An Easter Salute To A Sweet Tradition

April 22, 2011 at 1:25 pm , by

Mom proudly displaying her creations - the hard cast did not stop her from keeping tradition.

Happy Good Friday to all those getting ready for Easter this weekend! In the spirit of a holiday with so many seemingly random symbols, like bunny suits, fluffy chicks, and copious amounts of jelly beans, I’d like to share one that’s particularly close to my heart. For as long as I can remember (and since long before my first Easter), my mom, Linda, has made the beautiful, personalized chocolate Easter eggs that you see pictured here. She uses the same mold today that she used the first time she made them back in 1969 (it was my Grandma’s originally and suffered an almost-fatal crack during Easter 2010).

My mom starts by  making chocolate half-shells using the mold, then fills them with fluffy chocolate in the center before encasing them with another half-shell and delicately piping each seam. Then she pipes the person’s name in script, on the front. The egg looks like something out of a storybook – anyone would celebrate if they were lucky enough to get one!

That Spring season of ‘69, my mom was raising money to visit her sister Susan, who was living in San Diego at the time (a pricey airfare for a young teen in Ohio). She decided to sell these eggs, which are as delicious as they are special, to family, friends, and neighbors in order to fund her cause. Talk about a nest egg! Not only did she make enough to buy her plane ticket, but she also made enough to enjoy her time in San Diego that summer.  She fondly remembers spending some of it at the movies to see Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate — the screening of which was stopped halfway through so she and the other movie patrons could watch Neil Armstrong walk on the moon!

After the success of that first batch of Easter eggs, my mother made them every year following, and traded what was at first an entrepreneurial idea for what has become one of our most cherished holiday traditions. Mid-lent she prompts my sister and I for our ‘egg lists’ so that she can start the intricate assembling they require. And usually by the week of Palm Sunday we’ve each received an Easter-themed box from her, full of our friends’ and co-workers’ names inscribed perfectly in pastel shades on the shiny, molded chocolate. Anyone who has been lucky enough to be on my egg list in the past knows how incredible they are, whether you celebrate Easter or not, and this year is no exception.

Beyond just physically admiring these creations, I most admire what the eggs symbolize, and perhaps the symbol that gets lost in any holiday shuffle… the importance of spending that time connected to your family and friends.  It’s easy to equate the wealth of loved ones I’m fortunate enough to have when I look down at their names all in a row, penned in sugar.  So this Sunday, whether you’re at church, at home, or face-down in the food you banned yourself from eating after Fat Tuesday, remember the lesson my mom’s eggs annually remind me of: they started as a way to connect my mom with her sister, and today they still represent that connection -  between she and I, my own sister… and all the other eggs in our basket. Happy Easter, everyone!

26 Responses to “An Easter Salute To A Sweet Tradition”

  1. Love it! Can I be on the egg list next year?? They are beautiful and so is the tradition – and your mom!

  2. I have been fortunate to have an egg from my sister every year since 1969. Yum!

  3. My sister Linda has made eggs for me most of my life and for many years has been making them for
    my Avon Lake family as well, a labor of love.

  4. What a lovely tradition, and one that I am honored to be a part of. Linda’s kindness, and love of her family and friends, clearly shows in all that she does.

  5. These are indeed wonderful! I have been a receiver and they are yummy. Keep up the nice tradition!

  6. Easter wouldn’t be Easter without ‘em! I can see mine in the picture!

  7. We have been lucky enough to be on her Easter egg list for many years now; in fact, she sent them to my parents and to my grandmother, whose name “Sweetiepie” was hard to fit on the egg (maybe somebody ate those too:) Now, she sends them to my children and grandchildren, and ours make it all the way to South Carolina when we aren’t in Ohio. It wouldn’t be Easter without them. Love to the blogger and the bloggee!

  8. Thank you for the special eggs. I look forward to getting the mail in South Carolina looking for my special delivery every Easter.

  9. A precious treat from a very special lady. Proud to be a recipient and celebrate the tradition with the family. Family & Consumer Science teachers of the Akron area

  10. Rachel, tell your mom that I am PRACTICALLY related and I need my own egg!

  11. It is always a treat to be gifted in such a special way by such a special friend. Everyone looks forward to her chocolates and considers themselves very lucky. Thanks for sharing.Happy Easter to the many who read this special article and may be lucky enough to be eating the egg!!!

  12. Jack would like to say that he likes Mrs. Shippy’s pies AND her eggs. He opened the box when he got to Fripp Island and was very excited about his Jack egg. Thanks for including him.

  13. Thank you for my egg and for my apple pies! Happy Easter!

  14. Your eggs are much better tasting than the boklavos (sp????) and what a nice treat to find them at Fripp Island. You make Easter so special. Hopefully, Jason’s will make it back to Akron in tact, but with Papa Chuck around?????!!!!!

  15. If it wasn’t for my magical husband the egg mold would have died, as he was somehow able to fix it so Linda could keep creating these beauties. We are now, or at least he is now on the permanent egg list.

  16. Wow, I have been the recipient of this wonderful “tradition” without really knowing the 42 year tradition and the story behind its origin! (Linda barely looks 42 herself!) How fun! Nothing close to this in Barberton, Ohio.

    I have a specific way I eat this egg. One, wonderful, mouth watering piece is cut off on the first day. I cut a small piece off each day after, until it is gone. I want to make it last as long as I can!!

    Thank You, Thank you, my friend! Cheers to You!

  17. Thank you so much for sharing this family tradition in a time when so many our being lost. I feel Blessed to be part of this family that keeps traditions alive..

    Are you coming home to build a ginderbread high rise?

  18. What a great story and special tradition…thanks for sharing such a wonderful story.

  19. What a great story and wonderful tradition and what an amazing mom.

  20. What a neat tradition. The chocolate egg was very delicious. Thanks for letting me be part of your family tradition. It’s great to have wonderful friends!

  21. I am so fortunate to be part of this happy tradition. I wish I could savor this beautiful, delicious egg for a long time but that is impossible. Your mom has carried on for many years and you may follow in her footsteps. What a terrific way to celebrate !!!

  22. The egg project brings happiness and cherished memories to many, but your mom obviously has an even better recipe – one for raising two wonderful daughters. I’m glad you shared your heartfelt story. Thanks.

  23. Your mom sent me the link to this. I loved reading it and am so glad she shared it with me! I’m so proud of you and how well you write. (I also feel as if I know a celebrity, so that’s extra fun!) Take care, Rachel.

  24. They look beautiful and yummy! Wonderful tradition =)

  25. A special teacher of mine that I had in the past, made me one of these delicious decorative eggs. Still to this day I have never forgotten the true meaning behind her wonderful creation.It is something dear to me heart forever and for always.

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