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Mom's special treat recipe might not be a favorite of dentists

"How do you decide what to write about?" the dental hygienist asked while investigating my gums the other day.

It’s a fun question to answer as I usually tease, "It depends. If you’re not careful you might wind up in a column." She had the upper hand however as she had filled my mouth with a couple of miniature pick axes.

Timing is not a strong suit of a dental hygienist. I suspect these are the same people who, during their waitressing jobs as teenagers, asked you how your meal was right after you took a big bite.

Since I was unable to retort, all I could do was cross my fingers and hope I was cavity free.

For some ironic reason I started to think about what could only be described as the WORST thing you could eat if you were concerned with your dental health.


Halloween was always a chance for my mom to shine. On the farm, we would only have a half dozen or so trick or treaters so the farm wives in our area knew how to really kick it up a notch. I remember filling our plastic pumpkin baskets with full-size candy bars, cans of pop, mini cakes baked in ice cream cones, and, my favorite, popcorn balls.

At some point my mom swapped her popcorn balls recipe for the popcorn bars that I still love. After leaving home, one of my (and my co-workers') favorite days of the year was the day a pan of those bars would arrive carefully wrapped in aluminum foil and mailed in a shoe box.

They are a tad on the sticky side however, which made it almost sacrilege to daydream about them while sitting in a dentist’s office. While the hygienist finished my cleaning, I came up with a plan for at least one of those bars.

During the next appointment I’ll give her one to silently enjoy one while I’m in the chair.

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