Sometimes Things Get Complicated

Do you know why there is no peppermint stick ice cream in Germany?
Because there are no peppermint sticks! No starlight mints, no candy canes, none of the novelty-sized 2-foot-long peppermint logs that get packed, post-Christmas, into cardboard boxes along with the tinsel and the lights.
I clued into this after visiting three grocery stores that had astonishingly varied displays of Toffifee and Ritter Sport instead of candy canes. I asked Herr R where I should get candy canes, and he was puzzled. To wit:
Me: I’m going to need a kilo of white chocolate to make peppermint bark!
Herr R: It’s okay to eat a little sugar every day, but…
Me: I’m going to make it and it’s going to be delicious! It will be so Christmassy!
Herr R: What do you mean?
Me: Like peppermint stick ice cream but harder!
Herr R: Like what?
Me: Peppermint stick ice cream. With the hard red and white peppermint candies crushed into it.
Herr R: I don’t know these.
Me: Surely there is some confusion. The round, white, pepperminty candies with red streaks that are crunchy and about this big?
Herr R: I only know soft mints.
Me: Or the pepperminty crunchy sticks of white candy with the red swirl and the hook at the end?
Herr R: I don’t know those.
Me: They are hard and white and crunchy and pepperminty and they are everywhere at Christmas.
Herr R: I think you mean After Eight Mints.

And to think that there are hundreds, nay, thousands, of sticky, lint-covered, partially-licked-down-to-the-white peppermint sticks discarded every year.

After some early holiday-season success with homemade caramels (complete with self-made corn syrup replacer,) coming fresh off a terrific five-hour cooking class, and with a slight overconfidence about my ability to find peppermint extract and appropriate food colorings, I hereby announce to you, Germany, that I am about to get all Martha Stewart on your ass. By trying to learn how to pull sugar into peppermint sticks my damn self. Be warned.

Note: the next entry may well be a cry for care packages containing both commercially produced peppermint sticks and burn salve.

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