My earlier blog post today that mentioned s'mores made me think of another Christmas confection--sugarplums. A couple of weeks ago, we had our traditional Christmas visit by our homeschool group to an assisted living facility where the children read Christmas stories to the elderly, and my son helped read the classic "The Night Before Christmas" by Clement Moore. But on the way home, my son asked, "What IS a sugarplum?"
Thank goodness there is a Google--how did parents survive before it? Anyway, Wikipedia (another parental blessing) says that in olden days, "plums" referred to any dried fruit, not just plums (of course, we know dried plums as prunes). So sugarplums were candied fruit, sometimes finely minced and combined with nuts or seeds, and molded into a round or oval shape. However, apparently the traditional approach to do that produced a very sweet and intensely-flavored candy. And, of course, until the last century or so, sugar was so expensive that making such a confection would have been limited to the wealthy and/or as a VERY special treat.