The holidays are almost here, so I’ve started to make my traditional goodies for the season: peanut butter balls, better known as Buckeyes here in Ohio.

I started making them about four years ago. I had included some in goodie baskets I’d made for Dave’s family for Christmas. I made more than enough for the baskets, so I sent the leftovers to work with Dave to share with his co-workers. Soon, I started to get requests for more. By the end of the Christmas season, I’d established a bit of a Buckeye cult following. The next year, as Thanksgiving approached, the requests for Buckeyes began to roll in. I filled each order and experimented with requests to try some variations. By the end of that year, I was offering Buckeyes with dark, milk and white chocolate. Now, I have a regular little holiday business going.

Today, I made my first batch of peanut butter balls while Dave couldn’t resist making jokes like this.

Starting out each year is great. Julia watches me as I explain the special recipe I’ve become known for and it feels good to have something of my own to pass down to her. I imagine my family, generations later, making my Buckeyes and I’m the Grandma they refer to when they say, “Just like Grandma used to make.” Then, I start to think of Harry London and how his candy-making business started out much like mine has. I dream that my Buckeye business takes off and soon I’m selling Mama Grimmett’s Goodies (that are made lovingly by hand) all over the place. It’s confectionary bliss.

A few weeks and 50 dozen later, my attitude changes. Instead of dreaming of growing my business, I’m dreaming of sleep because it’s 4AM, I haven’t been to bed yet and Julia will be up soon, but if I don’t do it now she won’t let me do it later and I’ve got a deadline…

But, today was the first day and it was grand. I made 6 dozen Buckeyes to give to our new neighbors tomorrow evening as we visit their homes for Trick-or-Treat. I’m giving each neighbor half a dozen like this:

Buckeyes

Hopefully, they’ll love the Buckeyes, love us and welcome us into their tight-knit neighborhood. Maybe we’ll all become great friends and have giant cook outs and parties together. Or maybe we’ll just be cordial and wave when we pass by. At the very least, I hope they like the Buckeyes. And us.