Treasure Notes

The Man who Saved the White House Easter Egg Hunt

Andrew Johnson was the first president to have an Easter Egg hunt at the White House, but Rutherford B. Hayes is the one who rescued and institutionalized the event – 137 years ago  today, on April 22, 1878.

Rutherford B. Bunny - we miss you!

The President who by Executive order, saved Easter

The Easter Egg Rolls (as they were then called) were actually held on Easter Monday, not Easter Sunday – and they were held on Capitol Hill.  Families would gather for picnics and the kids would merrily tear about, rolling (and presumably hunting for) Easter eggs.

But then….a bunch of grumpy Grinchy congressmen decided that they didn’t want to blow any of their maintenance budget on repairing a lawn torn up by giggling, happy kids and basically passed a law that said, “not in my House (of Representatives).

No kidding – we couldn’t make this up.  In a moment of financial prudence (read: total Grinch-ery), to keep kids from playing on the lawn, Congress passed a law that prevented “any portion of the Capitol grounds and terraces from being used as playgrounds.”  By definition, since this law passed both houses of Congress, a majority of Congressmen in 1878 actually proved themselves to be grinch-worthy.

1877 brought heavy rains so the hunt was cancelled – but in 1878, the grumple-stilskins in Congress were determined to keep those meddling kids away from their grass and then gave notice that the Lawn Law would be enforced.  Really.

White House circa late 1800's

White Bunny, White House. Coincidence?

One of the great things about kids is that they’re typically not shy about asking for what they want.  While Rutherford B. Hayes, was out taking his daily afternoon walk around Washington (my how times were different then), the kids went straight up t him and told him of their plight – and asked if they could have the Easter Egg Hunt on the White House South Lawn.

The good-humored President actually had no idea what they were talking about – but promised to follow up on it with his staff.  And he DID.  President Hayes, checked with his staff and learned about the threatened cancelling of the D.C. tradition.  He then issued an official order that if any children showed up on Easter Monday to Egg Roll, they should be allowed to do so.

Word spread quickly – so even those kids who showed up on Capitol Hill soon learned about the venue upgrade.  “Egg Rolls,” “Egg Hunts,” “Egg Picking,” “Egg Ball,” “Toss and Catch,” and “Egg Croquet” at the White House!

Keeping the tradition alive, there’s an Easter Egg Hunt at the White House every year… and also of course at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center.

Chocolate Easter Eggs this Year including some from your favorite candy bars

Chocolate Easter Eggs this year

The Easter selections seem to be in full force now and I had to go see what was interesting.  I am happy to see that while the Christmas candy selection was very disappointing this year, the Easter selection did have some interesting things. There are some interesting novelty candies as well as a solid selection of chocolate Easter eggs.

Besides our own Choco Treasure Spider-man chocolate surprise egg that is on sale at Target this year (and seems to be selling quite well- thank you very much), there are several other chocolate Easter eggs from your favorite candy manufacturers. While I generally resent when brands like Snickers just put their bite size bars in a plastic egg and call it Easter, in this case they and others made an egg shape bar for Easter as well as the plastic version. There were several versions available and all for around 65 cents.

Flat chocolate Easter eggs from candy bar makersChocolate Easter Eggs

The Snickers Egg came in an egg shape bar. The chocolate on top was impressed with Easter egg looking grooves, at least I think it did, as I had already taken a bite before I saw them. The egg itself was pretty good and tasted pretty much like a traditional Snickers bar. Overall a nice treat.

The Twix bar egg was very similar but a plain chocolate egg shape with a cookie and caramel center.  Perhaps it was the shape but the overall quality did not seem up to a normal Twix bar. But still a reasonable treat for 64 cents

The Milky Way egg was a bit of a surprise. While it said it was a bunny on the front, it was in the egg section and to my dumb surprise, was actually a bunny image imprint on the top of the chocolate. Besides that, it seemed to be a lower class version of the Milky Way bar called Simply Caramel with very little stuff in a chocolate shell. Not my favorite version of a Milky Way bar.

Finally, there was the ever popular Reese’s chocolate Peanut Butter Easter Egg. This is hard to get wrong and it did not surprise. It was full of delicious peanut butter of course, but similar to the other Easter egg versions of bars, simply do not live up to the original. While the peanut butter was fine, the chocolate coating was much thinner than you might get with a Reese’s cup and therefore the peanut butter overwhelmed the chocolate. I like how the thicker chocolate of the cup holds its own in flavor with the peanut butter inside. In the chocolate Easter egg, it is not the same balance. Also, while the other generally designed the chocolate on top, Reese’s was plain.

That outlines the candy bar versions of chocolate Easter eggs. We will visit other Easter candies in the next couple of posts. Thanks for reading.

A Short History of Easter Eggs and Delicious Chocolate Easter Eggs

Chocolate Easter Eggs – The Beginning of a Delicious Tradition

While Easter eggs have been around since almost the beginning of time, the chocolate Easter egg did not appear until the technology to mold chocolate was invented. Of course, the moment the ability to mold chocolate was discovered, the chocolate Easter eggs was very quickly added to the Easter season and has become a delicious part of every Easter.

History of Easter Eggs

It turns out that Easter itself started as a pagan ritual of spring time and the rebirth of life (and good weather). The egg  symbolizes  the beginning of life and since early times, Easter eggs were decorated as a form of respect for new life. The Easter Bunny himself was another important symbol of life as they are known for having so many babies.  The tradition was that the Easter Hare (Bunny) laid his Easter eggs for children who were good.  Hard to believe anyone every really thought that a Bunny laid eggs. Fortunately for all fans of the Easter egg hunt, a tradition that started with the Bunny leaving his eggs in a basket turned into a game for his randomly laid colored Easter eggs.

The Wonderful introduction of Chocolate Easter Eggs

Of course, candy and sweets were always a part of any Holiday. Early Saxon Spring celebrations included hot crossed buns. But as European chocolate manufacturers learned how to make and mold chocolate, the first chocolate Easter egg appeared in the early 1800s. It was, of course, solid chocolate and probably not very sweet. But over the next hundred years, better tasting chocolate and better molding techniques made chocolate Easter eggs a staple. In 1875, Cadbury made his first chocolate Easter egg and by 1893 Cadbury had 19 different lines of Easter chocolate including chocolate Easter eggs. In 1805 Cadbury developed his Milk chocolate, which became very popular and helped make the new tradition of chocolate Easter eggs even bigger.

Fun Sports Candy for Super Bowl

Choco Treasure Chocolate Surprise Football

Delicious Chocolate Surprise Football with a sports toy in every ball

Fun Sports Candy for Super bowl – Great ways to sweeten your party

Every year I try to find great sports candy treats for a Super bowl party.  While there are many snacks oriented for such events, there tend to be very little in the candy department to excite the candy lovers. Sports candy would seem to be the perfect thing to have to excite and amaze your guests. There are all sorts of candy for every other Holiday, but there remains very little for Super bowl. But there are a few fun candies that are usually appreciated.

Choco Treasure Surprise Sports

Choco Treasure Sports chocolate surprise balls are one of my favorite sports candy. Reminds me of the old Wonder Ball from Nestle when it had a toy inside. But I do not recall Wonder Ball looking like a football. Choco Treasure chocolate surprise balls are fun wrapped sports themed chocolates that come in three different ball designs, including a football. Each one has a yummy outside shell of chocolate and the inside is always a fun toy surprise that is sports themed. The best part for most kids is opening them to see what fun toy surprise is inside. In addition to figurines, there are stickers, puzzles, 3D puzzles, spinning tops and squirt toys, all of which are sports themed. While the kids love the toy surprise, the adults usually get to eat the chocolate. A win-win if I ever heard of one.

Madelaine Milk Chocolate Footballs

Madelaine makes some very good simple chocolates wrapped to look like footballs. Simple solid chocolate in the shape of a football that is perfect to fill a bowl on the table. These footballs are made of very good chocolate and look cute as part of any Super Bowl celebration. But keep them out of reach so you do not eat too many.

Palmer Football

Palmer also makes small chocolate sports balls that are mixed together with soccer, baseball, basketball as well as footballs which are inexpensive but I like the football alone for this particular party. Also, Palmer makes a small peanut butter football that is hard to refuse that comes in a mesh bag.

Palmer makes their traditional large chocolate hollow football as well. It is crispy chocolate, more candy like than chocolaty but very sweet. I like to put a few on a platter and let people break off pieces as the game goes on. I have also had a few shatter on deep pass plays in my kitchen.

Football Lollipops

Fun Football Lollipops

Tasty Lollipops in the shape of a football

 

On the candy front, there is always the simple football lollipop. There are several in the market, but they all have a similar taste and design and they all look very good grouped together in a bowl.

See’s Rocky Road Football

The famous See’s candy make a large size Rocky Road Football. This is a nice sports candy to display. The rocky road with chocolate, walnuts and marshmallows is always a tasty treat during football games. The only problem that I have is deciding if I should slice it beforehand, or let others slice themselves. If you slice it, it does not look like a football, so I usually leave people to their own devices. It is sports candy after all.

Here are some fun and tasty sports themed candies and chocolate that you can put around the house either for entertaining at a Super bowl party or just for your own eating pleasure. It always seems to make the playoffs and the Super bowl itself more festive. Enjoy!

Healthy Candy Choices for your New Year’s Resolution

Healthy Candy Choices versus Sweet Tooth?

As a fellow candy lover, are you torn by your love of candy and your pressing need to fulfill that New Year resolution to cut back? I consumed more than my fair share of candy and chocolate over the Holidays especially those Spiderman Christmas Ornaments that I could not stop eating each and every day of the Holiday with that fun toy inside- kind of like Kinder eggs but ornaments. Now I need to cut back, but my sweet tooth demands some satisfaction.  What to do? Are there healthy candy choices to satisfy both needs?

With that in mind, I took a look at ways to meet both needs. What are some more healthy candies that I could consume for the next month while I get back in shape to eat all my old favorites again?  I did some research and found several sweet treats that will not ruin what little self-control I possess.

First Healthy Candy choice is Hard Candy

The first and perhaps easiest candy to find and consume without too much guilt is your basic hard candy. I picked up a nice cinnamon hard candy at Walmart and to my surprise it was only about 20 calories and no fat. The good news about hard candy is that if you do not bite into it too early, it gives a consistent sweet experience for quite a long time. For the most part, this satisfies my need for sweet for quite a while. There are quite a few flavors to choose from but all generally give a solid dose of sweet with few calories and no fat.

York Peppermint Patty

Now for those of us who demand a wee bit of chocolate in your craving, I found the delicious York Peppermint Patty as a relatively healthy candy choice to help meet your New Year Resolutions. The snack size York Peppermint Patty has 60 calories and only 1 gram of fat. As Hersey points out on their package, these little patties have “70% less fat” than the average chocolate bar. Despite the lower fat and calorie content, York Peppermint patties are delicious. The combination of dark chocolate with a creamy mint inside should satisfy almost any craving without busting the calorie bank. The snack size versions also keep you from eating more than you should.

Nutra Trim Chewing Gum

If all that fails and you need more to satisfy those cravings, then I would also recommend Nutra Trim gum, which I chew all year to help me keep in shape. Nutra Trim comes in a delicious mint flavor and has green tea extract and chromium to help you eat less. And it is sugar free with only 5 calories in two pieces. The sweet flavor alone helps my cravings, and maybe the ingredients help as well. They sure don’t hurt.

So, for all of you who have made the resolution to eat better or lose weight, here are a few ideas to help you out. Let me know if you have discovered any other crave killing tricks.