Who doesn’t love a Peep?
And Jelly Belly jelly beans?
Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs?
Cadbury Creme Eggs?
Big rich waxy chocolate bunnies wrapped in printed aluminum foil?
Pastel colored M&Ms?
Wow … the list is loooong (it would be much longer … just think about it!).
And the sense memory is even longer!
I mean … when I was a kid, the Easter basket was all about the candy.
I love the memory of waking up to the pastel colored basket with cellophane straw filled with treats upon treats … of digging through the technicolor green “grass” to find all the jelly beans. Making trades with my sisters … “I’ll give you the Reese’s Peanut Eggs and make your bed if you give me your Cadbury Creme Egg!” (The Cadbury eggs were prime in our house.)
And Peeps … man … this is a tough one for me. My college roommate and I nearly lived on Peeps because they were a fat-free treat and that was the food fad of our days … I even shared a Facebook post with her last week with a recipe for a Peep Martini because every time I see a Peep I think of Karen and smile and want to call and talk to her for hours. (By the way, she is still one of my best friends and favorite people in the world.)
And these are just a few of the reasons it’s such a challenge, now that we’re committed to a real food lifestyle, to wrap our heads around changing what goes into a an Easter Basket, right?
Because now we know how bad high fructose corn syrup is. And now we wonder what makes those chocolate bunnies so waxy and can’t decide if it’s delicious or gross? (It’s gross.) And have fleeting concerns that any candy wrapped in aluminum might be leaching the aluminum?? (I honestly don’t know the answer to that … just crossed my mind this morning when I was thinking about this post. It’s probably a little paranoid.)
So when we take away all the HFCS … all the preservatives … all the processed milk chocolate and GMO candy, what’s left?
I mean … is it Easter without a Peep??
… We probably shouldn’t forget the origins of this holiest of holy days. As I’m just not sure that on that very first Easter there were folks looking for a sugar high. So basically, yes, I think it’s safe to say it might still be Easter without the candy.
But we want our kids to wake up with the same enthusiasm and be thrilled with discoveries inside their baskets.
Last year, we filled our baskets with books and sunflower seeds to plant and bunny ears and plastic eggs filled with homemade mini vanilla butterfly cookies and an empty Pez dispenser and handwritten notes from E. Bunny. As a special treat, our little girl got a “Spring scarf.” And my Mom sent us some chocolate (so that ended up in Mommy and Dada’s basket … And yes, there was a bag of jelly beans… old habits die hard 🙂
This year, we’re planning on losing the beans, adding Abby’s Coconut Balls (which we might dip in homemade dark chocolate). More butterfly cookies (we used our basic vanilla cookie recipe, small butterfly cookie cutters, and a homemade pink icing that’s colored with mixed berry juice). Another book and a new pair of bunny ears (last year’s headband cracked about 2 months ago and we’ve struggled to play dress-up without proper bunny ears). And some wildflower seeds. We’re planning a new flower-garden spot for our backyard, and it’ll be fun to plant them with the littles! (And we’ll probably give in and add a new horse to the little guy’s basket … suckers that we are.)
What’s going into your baskets this year?