like eating sugar cookie dough. I haven't had it in years but I remember how happy I was as a kid when I opened my lunch box to find my buttered and sugared sandwich.

lacochran said...

I am amazed that so many of you did this, too! (See "Yay!"s below.) Yet another reason why the interwebs is so cool.

Foggy Dew: Yay! I was a $100,000 bar fan, myself.

Brando: Yeah! Juice pops, absolutely.

The Bug: I've heard of this but never tried it. Interesting.

J.M. Tewkesbury: Absolutely! I love lemon and/or lime on/in so many things. I lemoned the cous-cous last night. :)

Gilahi: I remember they were a strange color for a peanut.

The Maiden Metallurgist: Yay! Peels and all? Wow!

Cyndy: Yay! I remember chocolate cigarettes and gum cigarettes. Is that what you mean?

Liebchen: Oy, indeed! :)

Jason: Uh oh! :)

Mike: Yes! That's the stuff!

Alice: Yay!

Brad: That's the only way to eat them!

Herb of DC: Pick your answer:

A) I have no idea what you're talking about. *looks away*

B) I read it on the interwebs and I believe everything I read on the interwebs, without even looking for corroborating information on the interwebs.

C) The NaBloPoMo made me do it.

AbbotofUnreason: Heh.

Drama Queen: I have no idea what they put in those wax bottles but they sure were purty and sweet!

Hannah: Yay! Huh, never thought about microwaving. We used any flame we could find when it came to marshmallows. And the truth is, I like them better untoasted but when in Rome...

Tina: Yay! Wow, jimmie sandwiches. Amazing.

Toe: Melted peanut butter and buttered tortillas? Wow.

Titania: Yay!

Bowie Mike: Frosted graham crackers? That actually sounds good.

Maya: No sugar? I can't imagine.

Barbara: I couldn't have told you what flavors they came in but, when there was a choice, I usually went for the cherry.

mylittlebecky: Yay!

Alex: Ah, yes, the adult version.

kansasmediocrity: "Pour some sugar on me..." --Def Leppard

Felisa: Yay! Bread and sugar sandwiches? Wow.