By Patti Hemes – Parent to Parent – There are plenty of other ways to make use of the candy stash, if you just get creative.
It’s the day after Halloween, and your dining room table is covered by a mountain of candy. There’s no way you want your kids to eat all that sugar, and you certainly don’t want it lying around, tempting you. But you feel guilty just dumping it all into the trash (I know you don’t really, but let’s pretend you do). There are plenty of other ways to make use of the candy stash, if you just get creative.
First, if you have ever decorated a ginger bread house for Christmas, then you know how expensive it can be collecting all the candy needed to make it look just right. Get out your list and shop the kids’ stash, now, before all the good stuff disappears. Tell them they’ll get to eat it all when you’re done with it (they don’t have to know it’s
for Christmas). And speaking of Christmas, have you ever admired the stained-glass ornaments on a friend’s tree? Well make some for your own tree this year, starting with the hard candies that nobody eats anyway, and the directions here. They’re so easy you can even let the kids take over the project while you supervise the oven.
But maybe crafts just aren’t your thing. No problem. How about science experiments? You know how much your kids would love to put stuff into the microwave just to see what would happen. Well, either you can let them make up their own experiments, or try out the activities at Candy Experiments, with instructions, videos and some real science to boot. Can you think of a better way to dispose of excess candy?
How about eating it? In a salad? Or a cake? Yes, you can improve it, so check out the Leftover Valentine’s Candy Recipes and get cooking. If you time it right, you can serve up a new family favorite just in time for Thanksgiving. You could have the kids try the Butterfinger Cake recipe, while you see what kinds of homemade flavored liqueur you can come up with. My favorite suggestion comes from Wise Bread, where I found that “Werther’s Originals dissolved in vodka might make for some tasty shots.” Sounds like a new holiday tradition to me.
If you absolutely must get the candy out of the house immediately, then donation is the way to go. Check with your local dentists to see if they participate in a Valentine Candy Buy-Back program. The candy gets shipped to US troops stationed overseas, and the kids can make a few dollars (some dentists are paying up to $2 a pound). Other opportunities to donate would be local shelters or food pantries. Already overloaded with more clients than they normally serve, the holidays are the perfect time to add some sweets to cheer up families going through rough times.
So what’s it going to be? Crafts, cooking, drinking, experimenting (without blowing up the microwave) or sharing? And you thought Halloween candy was just for eating.
Patti Hermes is living the dream with her high school sweetheart, raising their boys in the Midwest because it’s a good starting point for epic road trips. While writing, reading and homeschooling take up most of her time, she still blogs at http://writesforchocolate.blogspot.com.