Easter has to becoming up quickly as that annual huge chocolate rabbit is now in the window of Aunt Diana’s candy shop in downtown Riverside.

I look at it with a predatory eye, remembering all the chocolate rabbits I have sacrificed to my chocolate habit. Now, I feel even better about it after having read that chocolate is full of antioxidants, quells stress, lowers blood pressure, and just about anything else which can justify the added calories which these rabbits can muster.

I am firmly of the belief that everyone should indulge in chocolate rabbits at Easter time, starting, of course, from the ears and working down. I bet if I took a census of how people eat these things, it would always be from the ears on down, leading to an early decapitation. Chocolate eggs will do, too, but it is just a little harder getting them started than those wonderful, rabbit ears provide.

As a child, there were always an assortment of these goodies around at Easter, which probably helped give me a pudgy childhood. I especially recall the filled eggs which came from Fannie May. They were so sweet that one’s teeth would actually go whrrrrrrrr at the first bite. It was almost painful to eat them, though I as well as all others, rose to this difficult situation.

Although I don’t see too many of them now, there were also large, formed sugar eggs which showed up at Easter time. They were hollow and had little Easter scenes inside of them. They would be meticulously decorated with hard, colored frosting on the outside to finish them off, and were, at least in my childhood analysis of them, minor works of art. Art notwithstanding, they too never survived beyond Easter, even though there were adults who, in vain, tried to keep them as showpieces for the future.

Besides the chocolate and other forms of sugared delights, there is always the lamb-shaped pound cakes which are so popular among Eastern European Americans. I have already tapped Vesuvio’s Bakery in North Riverside for a number of them to share with my friends at Easter.

Unlike the top to bottom for the chocolate rabbit, the Easter pound cake lamb needs be worked from the flanks to the head. The head is always the last to go, and if the ears have survived the assault, they are the lamb’s last gasp. Sadly, though, I have yet to find a pound cake lamb which has moist, tender ears. They seem to lose something in the oven, but then, nothing is perfect.

Although not truly an Easter delicacy, despite emerging at the same time and also guaranteed to keep local dentists in business forever, are Girl Scout cookies.

I have already bought a load from my neighborhood scouts, but I am a sucker to buy more when the scouts hang out at supermarkets or banks or wherever in the hopes that someone will buy a box or two. As a former Girl Scout, I can recall how intense cookie sales were.

I always note that selling Girl Scout cookies taught me to walk precincts, politically, and made me a better-than-average trick-or-treater at Halloween.

And, at the time I sold cookies, my troop got a half-cent a box as a profit. As one who once had $56 billion of state funds going through her office, I often thought of that half-cent and how much it meant. So, please help the scouts and buy lots of cookies.

Not only will you help them and their troops and activities, you will get a good bakery product-and you will save their parents from having to buy crates of the stuff that they will be eating well into the Christmas season.