how do i do maltesers without doing maltesers?
November 10, 2007 1:56 AM   Subscribe

wit whim and whimsy filter: over the last 9-ish years or so... i have established a tradition of bringing a bag of maltesers to my darling friend every time we go to the movies. no idea how it started... but it's a tradition. now she has cancer. it's terminal. it's pancreatic. and she can't have maltesers any more.

so bloody buggery bum.... i need to acknowledge our malteser "thing" every time i see her, but not with the actual packet.

she's really well at the moment. apart from the fact that she's riddled with cancer.... we're just waiting for her to become symptomatic.... so we can still do lots of things like movies for a while. or at least till she starts chemo. if she starts chemo.

she is under the impression that sugar/sweet things stimulate/feed cancer so she's trying to avoid them. i'm not sure of her rationale... but at this stage, she could insist on green eggs and ham and i'd support her.

soooooo... how do i do something maltesery every time i see her till.... i don't see her anymore.

the only idea i had was to give her one single malteser in some kind of ring box... but that's not exactly brillilant.

better ideas are welcome.

and i've no idea what countries have maltesers... wikipedia says the uk. i thought they were australian.... so sorry if you don't know the food. but that shouldn't stop you giving me fabbo ideas. thanks possums.
posted by taff to Shopping (22 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Get a bag of maltesers, cut a small slit in the back of it and empty out all the maltesers, and refill it with something she can eat. (Raisins? Pistachios? Sugar free gumballs?) If you make the slit just under where the fold is, you can tape it shut without it showing. The bag will look like it hasn't been opened. Bring her the bag with the DVD, just as you've always done.

Best wishes to you and your friend.
posted by happyturtle at 2:07 AM on November 10, 2007

(Oh, and to any Americans reading this thread, Maltesers are malted milk balls coated in chocolate, similar to Whoppers.)
posted by happyturtle at 2:08 AM on November 10, 2007

What is it about the Maltesers she cannot have? Is it the chewing part. I recall (I can't eat chocolate and have not since I was 19, so only have experience with the American Malteser counterpart, Milk Duds (shitty name, no?)) that they are hard to chew. Maybe you could find a proper sweetshop that had malt balls that she could suck on to the same effect. I am so sorry for your friend, it's so hard to want the things you love and cannot have them. I can no longer eat citrus, which is like a nightmare. I long for the wonderful taste of blood oranges.
posted by parmanparman at 2:17 AM on November 10, 2007

You know the boxes of maltesers that they sell in the lobby of the cinema? Buy one of those, eat empty out the maltesers and put another gift inside the box. Maybe a couple of day passes for her and a friend to go to a nice spa or something?
posted by oh pollo! at 2:20 AM on November 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: it's only that she thinks sugar is a bad thing that will feed the heinous cancer. otherwise she'd be fine with them. i have a feeling that me giving her a full packet now causes her a little anxiety because of the below....

admittedly it's probably based on all the pet scans that she's had. they give you a glucose drink then wack you in the "magic electrickery" machine and watch where the glucose uptake is. and there's your cancer. so she's not totally mad. in fact she's one of the brightest folk i've ever met. and funniest.

so she's a bit full of contradictions but i'm not prepared to call her on it... time is precious so i just let her do her thing. and who knows... she may well be right. cancer's not my area really.

i don't know what else she does eat though. it was always maltesers. :-(
posted by taff at 2:25 AM on November 10, 2007

Taff, I feel for you. I would give you a big hug if I could. I think you should stop thinking about sweets and start thinking about how much this woman means to you and you needing to tell her and make every moment worth living while she has it. You are a stupendous friend and a wonderful person. Don't let yourself forget that. You are also human and we all try to hide our fear. Don't be afraid to express your fears while remaining hopeful for the future.
posted by parmanparman at 2:48 AM on November 10, 2007

FWIW parmanparman - Milk Duds are not maltesers. They're not difficult to chew - in fact you don't have to chew them at all - if you have the will-power you can just suck them and they will melt in your mouth.

I second giving her some other gift - preferably something else she can eat - in a maltesers bag/box.
posted by missmagenta at 3:02 AM on November 10, 2007

According to the site below, fruit leather is a good substitute, Unfortunately though it does seem like simple sugars can stimulate cancer cell growth (as for all cells).

Enjoy each moment. Maybe consider something more social perhaps?
posted by at 3:37 AM on November 10, 2007

Ask her how she feels about sugar alternatives. You might be able to find a store for diabetics offering sugar-free malt balls, which of course won't taste nearly so good but will be closest to the real thing.

You can order them online in the US, but I don't know where you'd look for them in the UK.
posted by Deathalicious at 4:02 AM on November 10, 2007

Make her some maltese snacks?

Or something evoking birds for that Maltese Falcon connection.
posted by lullabyofbirdland at 4:40 AM on November 10, 2007

Using an empty box to gold a gift seems like your best bet to me. Also, this isn't a great example (pretty ugly for a gift) but you might find some branded merchandise out there somewhere.
posted by Leon at 5:22 AM on November 10, 2007

fyi: they're called malted milk balls in americanenglish, not milk duds.

i'd give her something else in the candy box.

also, if she has terminal cancer, she might want to get into some therapy about her food issues. i mean, if she doesn't have long to live, she may as well be able to enjoy what she eats, and maybe some cognitive exercises to help her kick that vision of sugar "feeding" the cancer will help her better enjoy the time she has left.
posted by thinkingwoman at 5:55 AM on November 10, 2007

Best answer: I'd try looking for a non-food idea, such as:

Maybe you could find some lovely spherical brown beads, perhaps in necklace or bracelet form, or you could make or have someone make such a thing. She could enjoy it whenever she wanted, and it could remind her of your friendship and the past fun times you've had.
posted by amtho at 5:59 AM on November 10, 2007 [6 favorites]

Are you artistic or crafty? Could you cut up boxes of Maltesers and use them for something else? Use the box bits on cards, gift tags (on whatever you give her - I love amtho's idea of beads), etc.
posted by bassjump at 6:45 AM on November 10, 2007

just wanted to say, I wish I could 10x favorite this:

Maybe you could find some lovely spherical brown beads, perhaps in necklace or bracelet form

The closer you can get them to the look of maltesers, the better.
posted by missmagenta at 7:00 AM on November 10, 2007

Thirding amtho. Maybe this. Or make her a Maltesers purse.

I know (from experience) that your friend's illness is painful for both of you; good on you for standing by her. Best wishes.
posted by GrammarMoses at 7:14 AM on November 10, 2007

I think GrammarMoses gave some great suggestions. I'd be delighted to have either of those.

You also might give her a sweet gift that's not meant to be eaten, like this. Or this.

I'm glad your friend has a friend like you.
posted by Evangeline at 8:35 AM on November 10, 2007

If or when she is in the hospital you could bring her the real candy...for her to share with others. Talking gets strained for everybody in a hospital, so having some candy to offer can help break the ice. (Also good for buttering up the nurses...always a good idea. ;-) )
Also I wonder if you could get her a t-shirt with them on it? Maybe a big sleep shirt?

You are going to need a few ideas to cover several visits...but hiding something different in the empty boxes each visit is a great idea...let her get a nice little surprise everytime you see her. What a good friend you are.
posted by what-i-found at 2:17 PM on November 10, 2007

Best answer: You could make something yourself. Here is a simple recipe for great date/nut balls. Mix 100 grams dates with 150 grams raw nuts and/or seeds in a food processor and mix in a tablespoon of unsweetened cacao powder (to taste!). Rol into nice small balls. You could also add coconut or cinnamon or peanut butter. No sugar at all, and all healthy ingredients.

If a small amount of sugar and maple syrup is OK (I don't think it is at the moment, but just in case) I also like these fudge balls.
posted by davar at 2:13 AM on November 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I don't know if Malteser packets are made out of the same stuff as crisp packets, but if so... put one in the oven on about 200C (preferably on an old baking tray you're not too precious about) and it should shrink down into a little hard, plastic version of a Maltesers packet, without losing any of the design. I've only seen one that a friend made with a packet of crisps so I don't know how long it takes but I guess it's pretty quick. You could make one into a pendant or just give it as it is? They're cool just cos they're such intricate, exact reproductions of the real thing.

I think they're sometimes called shrinkies but I can't find any useful how-to advice online.

On the bright side, if it takes several attempts to get it right, you get to eat a lot of Maltesers! Good luck.
posted by penguin pie at 9:15 AM on November 11, 2007

Best answer: Fill an empty box with little notes about good memories of you two together, what makes them such a wonderful friend, maybe some encouraging words and make that a new tradition.
posted by idiotfactory at 11:31 AM on November 11, 2007

Response by poster:

what a bunch of lovely folk you are. thank you so much for the time and effort you put in to your answers.

i would like to have "best answered" all of your answers.

i have decided to do a bit of everything.

i bought the two above things from etsy. thank you to metafilter for introducing me to that crackshop! oh my credit card....

and i'm going to put one malteser in a ring box for the movies... just for old time's sake.

and i'm going to do the notes, and the date balls... and then when it all goes to hell in a hand basket and i'm a blubbering mess..... i'll be back in here for a shoulder...

again, many thanks possums. you're very much appreciated.
posted by taff at 2:10 AM on November 12, 2007

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