I’ve avoided the Peeps controversy, but this is a matter of corporate responsibility. To the Ralph’s supermarket chain, what possessed the leadership to decide that Peeps could be purchased only in the store? Like many, for nearly a year I’ve ordered my groceries online and picked them up curbside. When I tried to add Peeps to my order this week I learned the awful truth: risk Covid by going inside the store or do without them. A tough decision, but I’m forgoing them this year.
I’m not sure if I like Peeps, but I usually indulge in them at Easter even though you could just sit down and empty the sugar bowl tablespoonful by tablespoonful and have the same experience. I eat them out of tradition because my mother loved them. She was a Peeps purist—some might even say a Peeps snob—because only the original yellow chicks would do. She’d have none of these garish pink or blue bunnies.
Easter is very different again this year, the lack of Peeps notwithstanding. For the second year in a row we can’t gather with family or friends. I’ve been thinking about Easters past, my own as a child and when Christopher was little.
Easter once meant an array of new finery: spring coats, patent leather shoes, white gloves, and hats for the then-obligatory head covering at Mass. My sister and I often had new Easter purses as well, although in the south we used the quaint term “pocketbook.”
When Christopher was little David and I would dye and hide Easter eggs. Of course there’s been no one in the house to hunt for eggs for ages, but this year I tried my hand at dyeing just a few eggs using turmeric, blueberries, and beet juice rather than a Paas kit. The results are iffy, but the fused glass bowl made by my dear friend Linda more than makes up for my lack of artistry.
Perhaps missing Peeps is part of some primal Easter instinct to overconsume sugar that’s encoded in my DNA. My mother claimed that one year I stole downstairs before she or anyone was up and ate the entire contents of my Easter basket on Easter morning: the enormous chocolate rabbit, the crop of jelly beans, the complete cache of foil-wrapped and marshmallow eggs. I have no recollection of this gluttony, but she said I was sick all day. I won’t go that far today, making do with a few Jordan almonds as a treat.
May all your Easter and spring memories—made this year or recollected from years past—be sweet.