Posted to OGR on 04/04/2010
Growing up, Easter was one of the four major celebrations in my extended family, the other three being Christmas, Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July. The anticipation of Easter was always heightened by the season of Lent that peaked with Holy Week. I remember rising early and searching for Easter eggs in the back yard before getting dressed in my new spring clothes and going to church. My early Easters found me singing in the choir, and as I got older, I was an altar boy. After church, we had a quick breakfast of Easter eggs and one or two selected candies from the basket; not the healthiest of meals, couldn’t do that today. Later we would drive to our cousin’s house or they would come to ours and the real celebration would begin. We would start with another Easter egg hunt for the kids. I went from eager participant in my younger years to “assistant Easter Bunny” in my teen years. I always hid one egg in a hard to find place, just to see if the kids could find it. Later we would all sit down to the big meal of the day; ham, potato salad, green beans and corn on the cob just to get started. I have over 20 first cousins on both sides of the family so you can imagine what those gatherings were like. Nothing can compare to being surrounded by a large, loud, boisterous family celebrating a holiday. Everyone knows they belong!
The centerpiece of every Easter basket of my youth was a large, hollow chocolate bunny. There were no chemicals or additives in that gastronomical wonder. Nothing but pure milk chocolate! I don’t know where Mom found them every year, but that bunny didn’t change from the first Easter basket I remember until the last, the year I left for college. He was glorious! There was no way I could ever have eaten him entirely in one day. The best I could do was two, but there were years when I tried to make him last as long as I could. The longest was a week. I think that was probably lucky, if it went much longer, I think it would have spoiled. To this day, I keenly remember that sugary, chocolaty smell when I took the first bite. Now that's an aroma that I haven’t smelled in a long, long time.
Copyright 2010 Rick Wrigley