Saturday, January 14, 2017

Leaf Allsorts

 ... the original sheep and fences ...
I think back to when I was young, to moments that I loved.

Then I try to re-create those experiences, either with my children or my grandchildren.

One gentle memory is when my dad would bring home a package of liquorice, the kind that were bullet shaped with an outer candied coating .

He would lay them on the table and tell me that we were going to play Sheep and Fences.

... no making fences for sheep in her mind ...
 I would pick the white and black ones out to be the sheep and then build fences: herd the sheep to the inside of the pen, march them out, close the gate, open the gate back up, get them inside again, all the while working hard to keep the little liquorice fences from rolling around and ruining the beauty of the symmetry I had built.

I don't remember eating the candy as much.  I only remember the joy of the game.
... Alice made a vehicle and was dismayed
when one of the wheels fell off ...
The candy isles don’t carry that kind of liquorice anymore. I looked all through December for it and could only find Allsorts: Assorted Licorice Candy.  And they would be made by different companies:  Leaf, Maynards, or maybe Bassett's.

Not to be dissuaded at least from the spirit of the game of Sheep and Fences, I took a 400 gram package of Allsorts over for dessert with Michael, Alice and Betty.

My plan was to explain the game from my childhood and then see if we could do the sme thing ... or even improvise.

Everyone was given a cutting board, a butter knife and a dinner knife for tools.

We sorted by shape sometimes and sometimes by colour.

I was surprised that I didn’t have the nomenclature to deal with the game so I began to make up some of my own.
... the two towers, going down ...

There are the five decker sandwiches to begin with: neon pinks, yellows and greens sandwiching the square flat liquorice.

And then I became aware of a few black plugs of liquorice.

 There is a marshmallow plug that has a band of liquorice around its circumference.

... Allsorts in both cheeks ...
Michael found he could pull that outer coating off by running his thumb along one side of it and then peeling it off. 

Michael spent a long time trying to pick the blue beads off of the baby-blue flat jellies.

There is another easy peel.  It is the yellow circle that has a black liquorice plug.  Just rubbing my thumb on those yellow flakes brought then off -- sticky pieces of cocoanut!

I tried to help the kids, though it was very hard to get them to share their tools or their boards.

We could cut the candy in half, but there was no way of scraping those jellies off! 

They just didn't fall.

“Can you help me with this, Dad,” Michael asked Richard. 

 “I can’t do any better job than you are doing, son,” came the reply.  

And of course there is the coin-like circle that is surrounded with cocoanut. 

Here, at least the flavour of the candy changes.

I explained about sheep and fences to the kids.

Their game turned into trucks and towers.  I went back to sheep and fences with Betty.   Always good when at least the 18 month old will listen.

Betty practised putting in as many candies in her mouth as she could at once.

Richard and I also tested out the flavours but not in the same quantity.

No one seemed to mind loosing a few of the candies to the adults, since the kids were more interested in their building projects than in eating.
... I think I can go even higher ...
I think Betty managed to get the most in her mouth at once: the high number for her was eight.  That was far too many to swallow so she needed someone standing by to catch them when she figured out they could not go down her throat.

I know the only way to take care of that is for an adult to extend a cupped hand under a child's chin and let the candy (or whatever is going to come out of their moth) roll over their lips, down their chin and be caught by someone's hand before it hits the ground.

I had forgotten that I would need at least one wet cloth at the table.



  1. ah...licorice alsorts are my favourite!

  2. The liquorice looks delicious. I should go looking for my stash. How lucky the grandchildren are to have you next door Arta.

  3. If you can't find your stash of lquorice, Wyona, they still have some at London Drugs. As the days go on, the price goes down and down. Or come over here, and I will give you a pound of it. I just couldn't help buying it in bulk!