Monday, April 9, 2012

The Chocolate Bunnies That Live In My Closet

I'm not a fan of candy.

I don't really like it very much and I really don't like my kids to eat it.  Jeff has always thought I was stingy and mean when it came to how strictly I prohibited the kids' candy intake when they were little.  And I always thought Jeff was overindulgent and lacked self control when he would choose the "pleasure of sin for a moment" over good nutrition and common sense in allowing the kids to eat lots of candy.  To this day, I actually have to look away when I watch Jeff eat chocolate like one would eat a sandwich...chomp, chomp, chomp.  All gone.  Me, I savor every bite...when I decide to take one!  I'm very selective, first of all.  It must be top quality, like Bernard Callebaut or Moonstruck.  Then it must be stashed away in a secret place until I'm in the mood.  Then I take one small bite and let the chocolate slowly melt and spread across my tongue, tasting the richness and feeling the smoothness of that one perfect bite.  Then I'm done, and my chocolate is carefully wrapped up and tucked away until the next time...which could be a few months or even longer.  It drives my kids crazy.  They used to ask me all the time, "Can I have your chocolate?"  When I would say no, they would always reply, "But you're not eating it."  I would assure them I most definitely was, and even if it took me a year to finish it, it was still mine!

When the kids were very small, I could get away with just a few small candies in their Easter baskets, and the rest of the contents were gifts...small toys, socks, books, barrettes, play-dough, sidewalk chalk, and other fun "little" things.  As they grew older, I would give them a few of their favorite candies, but I still put the emphasis on little gifts.  My mom and Jeff's mom, however, would provide them with huge chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, Peeps, and Cadbury Creme Eggs (the worst candy EVER!).  I would let them eat freely from their baskets on Easter Sunday because there was so much other good food served at Easter Brunch or Dinner that they really didn't overeat.  But the next day, I would sneak part of their basket contents away and stash it in my bin for next year.  Yep.  Pretty bad, huh?  Of course, the older they got the harder this became.  Finally, I pretty much gave up.  The only candy I could salvage was the stuff they didn't like, usually the jelly beans.

This year I did something I never do...I gave everyone a chocolate bunny.  I usually make up some kind of little basket for all our college kids, but this year I decided to buy gold foil-wrapped Lindt chocolate bunnies because they matched my color scheme for my Easter table.  I put one at every place and they looked great.  I liked the bright colors of this year's table...yellow, orange and red.  It was vivid, sunshiny and bright.  After the wettest March in history (no joke...we broke the record!), pastels just weren't far enough away from the shades of gray we had endured the month before, so I chose the cheeriest spring colors I could find!

Dinner itself was so yummy.  We had both a ham and a lamb.  I treated the lamb to a flavorful rub and roasted it and the ham was baked and topped with a peach glaze.  Then we had one of my most favorite side dishes---rich and creamy risotto, fragrant with white wine and flecked with fresh mint to complement the lamb.  For the vegetable we had asparagus, because it is the favorite of most of our gang.  But I made it special by drizzling on a lemon-butter sauce made silky by whisking in egg yolk and simmering it to a smooth and glossy finish.  The salad was butter lettuce, a more delicate, tender leaf than romaine, and I tossed it with carmelized peaches, feta cheese, avocado, green onion and a peach vinaigrette.  Then I attempted homemade hot cross buns.  I made them the night before and refrigerated them until their last rise before baking in the morning, but I think that toughened them.  The flavor was great but the texture was a bit heavy and dry.  Oh, perfection this year!  My mom always brings deviled eggs, but I found the cutest deviled eggs on Pinterest that looked like fluffy yellow chicks coming out of their shells.  I forwarded it to her and she felt up to the challenge.  They turned out adorable that it was a little hard to eat them!  Then for dessert we had lemon meringue parfaits with lavender shortbread.  Honestly, I'd skip the candy any day but shortbread calls to my heart and wins me over every time.  I think I would probably eat it until it made me sick if I didn't conjure up every ounce of willpower to stop after one piece!

After that wonderful meal and lots and lots of laughter, I cleaned up and put everything back in order.  The kids loaded up their laundry and laptops and left for school.  I noticed that my daughter had left her Easter basket and her bunny behind.  I took them upstairs with the other Easter decor to pack away for next year (chocolate keeps pretty much indefinitely, just for your info!).  As I was finishing up the last of the kitchen and just about ready to head to bed, Jeff reads my daughter's Facebook status out loud to me:  "Mom, I left my chocolate bunny at home.... Please don't hide it and then save it for next Easter!"  I put my hands to my face and confessed, "Aaaahhh!  That's exactly what I did!"  Jeff and Justin looked at me in disbelief and shook their heads in the next nicest thing to disgust.  "I can't believe you," Justin said.  "Oh, Karyn!" Jeff chimed in.

Busted by the Easter Bunny.

I humbly and dutifully went straight upstairs and took the gold bunny out of my closet and put him back in my daughter's room.

I'm repenting.  From now on, I will not steal my children's Easter candy.

{or their Halloween candy}

{or their Christmas candy}

Sorry, kids.


  1. You are hilarious. I feel almost the same way about candy (most of it). I definitely have my weaknesses (Twix, Baby Ruth), but I don't save it. I sneak it out of their stash and throw it away.

    My kids didn't have a single piece of candy, cookie (even grahams!) until they were at least two years old. They have developed a love of candy only in the past year or so, but I always maintain strict control over how much of it they eat. Yes, control freak.

    We throw away more candy in this household than the average, I'm sure. I don't think we've ever depleted a candy dish (except when filled with peanut M&M's) and I keep candy in a dish on my coffee table all the time.

    Did you know there's a website devoted to how long you can store food items? It categorizes just about every food imaginable and tells how long to store and best method for storing. It's cool. Yes, this may become your favorite site!

    Here's proof that chocolate can be stored for a year and still be ok to eat.

    Your Easter table was beautiful, and the menu sounds delicious! I wish I could have been there. Someday.

  2. ah-huh...yep, thats what I do too. Sure, right, you betcha.
    You two make me laugh. (Karyn/Denise). Actually, our kids did not have much candy this year either. We bought Bey Blades for Caleb and Braidon, and nail polish for Elisa. Along with little things, tooth brush...etc. I baked two hams, and all the side dishes that go along with ham. Auntie Sharon came over from the valley, and baked three pies. Oh, oh my. She is quite the baker. They were wonderful.
    Your table was lovely, Karyn. So very pretty.
    Hope you can rest a bit. Love you! Sasa