Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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Berry Bunnies

What’s a Mama to do when kids turn into adults, but she doesn’t?

I have three boys and three DILs, and when Easter loomed on the horizon, my thoughts went to Easter baskets. The last few years, the guys haven’t been too thrilled with their EB gifts. For some reason, yo-yos, Silly Putty and Slinkys just don’t put big smiles on most of their faces.

So this year I thought, what should I do? Hm. I know. A bunny.

So I rushed to T-Town and bought a nice white bunny with loooong ears.

You know how bunnies are. As expected, one bunny multiplied.

And multiplied.

Until there were six! Yay!

Just what I needed. Six bunnies for six kiddos.

 But they’re all sitting on empty boxes. I can’t give my kids empty boxes, can I? What to fill those boxes with?

Since it’s springtime, and I wanted somethng that wasn’t a candy egg, I decided on berries. But I couldn’t just put plain berries in the box. And since topping them with whiffed cream wasn’t an option–too messy–I had to think of something else.

  Strawberries. (My fav.)

Lots of berries.

 I could dip them in chocolate, put them in a paper muffin cup and set them in the boxes. But I’d read that you couldn’t make them too far ahead or the chocolate would sweat.

Imagine eating a sweaty chocolate. Ga-ross!

So I looked up Martha. You know Martha, don’t you? Martha Stewart–one of my all time housekeepping/cooking/organizing gurus.

She agreed. Make them just a little ahead of time and they’ll be “perfect.”

I rushed home from our Easter service at church and started melting chocolate in a homemade double boiler. Last time I tried to make a double boiler using a bowl, I broke the bowl, so I was careful not to put much water in my sauce pan. (For some reason, even Pyrex bowls don’t like boiling water on their undersides while cold things are on the oversides.)

 I used semi-sweet chocolate

and white chocolate.

When time was growing short and the white chocolate hadn’t hardened yet, I put them in the fridge for a few moments. That helped.

Just before the kids were due, I lined the boxes with wax paper and boxed them up.

 I put a few sparkles on this one. In the picture, it looks like freckles, but it was really pretty. 🙂

Bunny boxes filled with chocolate covered strawberries.

Of course, #1 Son complained he doesn’t like anything on his strawberries except sugar. I’ll remember that next year. It’s a whole lot easier!

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Happy Resurrection Day (aka Easter)

Easter is actually the name of a fertility goddess, so I’m going with Resurrection Sunday.

♪♫ In your Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it

you’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade . . . ♫♪

Did your mama sing that song this time of year? Mine sang a lot, and this time of year she liked to sing Easter Bonnet.

We sang this is Miss Thelma’s music class, too. (Miss Thelma was reported to have a glass eye and a dying husband. She called everyone–student, parent and principal–“Honey Love.”) She even explained what a rotogravure is. Or was.

Did the Easter Bunny visit you when you were a kid? He visited me . . . a time or two. Not like I see now days, of course. It was much more fun getting to dye eggs.

Mama boiled dozens of eggs (with six kids she needed a lot) bought the dye tablets and we dyed with the scent of cider vinegar filling our heads until “the world looked level.”

Then on Easter, we’d take turns hiding and finding the eggs.

I asked my walking buddy if they did Easter eggs when she was a kid. Absolutely, her family did. Her parents hid the eggs before they got up on Easter morning, and the kids would rush out to find them. Then they peeled and ate them.

That kind of shocked me. For us, Easter eggs were hidden and found over and over until they cracked, were broken or lost. (When one was lost and found several weeks later . . . blech!)

Remember wearing Easter bonnets and white gloves? (They didn’t stay white very long when I wore them.) We had can-cans to make our skirts full and rustle-y. And since we always went to church–on Easter, too–we had Easter dinner at home. That usually meant with dad’s parents and family, but sometimes Mom’s side would go to church with us on Easter and stay for Sunday dinner.

And remember when everyone had an Easter Lilly? Sometimes we filled the church with them, other times we only saw the ones that someone sent as a gift. Grandmother planted hers in the garden when it quit blooming, and sometimes it would live and bloom again.

This evening we’re celebrating birthdays–BBs and mine. BB requested roast, mashed potatoes and gravy. I’m fixing the roast and gravy. This year since I have three adult sons with wives, I’ll have help fixing it! (Yay!)

For birthday cake we’re having strawberry shortcake. (Oh, yeah! Love that SSC.) We do it the easy way. We buy the dessert cups and fill them with strawberries, topped with whipped cream.

I don’t know if there’ll be any Easter baskets, but there might be a surprise or two. 🙂

I hope you have a happy, Spirit led, family filled Resurrection Sunday!

Ps: Without looking, do you know what a rotogravure is?