There are a bazillion things that flood my memory when I think of my dad–but after hanging out with a person for 22 years, that really shouldn’t surprise me.
Most of the memories I have of him are funny; he’s a funny man, that fellow. I’ll never forget the night he mistakenly shook the “pour” side of the Parmesan cylinder at dinner, which eventually led to Mount Parmesanjaro atop his spaghetti. “Would you like any noodles with your cheese, pops?” I was only eight at the time, but unfortunately that didn’t spare him any ridicule.
Other memories I have could be better described as sentimental, like the day he took me to Tappers and bought me my first ever sterling silver necklace in seventh grade. I vaguely remember my mom asking him not to spoil me–or at least, that’s probably what she’d say now–but he insisted. I guess that’s what happens when you’re the baby of the family–you get spoiled. After that, having my Christmas stocking at the bottom of the staircase didn’t seem so bad, after all.
Finally, there are the seasonal memories: I can remember balancing the blades of my ice skates against dad’s bluejeans as he laced them up, ever so tightly; running from tree to tree with my brothers during one of the many epic Easter egg hunts he’d choreograph each spring; and playing our own “silent” version of Marco Polo in the swimming pool after hamburgers and coleslaw on the patio each summer. On days like today, though, I am reminded of candy corn, pumpkins, and football. October always reminds me of my dad.
An October memory of my dad that I love is when he brought me to Joe’s Army and Navy outlet one afternoon; I wasn’t enlisted or anything, but we both thought an authentic G.I. Jane costume would receive a nice variety of “oo’s” and “ah’s” on Halloween night. It did–though I’m pretty sure I was forbidden to wear my camouflage pants in public after that. I also distinctly remember carving jack-o-lanterns with him and my brother in the garage while my mom roasted the extracted pumpkin seeds. Hours later, we’d run out to the street when dark had fallen to proudly view our glowing jack-o-latern sitting there on the front porch, flickering against the dark, unlit night.
The most stand-out fall memory I have of my dad, however, is not playing football with him in our backyard or raking piles of leaves that had fallen from the twin Maples out back (though I can assure you, we did lots of that, too), but rather the countless times he would lean over our emptied pillow cases and watch my brothers and I categorize our trick-or-treat findings on the living room carpet. It was during our classification of the fun-sized candy bars that he’d ask to “test” our candy to make sure that it was safe to eat. We quickly outgrew this trick and managed to guard our goodies for a couple of years, but that only lasted until “Halloween taxes” were invented. Dad would get paid in Butterfingers and Baby Ruths, respectively–but he more than well deserved it.
If anyone in our family enjoys candy corn, it’s my dad and I. I guess you could say that we share a liking for corn syrup and faux-fluorescent triangles. Sure it makes me feel sick if I eat more than, er, two pieces, but it smells good and it’s chock-full of memories. When I saw this 3-ingredient recipe, I obviously had to try it. Butterfingers have been my go-to movie snack ever since I can remember–I think it’s something about the way my Cherry Icee tastes in combination with the buttery center that gets stuck in my back molars. I guess my taste buds haven’t matured much since I was seven.
SO, even though I won’t be home for my dad’s birthday, I made these in his honor. Candy corn+ peanut butter = homemade Butterfinger bars. Could the ingredients be any more up our alley??? Answer is no.
Happy birthday dad!
Homemade Butterfinger Bars
(Makes 1 8×8 pan – Source – 20-30 minutes)
16 ounces candy corn
16 ounces peanut butter (I like chunky!)
16 ounces milk chocolate
Grease an 8×8 pan using butter or spray. Melt candy corn in a microwaveable bowl for 1 minute. Stir. Repeat in 15 second increments until candy corn seems warm enough to melt. (I warn you…do NOT use your bare fingers to scrape the candy corn from whatever you are stirring it with. It gets much hotter than you’d think!) Next, add the peanut butter–the oils will help to thin out the consistency, but I still popped it back in the microwave for a few seconds until it was fairly easy to stir.
Spread into pan and press flat. Let cool (10-15 minutes). Once cool, cut into rectangles. Size doesn’t matter here.
Melt chocolate in a double broiler or in microwave for 30 seconds, reheating for 15 seconds and stirring until melted. Dip squares and place on wax paper until cooled. Enjoy!!! They look and taste just like butterfingers. They’re also very good frozen :).