Happy Easter! I'm excited because we have a perfect Easter candy mix this year! Dove and Ferrero Roche chocolate eggs, Swedish fish, and Jelly Belly jelly beans with almost all my favorite flavors. I used to get what I call an autumn sunset mix at the mall candy stores where you bag your own pound of jelly beans: Pear, banana, peach, grapefruit, red AND green apple, margarita, canteloupe, cappuccino, toasted marshmallow, chocolate pudding, root beer, vanilla bean, popcorn, and coconut. You know, the fruit flavors that aren't too sugary and the junk food flavors that my mixed up brain calls the savoury ones but which are really just the more bitter ones.
Coconut jelly beans are especially dear to me. I can remember being three or four, six at the oldest the first time I had one while visiting my uncle in Washington D.C. (This may be memories of two trips-- one with just my immediate family at three and another with my cousins at age six.) Jelly Bellies were still hard to find in stores at the time, though I usually saw them in mail order catalogs and had a burning curiosity about what a "gourmet jelly bean" was. We bought a bag at the mall and ate them on the subway. I couldn't believe there were coconut, vanilla, and toasted marshmallow jelly beans that actually tasted like those other foods. The coconut one stood out, I think because we had fewer jelly beans in the bag that trip when I was three and it had been a long day and when you hardly ever get candy, a really good jelly bean is the most incredible thing you can taste. Not sugar, just flavor oil and wax. I had only had the overly sugary Brachs ones up to that point and after the revelation that some jelly bean mixes had spearmint beans and others had lime, this coconut jelly bean opened up a whole new world to me of sugar candy that tasted like something other than sugar or ascorbic acid. Am I trying to sell you jelly beans? No. I am just waxing nostalgic and remembering a time long ago when flavor oils in candy were a new and wonderful thing. And EATING CANDY ON THE SUBWAY. We were going somewhere and snacking and my parents were wondering if we should be eating candy on the subway and my brain thought I was very adult because the jelly beans were GOURMET PUDDING AND MARSHMALLOW AND POPCORN AND COCONUT FLAVORED! I hadn't even had a real coconut yet but this perfect white jelly bean prepared me for the experience.
Of course, what today was really about was family and Jesus rising from the dead, and I think it was a success on those fronts too. Mom and I were so happy to see my cousins' family, their aunt, and their grandmother at church. My cousin's son Graham was happily excited and ran after the girls who were lighting the candle, so Nathan had to run after him and catch him. Erin took down a match for him later and threw it in the fireplace for him to watch burning away so he got at least a little more pyromania in later in the afternoon. He was also really enthusiastic about shouting Allelujah during the children's sermon, and wanted to do it again when our pastor repeated the call and response for the whole congregation. He wanted to run down to the front again but wasn't allowed to and burst into tears at the end. He recovers really fast though and is one of the best behaved kids I've ever seen. His sister Sara Jane was more quiet in church but seemed mostly happy-sleepy. And there were dogs! And a goat! And after my uncle took care of his grape fields we had wine and cheese and crackers and salami on the deck while my aunt took a nature hike on the farm with Mom. All in all a happy Sunday.
Hope you had a happy Easter too!