To be worthy of the term “Family Tradition”, a celebration must have two things: extravagant food and memorable booze; preferably with copious quantities of both. Add fun, persistence, and considerable lack of dignity, and you are probably attending the McKinnon family Easter Beer Hunt!
Buh-bye Peeps, fake chocolate bunnies, and those nasty pastel marshmallow cream eggs that are always the last to be eaten. Once our three kids were all of legal drinking age, Easter brunch became a whole lot more festive. Their friends, our friends, the guy holding the sign at the freeway ramp…anyone who was willing to scrounge for alcohol was welcome to come and hunt for beer (foreign and domestic), little bottles of liquor (oh, so many tasty varieties), and plastic eggs with lotto tickets in them. And of course there were grand prizes for the most enterprising freeloaders.
Our first annual Easter Beer Hunt lasted exactly seven minutes. Competition is at a peak when there’s an incentive like free alcohol! Luckily we had an amazing buffet set up, so the party didn’t end immediately. Bunny shaped dip bowls, glazed ham balls, tiny “jello beans” (made with booze instead of water), quiche, cinnamon rolls…yes, a good time was had by all. Most of the attendees were starving young people trying to make it on their own, so they probably would have eaten chocolate covered dog turds, but their enthusiasm for the spread made my hostess-heart happy.
Obviously this was not a cheap party to throw, and I wanted to get a little bang for my buck the following year, so the hiding spots were more challenging for the second annual EBH. Beer was hung high up in the magnolia tree. Tiny liquor bottles were buried in the dirt, and under the gravel in the driveway. Lottery tickets were tucked into the depths of the thick hedge. Most were found, but some surfaced months later–sometimes a little worse for wear, but always drinkable! Well…almost always. There was the can of Icehouse I found in the tailpipe of my daughter’s car one summer, which was buried with honors.
When we moved across the state a few years later, I had to wonder what the new owners were going to think when they pruned that hedge!
Now we’ve all spread out in various states, and though there is talk every spring of bringing the Easter Beer Hunt back to life, the logistics are (unless I win the lottery this week and can buy that Lear jet) pretty daunting. It would be so much fun to have a hunt here in the country; the conservative neighbors would be horrified, and I’d love to see people sift through the chicken coop to get to a bottle of Jack.
Stick around. Friend me. “Like” me. You never know…an invite could be coming your way. But just between you and me, I’ve seen what’s on the bottom of my feet after going in the henhouse, and there is no mini bottle of Jack that’s worth digging through that. Just sayin’.