February 28th, 2011

A solution to the jelly bean quandry

I went to Walgreen’s last night, and while prowling the aisles I came across an entire aisle of Easter candy.

Easter. It is still February. Easter this year is April 24.

Yet here they are: the myriad chocolate bunnies (which alas, I am not allowed to eat—not even a nibble of ear, the tastiest part). The bland and squishy Peeps, which now come in over a half-dozen unappetizing day-glo colors. The creme de la creme, the Cadbury egg, along with five thousand other varieties of ovoid chocolates, filled and unfilled.

And the jelly bean. Regular readers of this blog may recall that I am extraordinarily partial to the Russell Stover pectin variety, a brand that approaches perfection in the genre. You may also recall that I am inclined to eat whatever quantity I buy, and that these fabulous jelly beans come in 12-ounce bags.

That’s a lot of jelly beans. I have been known to force myself to refrain from eating them all at a single sitting by dumping the last half of the bag’s contents down the disposal. Not an attractive solution, but sometimes the only one.

But last night I discovered a wonderful thing. Walgreen’s now sells individual serving bags of the stuff, 1.5 ounces each and fifty-nine cents. They offer just the right amount to satisfy and yet not overdo. These small bags have the added feature of a see-through window whereby the buyer can estimate the ratio of much-desired reds, oranges, whites, and pinks to the hated and despised greens.

Progress is not an illusion after all.

26 Responses to “A solution to the jelly bean quandry”

  1. Jenn of the Jungle Says:

    Ick the white ones are gross. GO GREEN!!!!!

  2. vanderleun Says:

    Any greens, human, can be thought of as “the hated and despised greens.”

  3. vanderleun Says:

    To paraphrase Kliban:

    Love them chocolate bunnies.
    Chocolate bunnies what I lubs to eat.
    Bite their little ears off.
    Nibble on their tiny feet!

  4. Mr. Frank Says:

    It’s not Easter without Peeps.

  5. Cindy Simon Says:

    Hmmm…Did I distract you by reporting that those wonderful Russel Stiver jelly beans were in the stores? (lol)

    I missed the little packages (if they have them at drugstores near me). Just as well — I’m not strong. Not at all! But try to eat just a few out of the bag and leave them in another part of house.

    However, even at my age, I find I can eat mysef silly — and, more regretfully — SICK!

    And lts not forget those “Robin’s Eggs” – Speckled on outside thin coat of candy which is lined with layer of chocholate and then filled with malted milk ball. I’m a sucker for those every year, too.

  6. neo-neocon Says:

    Cindy Simon: but the beauty of the little bags is that they require only one moment of strength, and it occurs in the store.

    Leaving one of the large bags half-filled in another part of the house??? Does it not continue to sing its incessant siren song to you? Continual strength is required.

  7. Artfldgr Says:

    nothing like paying more so someone else can provide self control…

  8. gs Says:

    Forgive my presumption to a connoisseur (connoisseuse?), but the Jelly Belly brand struck me as superior even though I can take jelly beans or leave them.

  9. gs Says:

    Oops, I should have clicked all your links.

    Never mind…

  10. LAG Says:

    I lived in Belgium for two years a while back, and it was like Easter all year. Plus hot baguettes anytime I wanted.

  11. Parker Says:

    Mr. Frank,

    I buy peeps and let them dry out, and then use them for target practice with a .22 to produce a satisfying to see yellow mist. For me the fun of Easter occurs a few weeks after the event.

  12. expat Says:


    A friend just brought us a nice-sized box of Neuhaus chocolates from Brussels. I try to limit myself to one per day, but it is hard. I especially like marc de champagne truffles. The Easter bunny will be safe from me for a while.

  13. JuliB Says:

    I buy Peeps whenever I can. Now I’m in heaven! Someone gave me a stuffed Peeps, and I had one that was a little machine that would walk.

  14. Mr. Frank Says:


    I’ll have to turn you in to PETA.

    I’ll try that with my 9mm and .357.

  15. Jim Says:

    Neo, I happen to work for Jelly Belly, and we do make pectin jelly beans at Easter in addition to our “gourmet” beans. Is there anything I can do to get you to switch sides?

    And truthfully, you’re the only person I know of that actually LIKES those pectin things.

  16. LAG Says:

    expat, you have friends to cherish.

    I used to load up on my way through duty free. Not sure I would have been welcome home o/w.

  17. SteveH Says:

    I second Cindy on the robin’s eggs.

  18. John in Dublin CA Says:

    Alas, Neo, I too suffer the jelly bean addiction, however, I must agree with Jim, NOTHING beats Jelly Belly jelly beans. They are my excuse to go to the movies. I refuse to pay the outrageous prices at the theatre; so I stop at Safeway first and buy bags of Jelly Belly gourmet beans and feast while I view. I cannot have them at home; I cannot control myself, I will eat all of them at one sitting. And I don’t have a sweet tooth for anything else.

  19. neo-neocon Says:

    John in Dublin CA: Jelly Bellys are ok, I guess. But here’s my question for you: have you ever eaten Russell Stover pectin jelly beans?

  20. neo-neocon Says:

    Jim: Jelly Bellys are a pretty decent product, and I have tried their pectin eggs, but I’m sorry to say that IMHO they can’t hold a candle to the Russell Stover variety (who can explain love?). One thing that would improve them is making them a bit bigger. The RS ones are just the right size to be succulent. The Jelly Belly ones, not so much.

  21. LAG Says:

    neo, I think you need another Donate button–RSPE.

  22. John in Dublin CA Says:


    I grew up back east where Russell Stover was a common product so I am familiar with the pectin beans. Maybe it’s personal taste, but I simply cannot get enough of the Jelly Belly product. And Ronald Reagan agreed with me.

  23. Jim Says:

    Our CEO met Sarah Palin during the ’08 campaign. Not surprisingly, she said she was a Jelly Belly fan and referenced the Reagan connection. Black Licorice is her favorite flavor. If she runs in ’12, you’d better believe she will get all the beans she could possibly want.

  24. IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society Says:

    > Progress is not an illusion after all.

    This is not progress. Progress would be to train you with a mild electric shock (200, 300 volts ought to do it) anytime you try and eat more than 30 JBs in one sitting.

    A little operant conditioning and soon you’d be able to take full economic advantage of the “large economy size bag” like the rest of us.


  25. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    I don’t like the Jelly Belly beans nearly as much as Russell Stover. I even like the cheap discount jelly beans better than jelly bellies — the ones on the drugstore racks for 50 cents.

    As for the too-many-jelly-beans-in-the-bag problem, I am now stricken with woe because where I live, there are no Walgreens! I’ll just have to continue with former none-too-successful strategies such as, on one occasion, eating part of a bag and dumping the remainder out the car window — at least they made some ants happy!

  26. neo-neocon Says:

    Mrs Whatsit: I feel your pain.

    I have never spilled the beans out a car window. It’s always been the disposal for mine.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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