22 February 2009

The Farm and Candy Making

The farm had a number of buildings on the property besides the main house. There was a building not far from the house on the main driveway that was quite large and had a porch. This may have been used as a "gatekeepers" house originally.

Now that I think of it, my grandfather probably stayed out there when he was alive. As I said earlier, the farm was purchased by him for his retirement and he travelled to it frequently from Portland.

My memory is that my father used it as an office and storage space. It was painted white with a tinge of pink and had gingerbread decoration on the outside - we called it the "candy house".

My father and his mother, Lois Parker Peery, bought a candy making business in Portland that was for sale after World War II. Their intention was go into business together but it never happened. I am not sure why but we had many of the untensils, candy trays, copper pots, marble slabs, metal covered tables, etc... for a long time. I never gave all this stuff much thought when I saw it around our homes later.

What my father and his mother did do was make candy at various times during the year as gifts to family and friends. Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day - I think that was it.

They made "creams", toffee, rocky road and taffy (sometimes). When we moved from Portland to Seattle, they divided up the job and my father would make some of the candy in Seattle and my grandmother would make some in Portland.

I remember the candy boxes, the small, dark paper cups that held the individual pieces candy, tons of chocolate, flavorings, crused peppermint, walnuts, filberts that was used. Oh, and the themometers - they had very big ones to test the chocolate, etc.

I spent a of time putting candy into the paper cups and then in to boxes and when I was able to drive, I also did the deliveries.

The last time my father made candy was December, 1982. Lolo (what we called his mother) had died earlier that month at 97. She had long finished making candy but she always loved to get a box from him and also know that some friends were also receiving them....so he never quit until she died.

I remember that they loved to go into "See's Candy" and "van Dyne's Candy" in the Portland area just to taste the latest types that were available. They would buy a selection and then talk endlessly about the quality, etc....

Shall I next time write about the furniture interest that also existed in the family? Okay - that was even more intense than the candy making.

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