Thursday, April 7, 2011

Gourmet Classics: Candy Mountain - The Complete Story

The Great Candy Mountain

This is a story I've wanted to tell in its entirety for a while.  During my two years living at State, I earned the unofficial reputation of "The Candyman" due to the large stashes of candy I would accumulate during each semester.  

The Great Candy Mountain - another view

There were four Candy Mountains in total and they all began entirely by chance.  It was the weekend after Halloween in 2007 when I was in LA visiting friends and family.  My aunt offered me six bags of candy that never got passed out and, naturally, I took it back to San Diego with me.  They were the fun size ones - 3Muskeeters, Snickers, Milky Way, Butterfinger, Crunch, etc.  Six bags of this stuff.  I always let friends have some whenever they'd ask but for some reason I liked the idea of always having a collection of candy.  Why? I have no friggin' clue.  I just did.  

So I started buying candy.  I had a pre-paid meal plan which had a daily allowance of $8.90 up to 4 PM and $10.90 from 4:30PM until whenever the eateries on campus closed, every weekday.  It also provided a "declining balance" each semester of $500.  That was money that could be used at any time (weekends, after hours, when the daily allowance ran out, etc.), at any place, for any food item.  I ate two large meals a day, had my place stocked with plenty of water and snacks, but I would always have money left over and if you didn't spend it, you'd lose it.  So I decided that any money that would be left over would be spent on candy and then stored in that box beside my bed and it would be accumulated into a nice pile and would be given to my mother for Christmas.  I am not joking.  

The first Candy Mountain.  Funny - at the time this was a lot of candy

Pretty good stash considering it was accumulated in only half a semester.  The first Mountain was such a rousing success that I decided to build another one the following semester:

Candy Mountain 2

 My friends Josh and Landon, in an effort to spend their massive remaining balances on the last day of school, bought me that entire carton of Junior Mints, the chocolate cherries, and a few other items in there. 

Oh yeah

The following school year I started over for a third go around.  This time I came prepared with a larger box and the goal of surpassing the amount of the then-epic second Mountain.  The result was a rousing success.

That's the same table from Candy Mountain 2.  This one was about double in size

Candy Mountain became a tradition.  It even became a myth as word of a "massive box of candy" spread across the floor.  The thing is -- I barely ate any of it during the semester.  I would buy an item or two with all of my meals and add it to the box but I would rarely ever eat any. 

Candy Mountain 4 in progress
In Progress

And then you got this:

The box, which was a good sized box to begin with, was packed to the brim.  There was barely any breathing room in there and some of the chocolate actually melted.  It also took several plastic bags to transport the excess candy/cookies/miscellaneous items.  

I miss those mountains very much.  Perhaps some day there will be a 5th.