It’s almost Easter, and while I know that Easter is the biggest religious holiday of the year for us Christians, and the holiday is really about the sacrifice that Christ gave for us in dying on the cross and rising from the dead, my childhood memories of Easter don’t include much about that. In fact, my biggest Easter memories are of wearing itchy, lacy pastel dresses and those little ankle socks with white patent leather shoes. My Dad was a photographer, and he had to put us out in front of the fabulous azalea bushes that Pawpaw grew, and we had to have photos taken. We’d each be dressed in a different pastel color – thankfully Momma didn’t subscribe to the matching outfit club – and we’d take our Easter pictures. I don’t remember it being all that pleasurable. Then, we’d go to Mass and sit in the “cry room” with Momma and my two brothers.
What I remember best about Easter were the Easter baskets. That was before the time when it was considered sacrilegious to have fun on religious holidays, and we could openly worship the Easter Bunny which really makes no sense at all. Why does a bunny bring eggs? Shouldn’t it be an Easter chicken? Regardless of whether a bunny would lay eggs or not, as a child I loved Easter morning. Why? Gold Brick Eggs and Heavenly Hash Eggs….OMG….those were the delicacies that a Louisiana Easter bunny brought to us little kids. There were also jelly beans, those little marshmallow peeps, and colored eggs, but who cares about that stuff? I wanted the chocolate! There was usually a big Elmer’s chocolate bunny whose ears were the best chocolate I’d ever put in my mouth. I’m sure there wasn’t an Easter that I didn’t spend with chocolate smeared all over my face. Even as a child the sweet, creamy, rich flavor of chocolate touched something inside of me that kept me coming back for more.
For many years, Momma would send me Easter care packages filled with Heavenly Hash Eggs, Pecan Eggs and Gold Brick Eggs. Elmer’s candy was not available up North. I had no idea that this was the case until I went out to buy candy for my first husband’s first married Easter Basket, and I couldn’t find them anywhere. It was a catastrophic disappointment. I can find Elmer’s in Memphis, but I don’t really buy Easter candy anymore. I might buy one or two, but without kids and with a big interest in health, it’s just not a priority anymore. Besides, chocolate is readily available year-round now. When I was a kid, chocolate was a treat. It’s hardly the indulgence that it once was.
I’m working on my diet with my hypoglycemia, and I can’t eat sugar like I used to. But, thankfully, chocolate has become revered as a health food filled with antioxidants and endorphins. We now know that there was a reason for chocolate to be a delicacy throughout the world for eons. It is not only good, it is good for you. The caveat is that it has to be pure chocolate – not filled with sugar and fat. Chocolate in its natural state is the bearer of the most health claims. For info on the health benefits of chocolate, check out this site. I fit chocolate into my regular eating plan. Today, I had 2 oz. of dark chocolate with 3 oz. of Greek Yogurt to balance it with protein. It was a real treat.
I thought I’d share some other healthy chocolate treats in case you were interested. Of course, the occasional Gold Brick Egg or Heavenly Hash Egg is definitely okay, but for daily or weekly fare, some of the below items might be a better choice. Click on the pictures for the captions. And, lest I give you the wrong idea, I will be making room for at least one luscious Gold Brick Egg over the Easter Holiday or maybe even a chocolate bunny…solid chocolate… not that hollow crap. Nothing brings back the Easters of my childhood like Elmer’s candies.