Roasted Peeps!

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What  a surprise I received Saturday when I dropped by my Mother-in-laws house.  She had invited a few of her great-grand children over  for an Easter celebration and they were having a grand old time roasting PEEPS marshmallow candies over an open fire. 

image There’s something unsettling about that for me- I mean WHO would roast those sweet little marshmallow chicks and bunnies over a FIRE?  And why would Grandma, of all people, encourage such a dastardly thing? The thought of sweet, innocent children putting a skewer through a marshmallow chick or bunny and roasting it over an open flame makes me cringe.

So what’s all this craziness about?  Roasted PEEPS!  According to Grandma- everyone is doing it.  PEEPS are marshmallows with sugar on top! When you roast them, the sugar caramelizes to make a hard crunchy shell. 

image As Easter draws to a close and family reunion season quickly approaches and all the pastel candy starts crowding the supermarket and drugstore shelves, consider buying some extra Peeps now for a Peep Roast at your reunion.

One thought- Peep S’mores?  Does that make them S’meeps?

Easter, Eggs, Bunnies and HORSES?!?!

That’s how we celebrate Easter at my house- with Easter eggs, chocolate bunnies and HORSES!  For years now I have told my kids- You don’t have to come for Thanksgiving, you  don’t have to come for Christmas- I just want you for EASTER!

The best Easter Egg hunt in the entire universe is held the Saturday before Easter at my house. Humans of all descriptions gather; greenhorns, cowboys and babies as well of horses of all breeds, colors and training, to find Easter Eggs hidden all over the farm. At our Easter Egg hunt it’s not about the eggs- it’s about the hunt- and the horses!

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To make things more fair for the inexperienced and younger riders, Uncle Steven and I hide the eggs according to color. Each rider has a different color or style of egg. For instance, this year we have basketball eggs for Kory, Elmo eggs for baby jack, purple eggs for Megan, football eggs for Nic, chicken shaped eggs for Brynna, pink eggs for Janie and so forth. Assigning each rider their own color makes it possible for us to hide the eggs according to the rider’s ability.

Because Megan, Kory and Janie are experienced riders we hide their eggs in places that are hard to see and difficult to get to, but we hide green horn and children’s eggs in plain sight and in places easy for them to reach.  We watch for fun ideas about where to hide eggs for weeks leading up to the hunt.

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We hide between 6 and 12 eggs per person depending on how many participants we have. We always hide a few “Golden” eggs with special prizes in them.  Although we haven’t limited how many eggs a person can find, our family is pretty good about making sure everyone finds at least one golden egg.

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After the hunters find all of their eggs they are allowed to hunt for the golden eggs that have special prizes in them such as movie tickets, gift certificates and coins. This is the most exciting part of the hunt as riders become a little more daring and often find themselves racing for the same golden egg as another rider.

easter 2010 075 After all the eggs are found everyone gathers together to open their eggs and discover the goodies and prizes in them. We usually play badminton and eat Sloppy Joes for lunch.

Planning around the weather has sometimes been an issue.  We remain in close contact with family members to reschedule from a morning Easter Egg Hunt to an afternoon hunt if needed due to stormy weather but we have never had cancel our Easter Egg hunt.

Because the horses haven’t been ridden much during the winter months they are usually feeling a little frisky for our Easter Egg Hunt. We used to give the riders a plastic shopping bag to put their eggs in but some horses would spook at the crackling noise the bags made so now everyone just plans on wearing a hoodie with pockets to put their eggs in.

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I always plan to fill extra eggs in case we have an unexpected rider, which happens more often then not.

For more unusual Easter Egg hunt ideas and fun family reunion themes, visit www.familyreunionhelper.com.

Good Idea: Finding Easter eggs on Easter Sunday.
Bad Idea: Finding Easter eggs at Thanksgiving.

Aunt MO

Easter Egg Hunt on Horseback!

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The best Easter Egg hunt in the entire universe is held the Saturday before Easter at Canna Bay Farms. Humans of all descriptions gather; greenhorns, cowboys and babies as well of horses of all breeds, colors and training, to find Easter Eggs hidden all over the farm. At our Easter Egg hunt it’s not about the eggs- it’s about the hunt!

To make things fairer for the inexperienced and younger riders, Uncle Steven and I hide the eggs according to color. Each rider has a different color or style of egg. For instance, this year we have basketball eggs for Kory, purple eggs for Megan, football eggs for Ryan, chicken shaped eggs for Brynna, pink eggs for Janie and so forth. We’ve been collecting eggs for years, and since we ask everyone to leave their eggs and just take the candy home, we have quite a collection. Assigning each rider their own color makes it possible for us to hide the eggs according to the rider’s ability.

clip_image004Because Megan, Kory and Janie are experienced riders we hide their eggs in places that are hard to see and difficult to get to, but we hide green horn and children’s eggs in plain sight and in places easy for them to reach.

After the hunters find all of their eggs they are allowed to hunt for the golden eggs that have special prizes in them such as movie tickets, gift certificates and coins. This is the most exciting part of the hunt as riders become a little more daring and often find themselves racing for the same golden egg as another rider. I recently read an article about how to hold a “safe” Easter Egg hunt and although I don’t think our horseback hunt would qualify as “safe” I am happy to report that we have never had an accident- I’m not saying we haven’t come close- but no one has ever been hurt.

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Our most unusual hunt was the year my son, Kory, used the hunt as a means of proposing to his future wife, Janie. We hid her diamond ring in one of the eggs and everyone held their breath as Janie hunted for her eggs. When Janie found the egg the ring was in, I was so afraid the egg would come open, that I finally had to ask her if she wanted me to hold her eggs while she continued searching for more eggs. Of course, Janie said “yes” when Kory popped the question, and they and their 18 month old daughter live “happily ever after” about 5 miles from us.

After all the eggs are found everyone gathers together to open their eggs and discover the goodies and prizes in them. We usually play badminton and eat Sloppy Joes for lunch.

Tips and hints for a successful horseback Easter Egg hunt:

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Because the horses haven’t been ridden much during the winter months they are usually feeling a little frisky for our Easter Egg Hunt. We used to give the riders a plastic shopping bag to put their eggs in but some horses would spook at the crackling noise the bags made so now everyone just wears a hoodie with pockets to put their eggs in.

clip_image002[9]We have hidden as few as six eggs per person and as many as 12. The gold eggs are extra and although we don’t limit how many eggs a person can find, they are pretty good to make sure that everyone finds at least one golden egg.

I always fill extra eggs in case we have an unexpected rider, which happens more often then not.

For more unusual Easter Egg hunt ideas and fun family reunion themes, visit www.familyreunionhelper.com, and check out the “Home for the Holidays” family reunion.

Aunt MO

“If you only have one smile give it to the people you love."