This week’s Remember the Time blog hop theme is cooking.
If you haven’t read this post on my wife failures you might not understand the lack of viable material I’m working with here, but funnily enough, I DO have a food related story for you all.
And I like to think I’m playing my own game of how far off I can be from the original theme while still being included in the blog link-up? Pretty sure I’m the only person playing and I’m winning. The last time I contributed a piece to the blog hop the theme was school picture day and I wrote about transitioning to contacts. This week the theme is cooking and I’m writing about Easter candy. If it still isn’t clear how
special different I am from your average Jane then consider this, because last week’s theme was about concerts from your past I was unable to participate because I never actually went to a concert as a kid/teenager (and only a few times as an adult)! Head, hanging in shame, right now.
In all seriousness I want to thank Emily from The Waiting and Kelly from Are You Finished Yet? for pushing me out of my nostalgic comfort zones and encouraging me to record my memories! You ladies rock.
Back to the topic at hand. In my close-knit family there is only one person who is supposed to cook ALL THE MEALS and that’s Grandma J. Growing up, our family of five and The Mother’s siblings and their children spent nearly every single holiday in Bismarck, North Dakota (where The Mother’s parents still live). While Grandma J is a great cook and perfectly capable, no one else is ever allowed in her kitchen, thus there isn’t a whole lot of generational cooking tips being passed on.
Luckily she’s got it handled. Each Thanksgiving there is competition style gorge-fest on her green bean casserole because it’s that good but none of us would dare bring our own version to the table so we have to hope there’s enough to go around. Grandma J’s Christmas Eve chili is to die for but I’ve only ever had it that one day of the year. My own mother won’t even attempt to recreate it.
We are your typical family who enjoy your typical group meals but what we really love are desserts. For us grandchildren, the best part of every big family dinner is the dessert that follows it. Each holiday has its own special food, pies for Thanksgiving, cookies at Christmas, ice cream at the lake for the 4th of July, and Easter boasts the best dessert of all, CANDY. SO MUCH CANDY.
The traditional Easter festivities begin with the grandkids hunting for the eggs we’ve colored the day before, and then searching the house for our Easter baskets filled with candy. Each grandchild has to find their own Easter basket without help from anyone else. Once we’ve secure our treasures we usually hole up in one of the bedrooms to trade our goodies. I ALWAYS get rid of my Peeps for more chocolate eggs, caramel treats, and candy corn (the pastel Easter colored ones). (I know there are two schools of thought on this, but you’re wrong if you think Peeps are anything but vile.)
Days earlier, after the parents have filled up our baskets they empty the leftover candy contents from the bags into this HUGE bowl that sits in the kitchen throughout the rest of the weekend. That bowl is always full no matter how much we eat and everyone (adults and kids alike) love the fact that we can snack on candy ALL DAY LONG. Holidays are great, aren’t they?
The key is to sneak a piece of candy each time you pass the bowl, that way you never have to dip into your own stash until the car ride home. Genius. If you can’t find someone who will trade you their extra Cadbury eggs, all you have to do is find the big bowl unattended and take your fill. Hopefully the skills of a candy-hoarding ninja become relevant later in life…
But one fateful spring sometime in the neighborhood of 2004-2006 (a year I was unable to get to North Dakota for Easter due to college and distance) something terrible, awful, and no-good happened. It pains me to think about it to this day.
Let me set the scene: my youngest cousin had stopped believing in the Easter Bunny and we were all getting older so it didn’t make sense to have an Easter egg hunt anymore. This was fine. But there was also rumblings of healthy eating in the air, and not gorging on too much candy all weekend and apparently the parents decided it was time to get rid of the big bowl of candy in the kitchen.
Everyone was appalled. What!?!? We could still have our personal baskets of junk but NO BIG BOWL??? How would we survive???
(That photo is from my cousin’s graduation party. The year they removed the big bowl haunts us all to this day.)
Of course those affected by the parent’s cruel actions did not take things lying down. They made signs. The grabbed bowls and spoons and made noise and they picketed through the kitchen shouting, “BRING BACK THE BIG BOWL!”‘ And, “WE WANT OUR CANDY!” There was a small riot but I was told things did not get violent thankfully.
And don’t think this was just a bunch of disgruntled teenagers, the biggest proponent of the bowl and the guy who started the march through the kitchen?
Grandpa F of course! In this picture he’s holding a water gun and enjoying a friendly family water fight. Don’t take away the man’s candy! It won’t be pretty.
Luckily, the generation of jerks (aka the parents), realized the error in their ways and the candy bowl was reinstated as a necessary staple of Easter, never to be removed again.
Does your family have any wacky traditions? 🙂 Click here to find the rest of this week’s cooking posts or to link your own!