This week's blog post is by The Paternity Test co-host Matt Boresi, who lives in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood of Chicago with his wife (“Professor Foster”) and their 5-year-old daughter Viva, who is clinging to the ceiling right now, her mouth covered in chocolate and whatever is inside a Cadbury egg.
Last week I pledged not to go overboard on Easter. Did I succeed? Download the Paternity Test Comedy Podcast on Wednesday morning to find out details (The story involves an early Easter morning visit from the police that you may want to hear!). I will say that someone on Facebook this week suggested I start an Easter Pinterest board. I don’t know whether I should be flattered or mortified.
After a weekend that included an egg hunt at Pickle’s Playroom and Salon, a vertical egg hunt with our listeners and readers at Brooklyn Boulders Chicago climbing gym and bunny visits at both our house and Nana’s house, our wicker baskets runneth over with all manner of vernal confections. Viva is five and tiny, so ain’t no way she’s going to eat all of this candy herself. If I’m going to help her, it would behoove me (and my waistline) to exercise discretion in what candy I eat. I have to decide which candy is worth it. Last Halloween I ranked the candy Viva collected, and I’m going to do the same with what candy madness the bunny hath wrought. Take a look and see if you agree:
21. Hollow Chocolate Bunnies - Do you even Easter, bro? Last place.
20. Regular Jelly Beans - These only show up at our house because they are festive. As for their snack value … I’d rather go hungry. There’s a reason they are only $1 a bag. “Jelly Bird” eggs or whatever your favorite brand calls them are an abomination, with “fruit” flavors resembling no fruit I’ve ever had, and those black licorice ones which are unpalatable to anyone who isn’t old enough to have fought in the trenches against the Kaiser.
19. Novelty Jelly Beans - Jelly Belly. Bertie Botts. Any of those jelly beans that might taste like candy or might taste like buttered popcorn or might taste like armpits or clogged pores. Haw haw. Yuck.
18. Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans - Perhaps you are a fan of Jolly Ranchers, the little rectangular cubes of cough syrup specially designed to asphyxiate children. I am not a fan, but they are at least more novel than regular jelly beans.
17. Starburst Jelly Beans - Starburst. Also nasty, but marginally less so in jelly bean form and, again, at least a twist on the regular jelly bean.
16. Peeps - Again, only here because they seem Easter-y. Also, only the bird kind makes sense. Bunnies don’t peep. And don’t get the dipped or gussied up versions – that’s like putting lipstick on a pig. Peeps are worse than regular marshmallows, and regular marshmallows only exist to be set on fire.
Don’t know what to do with all those leftover Peeps? Try my favorite recipes! (You could use a Bunny Mary.)
15. Hershey’s Chocolate Eggs - When you eat mass marketed chocolate without any other ingredients, you realize it tastes like candle wax and tooth decay. Leave these guys in the foil.
14. Robin’s Eggs - Malted eggs. I believe the first ingredient listed is “dust.”
13. Mini-Robin’s Eggs - These are better than the regular kind because there is less of them in every bite.
12. Cadbury Eggs - Three tablespoons of Elmer’s Glue in a cheap chocolate egg. This is what happens when you let the Brits make food.
11. Cadbury Chocolate Crème Egg - Less fun than the regular kind, but also less bad.
10. Cadbury Caramel Egg - Also less fun, but reminiscent of those fund raiser Caramel bars you ate too many of as a kid.
9. Chocolate Bunnies - The traditional chocolate bunny varies in goodness based on the manufacturer. Fannie Mae is going to be better than one you bought in a pre-cellophaned basket over by the highway. Still, this not an ideal chocolate delivery system. You bite off the ears and they are awesome. You bite off the head and it is a little too hard and a little too much chocolate in one bite. Then you have the body – an impenetrable brick of chocolate you’ll be gnawing on like hard tack at Gettysburg until it goes stale and you throw it out.
8. Butterfinger Eggs - Butterfingers are the Fritos of candy. Tacky, stinky, regrettable, but not unpalatable.
7. Tiny Rolos - A whole roll of smiles, indeed. These tiny ones are better than the big ones, because they leave some of your fillings intact.
6. Tiny Kit Kats - Hold me closer, tiny Kit Kats.
5. York Peppermint Eggs - I’m going to catch flack for this being so high up. Regular-sized York patties break one of my cardinal rules of desserts: Don’t eat peppermint like food. The idea of snacking on peppermint bark like ham slices turns my stomach, and full-sized patties do, too, but these tiny egg-shaped mini-ones are refreshing and you can stop after just one.
4. Pastel M&Ms - You don’t like M&Ms? Fight me.
3. Pastel Peanut* M&Ms - Judging Peanut M&Ms against regular M&Ms is a little like the Bud Bowl but without terrible, terrible beer: neither side is ever really going to achieve decisive victory. Switch No. 4 and No. 3 if you want, either way you gotta love ‘em.
2. Reese’s Pieces Eggs - These are more pear-shaped than egg-shaped, but they are delightful, and might attract ET to you house, where he can heal your drooping houseplants with his magic glowing index finger.
1. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Eggs - My wife is going to give me grief for putting peanut and peanut butter stuff so high up the list, because I’m frequently caught referring to peanut butter as déclassé. Peanut butter is delicious, but it’s hard to dress up and take out. With all due respect to the innovations of George Washington Carver and the humanitarian efforts of Jimmy Carter, peanut butter just isn’t fancy. When they try and dress up a PB&J at the Hopleaf, what’s the first thing they do? Replace the peanut butter with cashew butter.
Still, all this mass produced chocolate is pretty mediocre, but it works when mixed with fun (if also mediocre) ingredients: crisped rice, caramel, nougat, peppermint, nuts, Elmer’s Glue and most of all … peanut butter. And why be fancy at Easter? Only your jaunty chapeau need be fancy. You can buy Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for Easter in multiple forms: tiny cups in pastel wrappers, tiny foil (half) eggs and large bunny and egg shapes. The large bunny and eggs shapes are just too much; too much dessert, too much peanut butter. You shouldn’t eat candy that is so big you could serve fondue out of it. The foil cups are a more reasonable scale, but so much less festive than the eggs shapes. The egg-shaped ones take the top spot on this list.
It’s mid-morning and I’m already about 600 calories into my daughter’s Easter basket, so I gotta go hit the gym. Now I’ve ranked Halloween candy and Easter candy. If Reese’s comes up with peanut butter cups shaped like Alexander Hamilton, join me here the week of July 4 for another review. (Work.)
*What kind of masochistic fool am I bringing up peanuts on Chicago Parent again? Last time I complimented anything containing the dreaded allergen-heavy legume, I was pilloried in the comments. Here’s my disclaimer: If you or your child are allergic to peanuts or tree nuts, stay away from them, and keep your peanut products away from those with allergies. Plain M&M’s can be cross-contaminated, but I’ve read that the Yorks and Rolos can be fine. Damn it, Jim, I’m a blogger, not a doctor, so USE YOUR OWN DISCRETION.
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Matt fathers 5-year-old Viva, Chicago's favorite pint-sized diva, and is the author of "Viva Daddy!" - a monthly column in Chicago Parent Magazine.
See more of Matt's stories here.
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