443: Candy Canes

Molly 0:03

I'm Molly.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:05

And I'm Matthew.

Molly 0:06

And this is spilled milk, the show where we cook something delicious. Eat it all and you can't have any

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:11

and we yell at you about it for some reason, because we're really fired up about candy canes, which is the subject of this week's episode.

Molly 0:19

Each time Matthew and I sit down and schedule some new tapings and we talk about episodes, we pull up a list of suggested episodes right? I think you can probably imagine this. One of the first ones he suggested this week was candy canes, and I don't know what you were expecting my response to be Matthew, but I'm pretty sure that you were not expecting it to be. Oh, I've got some candy cane.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:44

It was that was not what I was expecting at all. No. And I love unseasonable Christmas things I always find funny. I don't know if you know this, like I've been meaning to tell you this that I have another podcast that's called look inside this book club that I co host with our friend and former guest Becky selling gut.

Molly 1:00

It is so funny. I love it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:02

Every week on the show, we read and we have like a fake book club and read and make fun of a romance novel. And my favorite kind of romance novel to pick is a Christmas romance but only in like February.

Molly 1:13

Yeah. Okay. Did you do on this February?

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:15

Oh, we absolutely did. It was one. It was like a paranormal shapeshifting romance where it was like Santa's elves but they were also sexy. And they were also sometimes wolves.

Molly 1:25

Oh, cool. I'm gonna go look it up. I don't think I listened to that one.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:28

Yeah, I don't remember what it's called. missus like. I don't know like Mrs. Claus gets it done or something like that. I don't remember.

Molly 1:36

Whenever you're being sexy. Do you ever turn into a wolf? Is there ever like any like, thing? Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:46

yeah, there's there's this clawing there's well I turned into Wolverine from from the movie Wolverine and other movies. And so like I get heal really fast and I have like, metal skeleton and there's a lot of clawing and pouring. There's a lot a lot of clawing and piling. Yeah, like I remember ever in health class where you got we got lectures about like the the dangerous.

Molly 2:12

Okay, all right. That was what they meant by Heavy Petting.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:15


Molly 2:16

palling anyway Alright, so today we're talking about candy canes. I happened to have some in my candy cupboard which is a place

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:24

no I want let's hear more about this candy cupboard like how many pounds of candy are in there at any given time? And like what's the range of products?

Molly 2:31

Okay, so June and I both really enjoy candy ash not too much Ashley's an ice cream person. Okay, you know that it takes it takes all kinds of people to make up a family our family one ice cream person to Candy people.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:43

Yeah, I feel like we're you're talking about your family as if they were jelly beans from the back of a Jelly Belly package like if you combine these what you get you get one ice cream person plus two candy people equals some sort of hybrid.

Molly 2:55

So the candy cupboard is right now what is in it is a like a quart size deli container that has the last of June's Easter candy. Okay, then there is you're going to really like this one of the Kleenex boxes that is like a cube shirt. I mean, that size. June turned it into her like candy treasure chest. She's decorated it and it's filled with in part her Halloween candy last October. So we've got two containers filled with candy in there. And then up on the top shelf and what is technically no longer the candy cupboard. It's like you know, sort of the peanut butter area. We have some like assorted candies that we had bought to use to decorate a gingerbread house in December. Can I rant about this for just a second? Oh, June loves the Great British baking show. But what she loves is the master classes of it. Not the actual competition. I've never seen

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:59

the show. Oh, okay, so my yo it has Mary Berry and, and Paul Hello Hollywood. Okay, yeah,

Molly 4:05

my child loves watching it. I've never seen the actual like competition type episodes, but on Netflix or whatever. There is a series of dedicated episodes. It's like a cooking show, but it's just Marian Paul. Okay. She loves it. Pretty much every episode involves a lot of candied fruits and a lot of treacle to now knows about like stem ginger, and candied violets and has she been asking you to like lay in a supply of these British baking ingredients

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:38

in your house.

Molly 4:39

What I love is that she is so used to recipes that involve a lot of candied fruits that she doesn't understand that like this is not like a typical American baking repertoire. You know what I mean? It's ridiculous. But maryberry and Paul made a really beautiful gingerbread House in June watched the episode like last November and was like Mama, can we make this gingerbread house so I printed out the recipe for Mary Berry's gingerbread house, Matthew. It was so beautiful. It was the first time I'd ever made a gingerbread house from scratch. And no, that's what I was gonna say is that was beautiful. It was beautiful. It's not that it works because it didn't work. Okay, there was way too much butter in the dough, like an insane amount of butter in the dough. Together. It was ridiculous.

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:27

My heart is pounding. Go ahead.

Molly 5:29

It was so stressful. I think I was actually texting you while I was working on it. Probably

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:34

I but I think I think I blocked it out. Yeah, I've tried to block it out. And I can't know what I was gonna say is I think if my family tried to like get together and make a gingerbread house from scratch, like after that we would break up as a family we would all three go our separate way all four including the cat with a cow. like fuck it like I can't deal with you people anymore, and never speak to each other again.

Molly 5:56

In general, I really struggle with large or with like baking projects with my kid. Like I've gotten better at small baking projects, you know, like cookies and things like that. But like, Oh my god, some of our like, funniest slash most painful family inside jokes involve episodes when I attempted to cook elaborate things that June wanted to make with me. And I completely fall apart and start swearing at the recipes. This has happened multiple times. I can't Oh, yeah. No Deal with it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:31

I don't think it's your fault at all. Like the thing is like, it's it's great in principle to like, you know, get together with your kid in the kitchen and like, have your kid help you cook or bake. But here's the thing. Kids are bad at cooking.

Molly 6:42

Yeah. Oh my gosh, who knew? Right? Anyway, so I committed to making Mary Berry's gingerbread house first time I've ever made a gingerbread house. The recipe so clearly did not work. The dough was terrible. It was so buttery. It Like It couldn't even hold together after losing it a bit and swearing at the dough and getting really upset and then getting kind of mad at June because she was too like cuz she was in the room. Sure, I finally managed to massage the dough into an approximate shape of these different pattern pieces for the gingerbread house. And the only part of it that was really gratifying is that Mary berry has you crush up hard candies like yellow and orange hard candies and then sprinkle them into the windows to make kind of stained glass windows for your gingerbread house.

Unknown Speaker 7:34

Are you following? Wow.

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:34

Yeah, yeah, I know what you're talking about.

Molly 7:36

It was that was beautiful. But what I was going to say is by the time I finished making the walls of the gingerbread house and baking them, I needed to lie down for like a week and June, June. we'll decorate this later. I can't deal right now. Well, of course we never decorated it. The pieces for the gingerbread house sat in a Tupperware for like two weeks on the counter. And to this day, we still have that I'm holding up to show Matthew, some candy canes that we bought for it and this whole like candy assortment from our local grocery store that was like put together specifically to decorate gingerbread houses. So that's way up in the candy cabinet to

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:20

okay, but I think that's a better use for those things then gluing them to a piece of junk. Yeah,

Molly 8:26

I I'm happy to report that when I took down these candy canes, I sort of squeezed some of the candies in the general like candy tub and they were all still really good. So I'm keeping them

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:36

I'm gonna eat them. You squeeze them meaning you you like squeeze them like you test out test a peach.

Molly 8:41

Yes. Well, yeah, they were gummies so you know, you got to perform the squeeze test on your

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:46

gummies Oh, yeah. Yeah, like you don't want to eat an under ripe gummy?

Molly 8:50

No, probably not. Absolutely not. Anyway, so yeah, that's why I've got candy canes still kicking around in my candy cupboard. By the way, I mean, who doesn't have a candy cupboard? Why Matthew? I mean, we don't have one. How are you?

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:06

I mean, we have we have the root cellar. Oh, you have the roots. No, the root cellar currently contains about six pounds of chocolate chips. not an exaggeration. We talked about this that since since the quarantine started. We we have ordered over 10 pounds of chocolate. We haven't used it yet.

Molly 9:25

You didn't tell me it was that much.

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:26

But we're well on the way and that is not in any way an exaggeration. We ordered 10 pounds of ghiradelli chocolate chips. And then two pounds of chocolate from a local high end chocolate cellar called the chocolate man. Wow. Awesome. And probably some other chocolate I forgot about

Molly 9:43

that is impressive. We have been doing that with like baked goods doing so many baked goods.

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:49

Yeah, no, there's other stuff. There's a bunch of my, my mom got a bunch of gummy gave us a bunch of gummy bears because she bought more than she needed. And so we have a bunch of like the good stuff. have like a heart about gold bears. That's a little that's in the root cellar is other stuff for sure.

Unknown Speaker 10:04


Molly 10:05

I love this. Okay, well let's talk about candy canes because I did the research on this episode and I

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:10

learned a lot I yeah, you know what I learned? I look at it just just long enough to print out the agenda. I was like, I don't know anything about candy canes and I'm just gonna leave this one up to you and see how it goes.

Molly 10:21

Well, here is where here's how it's gonna go. Let's start with memory lane,

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:24

Matthew. So I am Jewish, but we grew up celebrating Christmas just because like it was an American thing to do. We would always decorate the tree every year and I remember my mom would always bring out a box of old candy canes getting older old and older every year like still in the plastic wrap not meant for eating just meant for hanging on the tree. Yeah, and sometimes it would be broken inside the plastic wrap and either get thrown away or hung on the tree anyway, I don't remember which probably some of each.

Molly 10:54

Like every American family has this like collection of candy canes that have been kicking around in the Christmas ornament box for decades.

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:02

Yeah, no. And I'm curious now like if you're if you're listening and you're any of my parents are their candy canes still in your storage base somewhere get in touch contact at spilled milk podcast.com and I never really enjoyed eating the peppermint candy canes very much but I did like the rainbow ones that aren't minty. I don't know how I feel about that today. Yeah, they're kind of generically fruit flavored

Molly 11:26

kind of like the try the old Trident fruit flavor

Unknown Speaker 11:29

kind of pack Yeah,

Molly 11:31

I left that

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:32

you know something I realized recently I'm gonna I'm gonna detour from candy canes again. Like ever since like, you know, method and seventh generation and other like, you know, better better for the environment and your home. cleaning products came on the market. They always want us to want to sell you on how they they smell like something natural, you know, like, like lemongrass and lavender or you know, something like that. It's always very appealing. But I've come to realize what I really want my soap to smell like is soap. I wouldn't

Molly 12:03

even smell like

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:05

like Ivory soap like sort of some sort of like generic like socially, vaguely floral vaguely chemical not very strong fragrance or unscented is fine to what I love is my rant for the day.

Molly 12:18

This is your fiery rant and I love it. Well speaking of soap, I'm currently using a bar of soap that is double mint scented, so like the gum?

Unknown Speaker 12:27

No, no,

Molly 12:28

it's just it's like a bar soap from PCC and it's even got like mint leaves ground up in it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:34

It's a ready made bar soap like, flavored like scented like it's most popular gums like big red. So doublemint soaps pyramid soap, yeah, juicy fruit soap.

Molly 12:47


Matthew Amster-Burton 12:48

I'd be all over that right?

Molly 12:49

Yes. I think I'd be into that I white by guide said if my instead of my PCC soap. Yeah. Okay. Anyway, my memory lane. Yeah. About the same as yours. You know, my family. I don't remember us having candy canes for the Christmas tree but my family certainly does now. The family that I am building, I remember building

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:10

it like, like you built your bread house. Yeah,

Molly 13:14

exactly. There's so much butter in this family. It is really hard to get it all together. I just keeps breaking apart into these greasy chunks.

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:24

That's what your new book is about.

Unknown Speaker 13:26

Yes, it is.

Molly 13:28

That's what we call divorce. breaks apart into greasy chunks.

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:35

Sadie way,

Molly 13:36

gross. is gross. I'm sorry. Anyway, what I was going to say is that as a kid, I remember I remember really enjoying candy canes you know you always there. They seem like they're gonna just taste like starlight mints, but they don't. There's so much I think there's so much better than starlight mints or any kind of like little hard candy peppermint. Right.

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:59

I hadn't really thought about the reaction between starlight mints and and candy canes is the wife of the show. Laurie mentioned that. Classic candy cane is a lot like a starlight man because it's got like a crinkly wrapper. And the and the stripes.

Molly 14:11

Yeah. Are you thinking of the old joke we made on the show? It was that the grilled cheese episode called?

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:17

I don't know.

Molly 14:18

Maybe anyway, that's one of my favorite old spilled milk bits. So guys, go look for it. You'll find out some fun stuff about Matthew and Lori's sex life it may or may not be true. We'll leave it to you to decide anyway.

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:32

It's a it's as true as the Wolverine stuff.

Molly 14:35

Okay, so what I remember also about candy canes is that I never seem to finish them.

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:43

Really good point. I don't think I've ever eaten a whole candy except the mini ones.

Molly 14:47

That's true. I although the mini ones I find kind of I just kind of never want the mini ones. They just seem like something to put in your pocket and then mess with until they're broken.

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:57

Yeah, I like the packaging of them. Any ones when they come in like like a like a strip of sealed Oh levels

Molly 15:05

you're right you're right that is nice.

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:07

That's that's pretty like and you can Oh, you've got one right there I've

Molly 15:10

got I've got two of them. I've got too many classic candy canes and then I've got a whole box here of trolley or trolley brand sour, bright curvy canes.

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:21

Oh, wow. Sour bright curvy cane sounds sexy. It does.

Molly 15:25

I think I I liked candy canes. My kid really loves candy canes like we'll choose them often above other candies that are available to her. Oh, wow. And I find that fascinating and surprising.

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:42

Yeah, no, I don't I don't think teenager the show Iris when they were younger really had a thing for candy canes especially maybe maybe it's like as a as a symbol of Christmas but not an actual craveable candy.

Molly 15:54

Well, would you like would you like me to tell you what what candy canes really are a symbol of Yeah, love that supposedly segue.

Thank you. Thank you. Was there anything else you wanted to say about memory lane?

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:06

Well, this this might be saying we should get to later but like, you know, when you go to like a county fair, or like some kind of tourist trap, and then there's someone selling like a wide array of different flavors of candy sticks that are not, they're about the size of a classic candy cane but are not cane shaped. They're just a stick. They are striped and you can get like root beer and raspberry and mint. And like any, you know, 17 other flavors. Do those count as candy canes. They're at least in the family.

Molly 16:35

They're in the family. But I would like to I'd like to propose that we come back to those because because we're going to get there Matthew. Okay, great. But we have to we have to tiptoe along the path of history to return. Okay, to the State Fair, county fair. Whatever it was tourist trap. Where candy canes, okay. Oh, you know where you could always get that kind of stuff reliably was like Cracker Barrel.

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:01

I never went I've never been to Cracker Barrel.

Molly 17:04

Oh, I've been to a few cracker barrels in my

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:06

video. Like a Denny's that had a retail section of that. I might be thinking of Japanese Denny's. He might be. I'm familiar with the concept of a family restaurant that has a retail corner.

Molly 17:17

Okay. All right. Well, so um, as usual, I used Wikipedia as my main source here. I know that there's probably a lot that I'm missing. And I feel a little bit nervous to discuss candy canes, Matthew, because they're so connected to Christianity.

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:34

And so maybe you should have gotten back to the primary source on this the Bible.

Molly 17:38

I probably should have gone back to the primary source. Yeah. Or I should have time traveled in my my that to the magic. Yeah, the Magic School Bus time traveled. Yeah, I think so. Okay. Anyway. Alright, so this is a common origin story. Okay, or the candy cane.

Unknown Speaker 17:56

All right, get ready. You ready?

Molly 17:57

So in 1670 in Cologne, Germany, the choir master at Cologne Cathedral was trying to figure out how to keep the kids in the sanctuary, quiet during the Christmas Eve service. All right, so he asked a local candy maker to make some like sugar sticks for them. And in order to justify giving candy to children during worship services, he asked the candy maker to add a crook to the top of each stick, which would help the children remember the servants who visited the infant

Unknown Speaker 18:37

Jesus. Oh,

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:40

don't think this story's true. Go ahead.

Molly 18:42

Wait a minute. In addition, he used the color white of the sticks to teach children about the Christian belief in the sinless life of Jesus from Germany candy cane spread to other parts of Europe where they were handed out during plays reenacting the Nativity. The Candy Cane became associated with Christmas this way. Let me go on. So Susan Benjamin, who is the founder of true treats historic candy and the author of sweet as sin. The unwrapped story of how candy became America's pleasure.

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:13

Oh, that's a good title.

Molly 19:15

Right? She agrees she agrees actually. And this woman is a candy scholar she agrees that the candy cane most likely took shape in 17th century Europe

Unknown Speaker 19:24

when apparently pulled sugar candies were all the rage. How did the priests back then teach the children not to pull their sugar if you know what I mean?

Molly 19:33

Benjamin Susan Benjamin says that the Cologne Cathedral story has some credibility. But she thinks it's just as likely that Germans added the hook to hang the the to be able to hang the candy from the tree alongside the cookies and fruits that they were already hanging from the tree.

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:49

Okay, here's what I'm not buying about this story. Like I maybe I have no no doubt that they may have originated in Germany Around this time, but Like a German church guy in the 17th century is not going to try and pacify children by giving them candy. He's going to threaten them with damnation, or dread possible or cause punishment. Right.

Molly 20:12

But I don't know. I mean, we're talking about in the Cologne Cathedral we're talking about like, I mean,

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:17

I don't know what that is.

Molly 20:19

Well, it's a big Cathedral in Cologne.

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:21

Okay, that was my guess.

Molly 20:22

So I mean, I don't know I do we think that corporal punishment or yelling at them was allowed. Well, maybe this was I mean, this this was a long time ago when things were even worse than now. That's true. Okay, well, okay. All right. Well, then let's let's move on to some other thoughts. So okay, most candy historians do agree on something which is that the the white candy cane, okay, the original candy cane made its us debut in 1847. In Ohio. This is according to the National confectioners Association. When a German Swedish immigrant named August him guard decorated a Christmas tree with paper ornaments and candy canes. Hmm. So

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:06

it was it was hanging out in Europe for like 170 years, maybe before it showed up in Ohio. That's fine,

Molly 21:14

I guess. Anyway, also, according to the National confectioners Association, candy canes were entirely white until mass production came about which we'll get to in a minute. I

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:24

want to wait I want to talk about this because I find the idea of a pure white candy cane. really disturbing

Molly 21:31

really, is it

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:32

Yeah, no, I imagine like if i saw that i would that two thoughts would pop to my mind are number one, it's been flayed. Number two, somebody licked off all the red parts and put it back in the package.

Molly 21:43

Yeah, fair, fair. Although then it would probably be pink.

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:47

Yeah, that's no i think so. When you when you had a candy cane you've been sucking on the end for a while. It's pretty white. I

Molly 21:53

think maybe I'll try here with these mini okay. Yeah. Anyway, but I you know, at the same time as all this other history I'm finding that says that candy canes were white until mass production. I'm also seeing references to striped canes much earlier. Many say that the red stripe is to symbolize the blood of Jesus.

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:12

Number one growth number two, and this is a serious question and probably we don't know the answer but is there a connection between barber poles and candy canes? Oh, they look exactly the same right?

Molly 22:23

They do except the barber poles spin around can Yeah, but

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:25

you can spin a candy turn around.

Unknown Speaker 22:27

It's true.

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:29

You're doing it right now. And that reminds me I need a haircut.

Molly 22:34

I know I my bangs are driving me crazy as we taped this episode they are so long

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:39

they're really really out there.

Molly 22:40

Okay. Is some also say that the candies j shape is a nod to Jesus. Although Susan Benjamin are true treats historic candy founder says that that that is incorrect. I don't know how we're going to get to the bottom of

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:55

this. Well, I mean, nobody would put up like a picture of a candy cane with the with the curve down, right.

Molly 23:04

Yeah, that's a good point. Here's another thing that sort of goes back to the idea that they were curved to to remind children of the shepherds who visited the infant Jesus. So apparently, for St. Nicholas Day celebrations or the feast of St. Nicholas was early December. It is different it's in early December candy canes are often given to kids to represent the curved staff or crosier of the Christian Bishop St. Nicholas closures allude to the Good Shepherd which is a metaphor for Jesus Of course.

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:39

I mean, I could I could buy this like the staff is a really iconic shape

Molly 23:44

it is and and so is the candy cane it also is the correct orientation you know with the curved part up

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:51

Yeah, question. What Yes, Shepherd do with the staff?

Molly 23:55

Doesn't he use it to hook the necks of sheep who are going astray?

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:00

I guess that would make sense. Yeah.

Molly 24:01

I don't know. Is that what the hook does? That seems kind of cruel.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:05

I mean, it's Yeah, it's like

Molly 24:07

he does stick it into the flock though and use it to steer them around. Right

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:10

next question. Is that the origin of like the hook that they use to pull you off stage when you're like screwing up an open mic? Yeah.

Molly 24:25

I'm gonna open up this mini candy cane and and start eating it while I talk. Anyway, mentions of and recipes for peppermint candy sticks start showing up in books in the mid 1800s. Candy Canes were initially manufactured by hand. Matthew, have you been into the pop up bubble store in knockin? Oh, yes, I have. Well, so it's a Spanish candy cutter.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:47

What a weird coincidence that I that I've ended vinta this set particular candy store in Tokyo.

Molly 24:53

So this is a Spanish company. I'm probably pronouncing it wrong, but it's it's written out like no American Michael Buble It's written out like the American words pop up bubble. It's a Spanish company that makes all kinds of poled sugar like hard candies anyway, so I imagine that that's what it looks like when candy canes are being made.

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:13

Oh yeah, if you've never seen like pulled hard candies being made, it is wild. It's really cool. It looks I mean, it looks dangerous. There's like it requires multiple people it's it's like serious, intense exercise. And it looks like like the sugar already looks kind of like hard candy like while they're pulling it so it looks like they're defying the laws of physics.

Molly 25:37

I'm working my way through this little mini case.

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:40

It's already turning white where you've been sucking so

Molly 25:42

far. The the stripes that are coming off are the thinner ones, not the thicker Well, I'll keep trying. Okay. Anyway, in 1919 this guy named Robert McCormack in Georgia started making candy canes for you know, for selling locally and by the 1950s. So like 30 years later, his company had become one of the world's leading producers, his company of Yes, okay. His company was the famous Candy Company, then became the mills McCormack Candy Company, and then later Bob's candies, which is now owned by Ferrara.

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:17

Oh, Ferrara, Pan makers of Lemonheads.

Molly 26:20

Yes, yes. The bantay brothers, was a Chicago Candy Company filed one of the earliest patents for candy cane making machines in the early 1920s.

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:29

Did you look on YouTube to see like, if there's a video of a candy cane production line in action? I didn't, because I curious like how the machine forms the hook.

Molly 26:40

I did read a little bit about that, but I don't really remember it. But anyway, so here's what's interesting is that initially, manufacturing didn't include the bending the stick, okay. Oh, so early candy cane manufacturing required a fair bit of actual human labor that kept production limited because as the candy sticks came off the line, they had to be manually bent. And apparently breakage was like over 20%.

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:06

Okay, so you know how when people ask you what you do for a living, and you say, I'm a podcaster? And they're like, either what is that or? Yeah, right. We need to start identifying ourselves. Let's get new business cards printed out. We're candy cane benders, like a real a real like, you know, a job you do with your hands. Yes, everyone will understand that,

Molly 27:28

you know, the the early part of the 20th century would have been a really good time to work in candy cane manufacturing. Because if break it was like 20% I mean, do you think you got to take home some of the broken candy canes?

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:41

Yeah. And I'm sure that made it a good job. It sounds great. That

Molly 27:45

was what the jungle was written about. Right?

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:48

Like it Yeah, the sheer number of like puncture wounds from broken candy canes. They had a sign up at the factory that said, like, you know, it's been X number of days since someone's been stabbed in the leg with a candy cane never got above one.

Molly 28:02

No mcore max brother in law, who was Gregory Harding Keller, who was also an ordained Roman Catholic priest. Okay. This is too much information patent. I

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:12

don't think it is. I think it's just enough

Molly 28:14

patented something called the Keller machine in 1957. Which automated the bending process. So

Unknown Speaker 28:24

I love so much going on there.

Molly 28:28

There's so much going on. And anyway, today, apparently, canes, before they are bent. They're inserted into the plastic sleeve. So they're bent in the sleeve. Although I can't imagine that's true for the minis that are individually wrapped. I don't know man. How could that be? That's what Wikipedia told me and Wikipedia is never wrong.

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:51

Um, yeah, I'm trying to visualize this also, because it seems like the package isn't. Oh, wait. Oh, no, the big the big ones are like, like tightly wrapped.

Molly 28:59

I think. Do you think that could work? I think that could work. Yes. Split the plastic.

Unknown Speaker 29:05

I mean, probably the plastics warm. Also, maybe. Maybe. Well,

Molly 29:09

so Matthew, while we've been eating I've been working on this mini candy cane as I'm sure our listeners have heard and lamented.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:16

Yeah. How's the color looking? Oh, yeah. So it looks white now. trace of strain that

Molly 29:22

side but on this side, but I think

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:25

you know, because the the meaning ones are thinner like the the relative depth of the of the red dye is greater. And so it like you have to suck it down to like just a really thin sliver before before you've removed the dye with your tongue.

Molly 29:41

This is really tasty. Yeah, I'm enjoying this. It's kind of something that's like nice to sort of mind mindlessly sock on.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:48

I've mentioned before that I used to work with an annoying guy who was constantly had one of those root beer barrel candies in his mouth, and was always clicking it with his teeth and always smell I'd like a root beer barrel candy if that I mean so I so I wrote that guy off is like harmlessly annoying but if that guy had always been like licking a candy cane around the office like all all year long I would that okay definite psychopath

Unknown Speaker 30:15


Matthew Amster-Burton 30:15

I probably a candy cane at the office like you're doing right now is what I know

Molly 30:20

it's also really hard to like a candy cane without you have to showing a lot of your tongue all the time. Yeah, absolutely.

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:25

Can we go back to Gregory Keller for just a minute? He was a Catholic priest and patented the Keller machine. Do you think he had both those things on his business card? Because any questions I'm sure he did no Greg calor priest invent Whoa, Molly is holding up a purple candy cane that is bent in such a way that it really looks like a like a staff like

Molly 30:55

I'm pretty sure that this one could have been bent in the plastic. I

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:59

mean, do you see the shape? First of all, can you please take a photo of that one so we can show the listeners

Molly 31:05

would you take a screenshot?

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:07

I will I will take a screenshot. Do you think it's supposed to be that shape? Or was there like an oops, oops all crushers at the candy cane factory?

Unknown Speaker 31:15

No, it's

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:18

the curvy canes because they were because they're really shaped.

Molly 31:21

Yeah, it says that they'll Oh, let's see. They'll make you say these are very, very tasty. Who wrote this ad copy?

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:30

I don't know. Like, it's truly brand right? So I think a troll is one of those. Okay, from the movie Trolls World Tour.

Molly 31:37

I'm going to taste this one June said they're delicious. And I bet I'm gonna love this because it's sour. You ready? It's

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:42

a purple one. Yeah.

Molly 31:45

Berry flavor. Don't

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:46

love it.

Molly 31:46

I should have chosen the blue one. very sour.

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:55

Okay. Wait color reviewer showed him I would have chosen green.

Molly 31:59

This green orange.

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:01

Yep, I would have chosen that one.

Molly 32:02

This is not very sour. This is not very tasty.

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:05

Sorry. shy. No. I agree with you know what you've got there is you know how they make those at the trolley factory. They take stale gummy worms that have that have hardened to a brittle texture, and then wrap them in plastic and call them curvy canes, though. Sorry. Even worse. The

Molly 32:23

green one I don't know if you can see is alternating with orange. Ah. So it's like this weird, citrusy mass that just kind of tastes like plastic. Sounds great. Anyway, alright, so Matthew, when you eat these? Do you start at the straight end or the curved end?

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:39

That is a really good question. And because I don't have a candy cane in my hand right now. I'm honestly not sure. But I think probably the straight end I hold the the the cooked end. The way I used to hold my Crozier during my shepherding days. And I down. Well, no, but yes, yes. Like Like, I'm like, I'm lifting my staff to because I'm about to address my flock like this. No, but but yes, but then but then I turn the other end up toward my mouth

Molly 33:09

like that. Wait. Yeah, so so Matthew says that when he's when he's addressing his flock of sheep. Yeah, he turns his cruiser upside down well, but the curly part is resting on the ground.

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:23

No, like I hold it up by the curly part. That's the handle and like,

Molly 33:29

that is not how they do it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:31

I mean, now that you're showing it. You're right. It doesn't make it the thing I said doesn't make any sense.

Molly 33:37

Right? You would hold it up like this.

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:40

Like, you're right. Like that. So okay, so I change new story. When I eat a candy cane. I hold it up, like above my mouth. And then

Molly 33:52

lower the straight and down into your mouth.

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:55

Right exactly.

Molly 33:56

So that you can keep the curved end up.

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:58

Yeah, I see. I'm sticking with that. Okay, well, unless you have a problem with that story, too.

Molly 34:03

I hold my Crozier upside down when I'm eating candy canes because I do the the straight end first but I like to use the curved end as a handle.

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:13

Yeah, no, in fact, now I think about it. I don't think I even like eating the curved end. Because like there's no there's no satisfying way to get it into your mouth.

Molly 34:22

Well either you work your way down to that part so that all that's left is the like you shape of the curved end and then you share the whole thing in your mouth and you have to like rotate it around. It kind of becomes like a weird turnstile for your tongue.

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:39

That's exactly it. Yes.

Molly 34:43

Well, so Okay, but Matthew, if you were going to eat a candy cane, which which size would you want? Would you want the mini would you want the regular or and here's where we can start talking about the those like big like quote unquote artisanal ones. Now the artisanal ones that I'm thinking of are the same as like the regular size candy cane. Oh, I'm thinking of these big ones that I've seen in the past few years at some sort of company with like, it starts with an H or something. I don't know what you're

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:10

talking about, but I mean,

Molly 35:12

and candy candy canes that are like giant?

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:16

No, I don't know those but if you if you find them see if you can find them I will post a link because I'd like to know more about this. Now the ones I'm thinking of, are really just the same size as like the regular classic medium sized candy cane that you'd hang on your tree, but are not curved. Okay? And and they are sold in like a bunch of glass jars. And like you You pull like the root beer one you want out of the jar? Yeah. And they're like, yeah, for $1 or something.

Molly 35:41

How do you feel about other types of candy using the shape of a curly kid in a candy cane? Like,

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:49

like what it's like, like, an m&m, that it's something incredibly unnatural has

Molly 35:55

happened to like a container of m&ms. That's candy cane. sold at Christmas time filled with m&ms.

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:01

I'm not sure how I could have a strong feeling pro or con on that. It's just m&ms in a different shape containers obviously I like but it probably cost more than the equivalent amount of m&ms sold in just a sack so I'm probably going to go sack How about you? Yeah, I'm gonna go sack you're gonna go sack and then you'll never go back

Molly 36:22

when you think of candy canes Do you? Like automatically think of peppermint ones? Or is your vision of candy canes now?

So broadened to include visions of cause

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:35

because of the wisdom that you've, you've imparted over the last 40 minutes? To include,

Molly 36:40

like the root beer was or the the cherry flavored ones?

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:46

Yeah, like when you say candy cane? I think medium size peppermint like the ones that we would hang on the tree in my okay.

Molly 36:55

Okay, I think that's good. I think that's right.

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:58

Yeah, I think that that if I saw you I thought of a different kind of candy cane. I would be a bad person.

Molly 37:05

Okay, well, anyway, that's been our candy cane and a

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:08

17th century German choir director would yell at me.

Molly 37:12

Yes. Do you have any anything to add? No,

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:14

I don't think I do. But like I I didn't realize until we started talking about this. Like what a soft spot I have for the various flavors of non curved candy canes that you can get at a tourist trap or state fair? Because like,

Molly 37:30

which one would you buy? Okay,

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:32

I this just came back to me. I don't know like, I don't really remember what all the flavors are. But I would probably get you know something something fruit flavored. But I do you remember that? Sometimes there would be a flavor called horror hound. familiar with this word? It's h o r e h o u n d?

Molly 37:50

I think I've seen this. Yeah. Like, is it like an old soda?

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:55

It's an old soda. Yeah, I think it's like, like how? Okay, so horahan is a common name applied to two related general flowering plants in the family. lammi ac warhound beer a carbonated soft drink flavored primarily with herbs, double hops and cane sugar. So it's like how there used to be a bunch of different root beer like things and now it's, you know, like, there used to be SAS parilla. And like it would appear at at a spelling bee. Yes, I mean, cuz you would have to spell it. I think horror hound was another thing like that. Like, like, there were a bunch of different root beers, like, named after the particular root that was used like birch beer, or like birch tree or exactly, but yeah, so of course I would. The answer is I would get horrified because it's a funny word, and it would taste like root beer.

Molly 38:39

Okay, fair enough.

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:40

Yeah. What? Which one would you choose?

Molly 38:42

Honestly, I know this is kind of gross, but I feel like I might choose like a general like, yeah, like a general fruit flavor, like the ones you liked as a kid?

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:52

I don't I don't think they have that in the display that I'm talking about. I think I think I would have more or less flavored. I think cherry would be a very good choice. Yeah, I think that's the right answer.

Molly 39:02

Okay. Yeah. Yeah.

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:03

Any other any other answer would be incorrect.

Molly 39:06

I think I feel okay about getting cherry. Yeah, you too.

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:10

Okay. So you can find us online at spilled milk podcast comm where we'll post a picture of Molly holding up a weirdly shaped candy cane. You can find us@facebook.com slash build out podcast where you can let us know what what's your favorite flavor at the at the candy cane like candy stick display at the tourist trap. What else did we talk about? You can find us on Instagram at spilled milk podcast.

Molly 39:33

Our producer is Abby circuit Ella.

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:35

Yes. Please leave us a review. Wherever you find the show. We haven't said that in a while. Happy Christmas in June everyone.

Molly 39:42

Yeah, Happy Christmas in June. I mean Christmas in July is the thing.

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:45

Yeah. What does that come from? I don't really know what to look it up. I want to look it up because like, I think everyone knows that. Oh, okay. Wait, Christmas in July. Christmas in July is a Christmas celebration held in July. They Nature of which differs by hemisphere. Okay. Wow, I think this is going to have to be like a whole bonus episode because there's a lot to it. Okay? It has to do in part with the fact that December is the middle of summer in the southern hemisphere and so doesn't really fit with the rest of the Christmas iconography. But there's also something involving an 1892, French opera, etc.

Molly 40:24

Well, let's do a Christmas in July episode.

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:26

Let's Yeah, let's do a Christmas in July episode. I don't think it's food related, but maybe a bonus episode. Okay, there was a hollywood comedy Written and directed by Preston Sturges in 1940 called Christmas in July.

Molly 40:37


Matthew Amster-Burton 40:38

I'm just gonna do the whole thing right now. Okay. Well,

Molly 40:40

I'm Molly weissenberg.

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:42

Well, we're starting the show over. Oh, oh, wait. Yeah. We started the show. And I Matthew Amster-Burton.

Molly 40:49

Wait a minute. We didn't do a closing joke.

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:51

Happy Holidays, everyone from our hearts to yours. I'm Molly weissenberg. And I'm Matthew Amster-Burton.

Molly 41:05

This episode airs on June 25. Hi, everybody. So Matthew. Oh, I guess we should start to restart the

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:11

show. Okay.