I grew up thinking the Easter Bunny had no ears. I think I was 10 before I realized what actually was going on. You see, my beloved Father, Marvin, was a chocoholic. We are talking a HUGE chocolate eater! Pops lived for that divine candy. It was at the top of his food pyramid. Even when he had Diabetes and was on 2 shots of insulin a day, he found a way to justify a daily dose of chocolate. Most often, a Hershey bar. You now see where I get my affection for chocolate.
Back to the earless Easter Bunny ….
My father had a best friend, Norty (you gotta love that name!) growing up who was not as financially comfortable as my father(amazing, because my father’s family struggled through tough times). My grandmother set her priorities in an awkward way. So, “Little Marvin”(reported to weigh 212 pounds at age 13) often ended up with a chocolate treat, regardless if they could pay for rent or put gas in the car. My Father would always share his beloved chocolate with his best friend, Norty.
Norty and his family’s business began to prosper. Each year at Easter, Norty would reward my father with his very own chocolate Easter bunny, as sort of a Karmic payback. Legend has it, that it started out as one of those hollow 4 ounce babies. My father was a professor at heart when it came to food. He often called himself a ” Commonsewer” of delectable delights. My father’s well respected theory, was that the sweetness of the Easter Bunny, migrated to its ears. In fact, the very tip of the Easter Bunny’s ears was the highest percentage of the sugar content.
The ears mysteriously disappeared from ALL, and I mean all of my Father’s prized annual treat. You see, Norty did quite well in life. What stated out as a mere fraction of a Easter treat, grew over time. 1 pound solid, became 5 pound solid, became 10 pound solid ….
BECAME A 25 POUND SOLID CHOCOLATE EASTER BUNNY!
Do you know how big a 25 pound solid chocolate Easter Bunny is?
Many of the families that I grew up had an extra old refrigerator in the basement. Some used it for extra fruit …. others for the “contraband” beer. Our basement refrigerator basically had one use- A mausoleum for Marve’s Easter Bunny. The shelves were taken out to house this earless creature. You see, the bunny could not fit(that’s what Dad told us) unless the ears were removed-by none other than the pre-eminent Easter Bunny removing surgeon, Marvin Mickey Presser. After, the ritual of circumcision of the ears, which by the way-NOBODY witnessed, we were all allowed to take a stab at our earless bunny. Pops left a butter knife for us to use.
So, this Easter, as all in the past, remind me of my beloved Pops.
EARS to you !!!
HAPPY EASTER …. and to my Jewish friends- Happy Passover—Chag Sameach
One of Marve’s very favorite chocolate places and mine too is Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. For years, beginning in 1939, the Mitchell’s operated their fine hand-made chocolate store on Coventry Road, next to the Coventry Theater. Son, Bill Mitchell continues the family tradition serving some of the finest chocolate treats around. Mitchell’s has that wonderful chocolate aroma that hits you as soon as you walk in the door.
As I mentioned before, I got the “chocolate gene” from my Dad. One of my favorite all time chocolate candies is made right here in Cleveland …. make that Collinwood by Baker’s Candies. It is a Marshmallow Whip. As my Mom used to describe it- “To die for!”
I must say that every person that I have turned on to these amazing chocolate treats is now sadly or happily hooked. Although I am traditionally a “Milk Chocolate” kind of guy, the dark chocolate marshmallow whips are as most of my friends have admitted- Orgasmic. You be the judge.
Finally, what started out as a Mom and Pop, but has grown and still has that family feel is Cleveland’s own—Malley’s Chocolates. My favorite is their tripped out hallucinogenic, Alice and Wonderland pink and green soda fountain on Madison Ave in Lakewood.