From time to time, PrincetonScoop calls on one of its all-knowing, fabulous local friends to bring their P.O.V. on a variety of topics to our blogosphere. Today’s post is compliments of Rae Padulo: artist, writer-blogger, master potter, and lady about town (she also bakes a homemade biscuit that will make you weep). Read on and enjoy!
An empty Easter basket? Aaah … the possibilities. Of course, there are the usual (and delicious) suspects: the Hershey, the Nestlé, the Godiva. But, if you’re so inclined, there are some sweet and original options, right here in Princeton.
Many of us applauded when the new Trader Joe’s (3528 US Highway 1, Princeton; 609.897.0581 or traderjoes.com) moved to town. Dare we call it a market with a soul? Add in some bell-ringing, a chocolate section big enough to warrant its own zip code, and color us happy! My resident seven-year-old’s pick: Trader Joe’s Gummy Tummies Penguins ($2.49). These little guys are adorable and jewel-like, their bellies filled with one of three juicy natural flavors: cherry, lime, and strawberry. My ten-year-old can’t get enough of TJ’s Milk Chocolate Crisps ($2.49). Pretend Pringles and a Crunch Bar got married and there you have it: thin, curved waves of Belgian chocolate dotted with crunchy bits. Betcha can’t eat just one. And the grown-ups are addicted to the Sea Salt and Turbinado Sugar Dark Chocolate Almonds ($3.99). Crunchy almonds are enrobed in a thick layer of just-bitter-enough dark chocolate, which is then studded with fat salt crystals. (Tip: Don’t bit into them, suck on ‘em so the flavor lasts.) And with four grams of protein and the touted antioxidant benefits of dark chocolate, they’re practically good for you.
You wouldn’t think that Wegman’s (240 Nassau Park Boulevard, Princeton; 609.919.9300 or wegmans.com) would be your go-to for off-the-beaten-path candy. But bypass the usual sections at the back and middle of the store, and head for the international section. Go British. With names like Bounty, Aero, and Smarties, this is MANLY candy. Yorkie: It’s Not For Girls is a fave in my house; it’s like a Chunky without those bothersome raisins. And those saucy Brits really know their way around a wrapper (dare I say the packaging borders on sexy?).
Had enough sweets? Then Myachi is your yachi. The Myachi is all the rage with the elementary set. Picture a rectangular hacky-sack for the hands. They come in a zillion colors and are sold with two little foam rings that make the catching a bit easier. With a bit of practice, you can perfect the “Waterfall,” the “Chicken Wing,” and the “Up and Down.” We don’t know the meaning of the Myachi moniker, but what we do know is that you can find these at Jordan’s (Princeton Shopping Center, 301 North Harrison Street, Princeton; 609.924.6161 or jordanscardstore.com) and they’ll run you about $5.99 a pop.
Morning Glory (Nassau Place, 20 Nassau Street, Princeton; 609.252.9151 or nassauplace.com) is where the savvy Princeton mom gets her party favors done right. Select from myriad adorable offerings and the sweet ladies at Morning Glory will wrap them up in cellophane and ribbon for your next Pokemon Party. For Easter, take a peek in the eraser section. That’s right, I said eraser. How tasty-looking are these? Good enough to eat, but no calories!
Or, how about a Tweet? As the proprietress of mudstar ceramics (okay, a bit of shameless self promotion never hurt anyone), my kiln just hatched a flock of these happy, handmade birdies in a slew of spring-y colors: clover green, buttercup, carnation pink, blue bonnet, and red. Pick a bird and then pick her colorful nest made of hand-felted wool with a tiny heart at the bottom. At just $10, they’re perfect for tucking into a basket or the pocket of an Easter dress. (Editor’s note: I have seen these Tweets and their cozy nests firsthand, and they are so sweet for the season that I’ve already snatched up a few to drop into my Easter baskets.) Go to mudstarceramics.etsy.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Mention PrincetonScoop and get free delivery. Ta-weet!
Rae Padulo lives in Princeton with her ever-patient husband and two delicious boys. She is the hands and heart behind mudstar ceramics, which makes modern ceramics for the home. She also writes a blog about inspiration, which you can find at mudstarceramics.blogspot.com.