It is precisely at this time of year that the seam between the world of drab and kicked-around materiality and the world of sacral luminosity is worn clean-through. While the cold sharp of Winter pinches outwardness, the warmth of life retreats to inwardness. Beings clump together from the greatest of distances, be they family or strangers, to be near the radiance of each others’ warmth and, perhaps, to fan the collected embers of their innermost selves. And through this spontaneous kindliness, the world becomes magical. More notice is taken, if only for fleeting instances, to the largeness of small miracles – the scent of burning firewood tumbling from chimney tops in out-blown ruffles, the wheeling night sky shimmering with wish-entrusted stars too plentiful to count, the seasonal rise of generosity towards sick children and lonesome elderly. It is with this suffused sense of magic and the transformation towards better things that we invite you, once more, to stop by The Franklin Fountain. For us, this season opens up a sort of spiritual valve within us to flood your life and your customer experience with the most cheer, inventiveness, and love that we have to offer.
While many burrow into hiber- nation’s slumber this time of year, our “Clear Toy Candies” are coming out of theirs. WHYY’s newly launched “Newsworks” online journalism site has cast a lovely piece on how we make our Clear Toy Candy, along with a Youtube’d photo-essay on the subject. Ryan Berley is interviewed in our wonderful new kitchen space at Shane Candies while our beloved pastry chef Davina Soondrum and her sensational assistant Hannah Taylor create another beautiful batch of sugar candies from century-old moulds.
You can find the piece here: newsworks.org/index.php/art-entertainment-sports/item/7544-17pccandy
Also on the Shane Candies site, Eric Berley was engaged in another historic to-do. It was at that very vicinity at 110 Market Street that Robert Aitken, a bookseller and printer who founded The Pennsylvania Magazine, printed America’s first English-language Bible in 1782. Eric, along with Bible historians, some clergymen, and former Philadelphia mayor Reverend W. Wilson Goode, assembled in the unveiled and restored Shane store front to read select passages from Aitken’s Bible to commemorate Public Bible Reading Day. The event was filmed by television stations and recorded on radio broadcasts, and for those assembled there that day and for many listening at home the commemoration was both significant and moving.
Fresh Cinnamon and Egg Nogg Ice Creams have returned for the season. We recommend them with one of our drool-producing homemade fruit pies. Additionally, we have brought back “Hot” Chocolate Ice cream, which is spiced with cinnamon, cayenne, and mombasa peppers. This flavor bears an Aztec heat, and is meant for only fireproof palates. Also, we have introduced our “Cardamom Chai” flavor, which is a collaborative effort– the positively wonderful folks at Philadelphia’s “The Random Tea Room & Curiosity Shop” have graced us with a fine stock of their winning Chai Tea recipe, which we placed in a vanilla-based ice cream. The flavor is jungled with Assamese tea leaf grown by the banks of the Himalaya-bordered Brahmaputra river, crushed cardamom pods, ginger root, dried clove flower, crushed saffron crocus stigmas, and powdered cinnamon bark. This complicated but beautiful flavor is being used in our “Mt. Caramel” Sundae, which is an acclivous crag of Vanilla and Cardamom Chai ice cream drenched in a divine douse of homemade caramel sauce, spilling into an altar trench set with crumbled gingerbread, strewn with malt powder ash, and topped with a smoky tuft of whipped cream rising into the heavens. Test yourself and try one!
Well, that about does it for this go-around. We hope that you all have a lovely holiday season.
May you have light in darkness and warmth in cold.
May you find both in those around you and in your self.
The Franklin Fountain.
P.S.- We thought we’d leave you with a bit of sweetness:
THE CLEAR TOY CANDIES
The season permits with its cold frigid clasp
Candy creatures to make, their hides smooth as glass
Menageries prance in their crystalline structure
Translucent and crimson and emerald in color
While setting by windows they’ll bend dimming day
Their sinews catch lights, curling them in display
The reindeer and sailing ships, presidents and kings
The bicycling toads gather round now to sing:
“We are the CLEAR TOY CANDIES! We come but once a year!
We bring with us an elegance, a Christmas-season’s cheer!
We’re made of molten sugardust that faerie swarms deposit!
We’ve come to overtake your shelves with merriment and frolic!
In copper tubs our souls are stewed with vulcan fire’s breath
We’ll simmer down in ironware amid a chilly caress
We are the CLEAR TOY CANDIES! It’s our annual arrival!
An arctic sort of chilliness ensures us our survival.
In wrapping winds of wintertime our glassy sails will crescent
We sing with candy-slicken’d throats a tune that can’t be lessened!
We are the CLEAR CANDIES! At Christmastime we swoon!
Rejoicing with our sweetened hearts we sing of
We sing of candy continents with soda water shores!
We sing of sugar blizzards and white marshmallow moors!
We sing ourselves a song until snoring we’re asleep
Forgetting what will finish us– the hammer, tooth, or heat.