Easter is an amazing holiday for a kid, yet a dichotomous one for a Catholic kid. All that candy! You want to please your parents and CCD teacher, right? All that candy! But how can you focus on the Easter miracle, sitting on a hard church pew, when everyone else you know is already digging in to their sugar-filled baskets? All that candy! Well, you learn to cope for about an hour and then you dig in.
Some kids would wake up on Easter morning and go on a hunt for the candy left by the Easter Bunny himself. We, however, were in on the accumulation of our basket contents. Tradition took us to Antoinette’s Sweets, a chocolate dream that seemed to be in a far away land. Turns out, it was only about 7 miles from our house. Walking into Antoinette’s you were instantly hit with the aroma of chocolate wafting through the air. You had to walk past the ice cream parlor to get to the hall of chocolate. I’m sure it wasn’t that big of a room, but I swear it was the size of a football field at the time. Every size, shape and flavor of Easter candy existed on their shelves and tables. Hollow and solid. Milk, dark and orange? Bunnies, chicks, lambs, crosses and eggs. Oh, the joy of being able to pick out what we wanted. Upon returning home, we’d haul out the Easter baskets and fill them up just so. After the obligatory plastic grass went in, the candy set up followed. In went the chocolate of various sizes, shapes and flavors. Then add lots of jelly beans, Peeps (well-aged, of course), Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs, malted milk eggs and more jelly beans. Part of the joy of the Easter basket was finding those long lost jelly beans at the bottom after you thought all the candy was gone!
Nowadays I still enjoy Easter candy. We don’t make the trek to Antoinette’s anymore; we usually hit the drug stores and supermarkets the day after for 50% off deals. There’s nothing like Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs. They’re still as good as I remember. I think I could survive just by eating those alone. Peeps are still “cured” in an opened package until they reach peak crunchiness. Pastel M&Ms and jelly beans cater to the Easter sweet tooth just as well as anything. It just goes to show you that you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the Easter candy season.