This Easter Sunday, my family will attend church, and spend time together. One activities we look forward to is the annual family Easter egg hunt. Even though it really has nothing to do with the religious part of the holiday, it wouldn’t seem right not to have it.
The funny thing is, I don’t really remember having egg hunts when I was a kid growing up. I remember coloring eggs, the baskets, and even the trips to the mall to have our pictures taken inside an elaborate egg with the Easter Bunny. There were also trips to The Denver tea room with Grandma where we had brunch with the Easter Bunny (and Santa in December). But I don’t think we did egg hunts, because at the time, there weren’t plastic hinged eggs that could be filled with candy and other treats. We only had hard boiled eggs, and mom and dad didn’t want to risk not finding an egg until it was too late.
In the mid 1990s, Mom and Dad held the first of many hinged-egg hunts, despite the fact both me and my brothers were already adults, and there were no grandchildren yet. I don’t think we would have gone along with it, except that lottery tickets were involved.
That’s right. This was no regular kiddie hunt. Mom and dad stuffed some of the eggs with scratch tickets, some with candy, and one with a special ticket the winner would turn in for a prize.
We were each given a plastic grocery bag, and we took our mark, got ready and set, and then it was time to go. I remember an arm flung across my chest and a mighty shove as one brother propelled himself out in front. Mom and Dad just stood by and laughed.
I was at a disadvantage. My brothers were both taller and faster than me. Still, I had a good eye, and managed to find many eggs. Five minutes later, laughing, we came back in the family room and began opening our eggs.
The scratch tickets were pretty evenly distributed, and the total winnings exceeded the cost of the eggs, though I don’t remember if I won anything personally. However, I found the special ticket.
“Oh, Janice, Roni found the special ticket,” my dad said with a sideways grin. I knew something was up. Dad had a twisted sense of humor. While my brothers feasted on jelly beans and Mom bit the ears off a chocolate bunny, dad presented me with a jar. I had to read the label before I understood what it contained. Inside were...pickled pig feet.
Dad assured me they were edible, and in some parts of the world even considered a delicacy. That’s what he always said when he wanted us to try something new to eat. He convinced me to eat the eyeballs of the fish he fried, as well as fish eggs from some of the lake fish he’d caught and cleaned, convincing me that it was “just like caviar.”
I’m happy to report, I did not try the pigs feet. In fact, I quietly set them on a shelf in the cupboard before I left that day. Little did I know, they would resurface again the next year--but I didn’t “win” them twice. I don’t know what happened to them in the end. Maybe Dad finally decided to eat his delicacy himself. Mom took over planning the hunts until the grandkids finally arrived, and then it was my brothers’ and my the job.