Cheer Du Jour

A little cheer to forget your troubles, and better yet, to toast with a glass of bubbles!

Pop Rocks…Candy of Legend (and now available from your own kitchen)

English: Strawberry-flavored Pop Rocks candy.Ah, Pop Rocks – sweet and sassy bursts of tongue-tingling joy that instantly make me wax nostalgic. They are the source of the long-lingering urban legend that insisted the actor who played Mikey (of Life Cereal fame) exploded when he drank soda with a packet of Pop Rocks (shocking fact – he didn’t).

Of course, that cautionary tale propelled countless kids to try the allegedly lethal combination for themselves. I count myself among them, starting with the tiniest speck of powder on my tongue, followed by a mere drop of Coke (long before the great schism known as the New Coke and Coke Classic debacle). No explosions. Quickly, I worked my way up to a full packet of watermelon nuggets washed down by a full bottle (yes, the old-fashioned type that required a bottle opener, and funded the purchase of more candy by collecting the deposits when returning the bottles). Still, no explosion – though definitely LOTS of popping action.

At some point in the early 80’s, darkness fell. Pop Rocks were gone. (How I often wondered what the combination of Jolt Cola and the candy would have produced.) Happily, I recently found these little treasures again at World Market. I brought a handful of packs (along with some other classic candies, like Twizzlers and Raisinets) to my friend’s house for a night of nostalgic Duran Duran video watching (and drinking, of course!). Poor Nick was ill, and the concert scheduled at Ravinia was cancelled. Instead, we watched a well-worn VHS copy of the Sing Blue Silver documentary. Somewhere along the way – maybe it was about the time the Fab Five discussed how great their sponsor (Coke) was as John confessed he preferred Pepsi – inspiration struck. What if I tried a mouthful of Pop Rocks, followed by a champagne chaser? It was a moment of genius – elevating the childhood thrill to a sophisticated adult experience (well, sort of).

Imagine my excitement when I saw this recipe posted by The Daily Meal today! Forget the fact that the site touts this as a healthier, cheaper option – this is a chance to bring the zing even if Pop Rocks pulls another disappearing act. I haven’t tried the recipe yet, but I will (once I find citric acid) – with a chilled bottle of bubbly on hand to accompany the taste test.

From The Daily Meal

Try making these candies at home for a healthier and cheaper option to your favorite treats. -The Daily Meal

Homemade Pop Rocks Recipe (Picture to the right):


-2 cups sugar

-1 teaspoon baking soda

-1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon citric acid

-1/2 cup light corn syrup

-1/4 cup water

-1 teaspoon flavoring extract, flavor of your choice

-1-2 drops food coloring, color of your choice

-Pinch of cornstarch, for dusting


Lightly dust the back side of a baking sheet with cornstarch.

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Cook the mixture until it reaches 300 degrees when measured with a candy thermometer. Remove from heat, and add the baking soda, ¼ cup of the citric acid, extract, and food coloring, and stir to combine.

Spread the mixture out onto the baking sheet (carefully so that it does not run over the edges), sprinkle with the teaspoon of citric acid, and allow to cool completely, about 30 minutes. Break the candy into pieces and add to a Ziploc bag. Using a rolling pin, crush the candy into tiny little pieces so that it resembles Pop Rocks. Store in Ziploc bags.

via 6 Homemade Candy Recipes | Shine Food – Yahoo! Shine.

Leave a comment »

Duran Duran’s Merry Mayan Message


…and speaking of Shine, enjoy Silva Halo (live version) for the holidays!

Leave a comment »

John Taylor Trashes Hotel Room?

Cover of "Diva's Christmas Carol"

Cover of Diva’s Christmas Carol

No, that would never happen in the real world! …but as an actor, you can see JT in lush glory in A Diva’s Christmas Carol. Click here to see a clip of John as the ghost of Christmas Present on YouTube. This movie, in my humble (and completely unbiased Durannie) opinion, is a must-see for the holidays. Vanessa Williams is brilliant as the Scrooge Diva, and instead of the usual Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, the diva watches a foreboding episode of “Behind the Music” to glimpse her future. Plus, a glimpse of 80’s fashion with the Ghost of Christmas Past. A word of caution – “Heart Quake” will burrow itself into your brain, dooming you to sing the one or two lines you remember over and over again.

VH1 usually runs this movie throughout the holiday season, but since we cut our cable cord, I bought a copy from Amazon. It arrived today and I enjoyed watching it as much as I have for the past 12 years.

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: