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Camel Poop

Camel poop. Yup! It’s a thing.

I remember as a child dad bringing home this fabulous white box with a camel imprinted on it and being very excited.

It was Christmas tradition. Dad would buy this white box full of vanilla halvah from Riediger's Supermarket on Isabel St. in Winnipeg. I loved this treat – it was sweet and made your teeth hurt but it was great! (We used to call Halvah, camel poop, because of that camel emblazoned box!)

After we would empty the container of its luscious sesame seed and whatever the heck else is in it* **, the container would then be recycled into a Rice Krispie container. It was totally tradition to make Rice Krispie cake in it – it was great – perfect size and had a lid!

When I got married, I too had a Camel box and used it for Rice Krispies until it cracked and just couldn’t contain another marshmallow treat. To be honest, at first, I didn’t know what to do? Where in the world would I put Rice Krispie treats? Phew – thanks to Tupperware I found a great container… with a lid!

This container evokes amazing memories for me. Weird that a camel poop container could just bring me so many great reflections. And I am not the only one – I bet that at least one of you reading this (so 1 in 4 ain’t bad) knows this container!! I was in conversation at work one day and the story of that container came up and sure enough, it was used for similar treats by other people. ps. Cookies could also be stored in that container.

So here’s why it has come to mind and heart today. Last night we went to visit my aunt Edith and uncle Abe (my dad’s brother) and we enjoyed some tea and birthday jelly roll (her birthday). As we were helping tidy up, I noticed that on her counter was that very same white Camel container. I think my excitement blew her away! It was so fantastic. We had just talked about it and, at work, I had even said, 'I wish I could still find one of those' and here it was! In her normal generous way, my aunt gave it to me. I said, 'no – then you don’t have a Rice Krispie container.' I was genuinely concerned for her loss. She said, 'I actually have another one.' With that she wiped this white box down and passed it on to me.

I’ll confess. I cried. It is just a stupid plastic camel box. But with it came memories of my dad – his love for the stuff, my childhood, Rice Krispie cake and the generosity of my extended family. It’s a stupid box – but – now it is my box and I will make marshmallow goodness in it.

Thanks, aunt Edith for your generosity - on your birthday. Thanks for the memories. Thanks for loving your niece. Thanks.

* Halva: Sesame halva's primary ingredients sesame butter or paste (tahini), and sugar, glucose or honey.

** You can still buy halvah from Sobey's - in chocolate, vanilla or a swirl!

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