Posted by Caren Crane Apr 4 2010, 4:14 am in Candy, Caren Crane, Easter, Faberge Easter eggs
by Caren Crane (title by my older daughter)
Easter is the time for eggs. Hand-tinted hard-boiled eggs, chocolate covered marshmallow eggs, candy-coated sugar-centered eggs, and – my favorite – good old pure chocolate eggs. As a matter of fact, I had planned to do a whole post about candy eggs for today, but my husband had a totally different idea (as he so often does). He said I should write about Faberge Easter eggs.
I have long been fascinated by Faberge eggs and it seems many other people are as well. PBS did a great program about the Faberge eggs as part of their
Treasures Of the World series. In the series, they presented the Faberge eggs as the relics of a fragile and doomed monarchy. They are regarded today as a symbol of just how out-of-touch the monarchy was and how little they understood the needs of the people they ruled. I found out my husband really wanted me to find out why Peter Carl Faberge began making Easter eggs in the first place. So I did and here is the quick and dirty version.
The Russian Orthodox church had a tradition that after Easter mass, family members would present each other with eggs they had decorated. The first egg commissioned by Czar Alexander III was a gift for the Czarina, commemorating the 20th anniversary of their monarchy on Easter in 1884. After his death in 1894, Czar Nicholas II (knowing only to follow the traditions of his much-beloved father) continued all of his father’s traditions including the commission of the eggs.
Of course, the monarchy failed in 1917 and the Romanovs were all killed…except for the Dowager Empress Maria Fedorovna, who hastily departed her homeland on the British battleship Malborough. She took with her the Order of St. George egg – the last Faberge Imperial Easter egg. The entrepreneur and socialist sympathizer Armand Hammer brought many great Russian treasures to the United States to be sold to support the Bolsheviks in 1931. Unfortunately, the Great Depression made selling them difficult. Eventually, though, they caught on with several great collectors and many are in private art collections today.
Of the 50 Imperial Easter eggs, only 10 remain in the Kremlin. Eight of the eggs are still missing, having disappeared during the sacking of the royal palaces during the revolution.
So what do you think happened to those 8 missing eggs? Are they hidden in humble homes in the Russian countryside? Resting in vaults of wealthy art collectors who bought them on the black market? As symbols of a decadent and lavish lifestyle that led to the downfall of Imperial Russia, should they be handed over to the Russian government? When you finish nibbling the ears off your chocolate bunny, let us know!
Posted by Jeanne Adams Oct 31 2008, 4:30 am in Candy, Carl Reiner, Halloween, Jeanne Adams, Runaway Pumpkin
By Jeanne Adams
The holiday season begins at my house on October first. Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday and always has been. Given that, I get to start in September these days, which is when I put up the Halloween decorations. Every room gets something, even the half-bath.
For one month, I’m worse than those little old ladies you see with 4000 Santas out all year long.
From September 30th on, I get to read Halloween books to my kids without any remorse (I do it all year long, by the way, I just get to do it guilt-free for the months of September and October) and we get at least one new one every year.
We start planning the outdoor decorations in September and begin issuing the invites for the annual Ad(d)ams Family Halloween Party – a wickedly fun event where the adults get to dress up and say BOO! Of course, if you insist on coming sans costume, you have to bring something to eat. I get about half and half every year. Grins. We had a Cavalier, a Catholic Schoolgirl, an Elfin Warrior and a Karate Master this year along with assorted other characters. It was great fun!
But back to the books…The favorite new book this year is one by Carl Reiner, you know him from all the way back on the Dick Van Dyke show and from his later work in Oceans Eleven. The book is called Tell Me a Scary Story…But Not Too Scary. It’s marvelous! I’ve read it to my youngest about six times per night for the past four or five nights. We’ve even read it during the day sometimes too. Bwah-ha-ha!!!
Past favorites have included The ABC’s of Halloween, The Runaway Pumpkin, and A Very Brave Witch. You’ve never heard anything funnier than a four year old yelling, as you read, “RUNAWAY PUMPKIN!!”
Then there’s the costumes for the kids. We discuss this at length from Labor Day on. This year we have a Football Player (Miami Dolphins, for some unknowable reason) and IronMan.
For the Halloween party, my darling hubby and I were Biker Trailer Trash. There were people who arrived at my door who did not recognize me. I guess I’m glad about that, since I pulled off the trailer trash thing pretty well!
I put the picture down below. What do you think?
And then there’s the pumpkins. Gosh I love carving pumpkins. What is not to love about those fabulous orange canvases? There doesn’t seem to be anything you can’t carve into a pumpkin. From ghosts to vultures to bad-ass bikers, you can create a pumpkin tribute. One of my “Bucket List” items is to get to the famous Keene, NH Pumpkin Festival. It’s one of the world’s largest pumpkin festivals. This year’s count was 22, 596 carved pumpkins. Check it out at http://www.pumpkinfestival.org/
The other fun thing is the Life Is Good Pumpkin Festivals. Wow are they delightful! Life is Good partners with a local charity to set up twelve festivals scattered in various parts of the country and the classic Life Is Good style t-shirts are in full swing.
There’s always a specially designed Festival shirt. Really cool! http://www.lifeisgood.com/festivals/ They also have cool Halloween gear if you want style without costume! http://www.lifeisgood.com/category/search-by-interest/fall-halloween.aspx
And oh…the candy. Considering we’ve had our Halloween party already and there’s still cake, pie, brownies and we’re making cupcakes today (Halloween), I probably should be doing at least three hours on the exercise bike per day for the next ten weeks.
Then again, I also bought five bags of candy. I’ll give ‘em out too. Really. I will. *VEG*
I always buy the candy I like, don’t you? This is just in case I don’t give it all away to the mini-goblins then I’ll have good stuff around. I hate to have leftovers of candy that I won’t eat. *shudder* Now that’s scary. Besides, it hurts my Scotch soul to throw anything away, especially candy!
(By the way, the picture at the left is our pumpkin effort this year…)
As to candy, my favorites are malted milk balls, tootsie roll pops and tootsie rolls. Jeez, they make me drool. I’ve got to stay away from the blinking things until tomorrow night. Cripes. It’s like they call to me.
….Jeanne….we’re heeeeeerrrrreeeeee….we’re deliiiiiciousssssss….
Scary. Verrrrry Scary.
So, are you dressing up this Halloween? What about your kids, if you have any?
When you shed that “normal” face of yours, whose face are you going to assume?
What about candy? What’s your favorite? Mars Bars? Snickers? Tootsie Rolls? What kind of candy do you despise?
Last but not least, any good Halloween books to recommend?