Dear Jack: Cotton Candy, Chocolate Coins, and a Piñata

5 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack: Cotton Candy, Chocolate Coins, and a Piñata

Dear Jack,

This past Sunday during your last (assumed) weekend as an only child, I took you to your friend Kendyl’s 5th birthday party on the other side of town. It was a time of several “firsts” for you…

Dear Jack: Cotton Candy, Chocolate Coins, and a Piñata

It was the first time you had a friend from school who had their birthday party in their yard at their house, instead of an official party place like Chuck E. Cheese.

Therefore, it was the first time you got to play in a “bouncy house” in a friend’s yard at a birthday party. (It should be no surprise that I helped add even more thrill by serving as the “monster” who chased any kids who tried to escape from the bouncy house.)

Dear Jack: Cotton Candy, Chocolate Coins, and a Piñata

You also got to try cotton candy for the first time; as they had a machine there that made it there on the spot. You liked the cotton candy, but you also seemed confused by it.

Another first for you at Kendyl’s party was chocolate coins. You really thought they were cool. Since it was hot outside, you decided to only eat one there at the party, then take the rest home; where they are currently chilling out in our refrigerator.

Dear Jack: Cotton Candy, Chocolate Coins, and a Piñata

And perhaps the biggest first was the piñata. You’ve known about them for years now, having seen them on your favorite shows. But finally you got to experience it yourself.

Dear Jack: Cotton Candy, Chocolate Coins, and a Piñata

You were 2nd in line; behind the birthday girl of course.

Her mom did a wonderful job putting the party together. No one was in a hurry to leave. We would have stayed longer had we not needed to get home to check on Mommy.

Dear Jack: Cotton Candy, Chocolate Coins, and a Piñata

You had a blast. This was the kind of birthday party you see on TV shows and movies. It was a special fun time for your last weekend as an only child… unless Holly is born next week instead.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Cotton Candy, Chocolate Coins, and a Piñata

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What Ingredients Make Up the Flavors of Cola, Cotton Candy, Bubble Gum, and “Superman” Ice Cream?

Vanilla just got cool.

Should it remain a mystery or will finding out what gives these popular yet unquestioned items their flavor? Like a magician who actually reveals his tricks, so will I tear away the ancient veil.  Obviously, sugar plays a huge part in all these flavors, what what else is added to make these flavors so distinct, timeless, and magical?

Cola: Citrus oils (derived from the peels of citrus fruits: orange, lemon, and lime), tamarind, cinnamon, and vanilla.

Cotton Candy: Fruits, berries, honey, molasses, vanilla and maple sugar.

Bubble Gum: peppermint, spearmint, menthol, vanilla and fruit.

“Superman” Ice Cream: Vanilla (plus several different colors of food dye.)  Just vanilla.  Seriously. That’s all it is and has ever been.  The rainbow colors play tricks on our minds.

The common ingredient these mysterious flavors have in common, besides a whole lot of sugar, is vanilla.  The connotation of the word “vanilla” sometimes carries the idea of being plain and ordinary.  However, without it, these wonderful American flavors would not be the same.  Vanilla: who knew?