When we were little kids, I remember being taken to visit my parent’s friends around Christmas time. We would go and sit around, being way too polite for far too long, knowing that there would be treats after a while. One of my favorites was the sour fruits, hard tart candies coated in fine sugar. You could tell what flavor you were getting because the color showed through the sugar dusting as a pale pastel hue and the only question was whether the red one you were choosing was raspberry or strawberry.
We were allowed to pick one of each color, and could sample a flavor right there, so it was always one of the reds and for some reason, it was always strawberry. We made sure that we got as much of the sugar frosting from the container into our selection so we could dip our moistened fingers in it and enjoy it after the candies themselves were gone.
Over the years, we came across many commercial variations on these; pastilles I think they were called, in small metal tins. They were dusted with sugar like the ones we remembered and tasted pretty good, but lacked the comfy feeling of being kids at Christmas with homemade candy.
When we were in Yellowstone last winter with DLWS, I came across these berries and leaves on a tree with a frosting of frozen steam from the nearby geyser and immediately thought of those candies. I didn’t eat any, but have been thinking about them since.