80s Food Week: Easter Edition USA

English: A milk chocolate Easter Bunny.
English: A milk chocolate Easter Bunny. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Egg hunting on Easter Morning probably 1983
Egg hunting on Easter Morning probably 1983
Let’s be honest, Easter in the 80s was pretty much like Easter in every other decade except perhaps for the amount of candy and junk available for the bunny to tote along and perhaps the loss of those pre-70s REALLY SCARY TO HELL Easter Bunnies mothers insisted scarring their children for life with for an Easter photo at the mall everyone would remember. The reason for the season hadn’t changed; people still piled in the car on Easter Sunday Best to go to church, stole candy from their brothers and sisters; hunted for their basket on Easter morning and dyed eggs with those PAAS kits. What the 80s could claim solely, however, was the Cadbury Easter Bunny (known as the “Clucking Bunny’) hopping onto screens everywhere to lay Cadbury Creme Eggs in 1982 (the Cadbury Creme Egg itself as we know it today debuted in 1971 but he bunny ads are only shown in North America- lucky us!). Cadbury Bunny Tryouts courtesy McGuireLindsey Decorating for Easter has always been a favourite pastime; getting those cheap plastic eggs strung up over the bushes, placing panoramic sugar eggs and crosses on the dining table just so, dying real eggs and buying pysanka eggs because who has time for that? I recall most houses getting those cheapo plastic blowup bunnies holding a carrot from Kmart and tying them to the porch or just to poles outside in the yard like some kind of warning that the Big Bunny better bring chocolate and none of those RainBlo eggs or else. Our own particular colouring tradition came from my Grampa J- he always dipped the last egg into all of the colour pots to make a nasty looking grey egg for some reason. I dunno but we still do it every year! Easter morning came and in our haste to get downstairs to find all the eggs *and* the basket *and* negotiate for more than one jellybean before church *and* whine that while dying the eggs was fun and finding the eggs was fun, nobody wants them for breakfast, we completely forgot to thank our mums and dads for the new bonnets and shoes and ties. Nobody ever head of getting toys instead of candy in baskets- if the Bunny didn’t leave you with at least 1 filling and a crown he’d better not come crawling back next year- the Tooth Fairy would take care of him by golly. My parents tried the ‘if you’re not good the Easter Bunny won’t come’ but I didn’t buy it. What did the Easter Bunny care if I was good or not? What did a basket full of sweets have to do with the resurrection of Our Lord? Jesus cared if I was good and He didn’t come around one night a year and hide our eggs. As long as I got my favourites it was all good- Cadbury Creme Egg, Reeces Egg, those little foiled Hershey eggs (not those cheap buggers where you could see the mould seam through the foil thanks), some jelly beans (no black or red, please), a few gumdrops, a panoramic sugar egg, a Palmer’s chocolate bunny, a Russel Stover coconut creme egg and a white chocolate cross. My mum was partial to those malted Robin Eggs and the little chocolate baskets with chocolate eggs (that one bought at an actual candy store and not through the checkout of Dollar General) and my dad was partial to those 1 lb chocolate eggs with the peanut butter filling and a sugar flower on top though he usually ended up getting something like a Pizza Hut juice glass. One year he got Grumpy Bear and I got Tenderheart Bear although he’ll argue to the death the Grumpy Bear glass was in my basket. Nice try pops. And I think I was the only kid in school who hated Peeps.
Easter eggs // Ostereier
Easter eggs // Ostereier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The particular draw about church at Easter was taking home a lily from the altar and showing off my new little purse with a clasp (extremely haute couture) that fit all of a golf pencil, string of mardi gras beads and possibly half of a mini New Testament. I didn’t always understand that portion of the Gospel and after I’d shown off my stuff and bragged about my Easter basket I was just trying to get home to it because frankly, Easter clothes itch and we didn’t have any of those Resurrection Rolls or cool crafts they have now to keep kids quiet during Sunday School because of course this is the most important holiday in the Christian year. And there was no getting out of Easter Service- my mother was the pianist and choir director. Then home to Easter Dinner (pick the palm cross from the Sunday before up off the floor and reaffix to the door after every guest walked in until dad took it down for the day).  Easter Dinner was a total letdown for kids. Unlike Hallowe’en where the last thing in your mouth before you and all the other kids went to bed was something right out of your booty bag, you had one whole day to go through eating stuff other than candy before another chance at getting said candy which was on display in the same room as all the other stuff you were expected to eat and be glad about because mum and gramma and whoever slaved all morning over a hot stove. Ham with pineapples and cherries, potatoes and corn and  beans, little peach bird nests with cream cheese ‘birds’- ugh, just turn the oven down so it doesn’t melt my chocolate! And some ultra lucky kids got to top the day off with a Baskin Robins Easter Bunny cake cos noBunny knows Easter like Baskin Robbins right? Except Cadbury. You betcha. What are some of your 80s Easter memories?  Favourite candies? Wierd places you found your Easter basket?  Cool stuff you did at church? Sources: Kitchen Daily Wikipedia
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80s Food Week: Little Debbie

McKee Foods - Little Debbie logo
McKee Foods – Little Debbie logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Little Debbie is real- I swear! At four years old, Debbie McKee, granddaughter of McKee Foods founder O.D.McKee became the namesake of McKee Foods’ new family snack cake packs in 1960. Down to the straw hat and checkered shirt, little Debbie McKee was portrayed by artist Pearl Mann and made to look slightly older for the finished product. Oatmeal Creme Pies,Nutty Bars, Swiss Cake Rolls….om nom nom. All these favourites came in multi-pack family sized boxes under the Little Debbie name and went on like wildfire. And seriously, who didn’t blow a quarter of lunch money here or there on one of those giant Zebra Cakes after school? In high school I remember completely subsisting on these through the week from the school store (erasers? who needs erasers?).
English: Little Debbie Zebra Cakes, made by Mc...
English: Little Debbie Zebra Cakes, made by McKee Foods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Did any of these make it into your lunchbox? Fudge Brownies Cosmic Brownies Devil Cremes Fancy Cakes Zebra Cakes Swiss Rolls Chocolate Chip Cakes Banana Twins Devil Squares Cloud Cakes Strawberry Shortcake Rolls Banana Pudding Rolls
English: Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies, sho...
English: Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies, shown whole and split. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Boston Creme Rolls Frosted Fudge Cakes Cocoa Cremes Marshmallow Supremes Oatmeal Creme Pies Star Crunch Raisin Creme Pies Fudge Rounds Chocolate Chip Creme Pies Marshmallow Pies- banana or chocolate Gingerbread Cookies Donut Sticks Bagged Mini Donuts Honey Buns
English: A Little Debbie Cosmic Brownie, by Mc...
English: A Little Debbie Cosmic Brownie, by McKee Foods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Pecan Spinwheels Mini Pies- Lemon, Chocolate, Apple or Cherry Nutty Bars (a personal favourite) Fig Bars Peanut Butter Crunch Bars Easter Basket Cakes – vanilla or chocolate Be My Valentine cakes Be My Valentine iced brownies Fall Party Cakes Fall Tree Cakes Christmas Spice Cookie Wreaths Christmas Tree Cakes Christmas Tree Brownies Now for the Fun Stuff:
English: Little Debbie Nutty Bar, shown split ...
English: Little Debbie Nutty Bar, shown split in half (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Some varieties of Little Debbie Snacks aren’t sold nationwide- Huffington Post has a review of some of the rarer types. Little Debbie has featured in the lyrics of a couple of songs – Camel Walk by Southern Culture on the Skids, and the Little Debbie Snack Cakes Song by Larry Weaver Little Debbie was a sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Between sundown on Fridays and sundown on Saturdays the pit crew covers the Little Debbie logo and wears non company clothing as  part of their contract with parent company McKee Foods who are founded and run by Seventh-Day Adventists. Seventh-Day Adventists are a Christian Protestant denomination who venerate the Sabbath during that time and refrain from work/secular forms of recreation. Fan of Cosmic Brownies? LifeMadeSimpleBakes can show you how to make these fabulously authentic clones in your own home. Sources: Little Debbie Wikipedia  McKee Foods  
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