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The Weekly Blog

Give the Kids a Treat

Look on the back of the packaging of your large Cadbury’s chocolate egg and you’re likely to see a slogan urging you to “Be treatwise.net” and “Get to know your treats”.

Funnily enough, if you follow the link, there’s nothing there about the meaning of Easter Eggs, the symbolism of renewal, or the sociological origins of feasting in springtime.

Nor does the Treatwise website have anything to say about other Easter treats – such as the delicious, cinnamon-scented, hot cross buns that I’ve toasted and slathered in butter, ready for devouring as soon as I hit a flat-spot in the composition of this special Good Friday edition of the blog.

Apparently, in 1592, the London Clerk of Markets issued a decree forbidding the sale of hot cross buns and other spiced breads, except at burials, on Good Friday, or at Christmas. The punishment for transgressing the decree was forfeiture of all the forbidden product to the poor. But you won’t find any interesting facts like that on the Treatwise website – I had to go to Wikipedia for that one (the nominated source being a book by Elizabeth David – so, who knows, it might even be true).

Instead of providing a resource for researching the social and historical context of our treats, enabling us to get to know them better, the UK’s leading confectionary companies have come together to create a compendium of tips that will help families “Keep Treats Special”.

Most of them appear to be about chocolate, but quite a few are transferable to that other fabulous family treat: a day at the races…

No. 1: Get the Kids Involved. Apparently using chocolate is a good way to get children interested in cooking, but there’s plenty of time for that in the evening – it’s healthier to get them out in the open air during these lengthening Spring days, developing a lifelong passion for horses – which is good for the soul.

No. 2: Don’t Feel Guilty. It’s really important to take time off with the kids during the Easter school holiday, so: bunk off work, tell the boss you’re feeling under the weather and get down to the races. Just don’t stand in front of any TV cameras.

No. 3: Out of Sight, Out of Mind. This is supposedly about the benefits of hiding chocolate in the cupboard, but the same principle applies: If you’re supposed to be participating in one of those work zoom meetings while you’re at the races, remember to switch the camera off and mute the sound.

No. 4: Embrace the Change. At this time of year, horses may have a fitness advantage on the Flat if they’ve recently been running over Jumps. Saturday’s selection is Sweet Fantasy, recently the winner of a Novice Hurdle at Catterick, in the Queen’s Cup at Musselburgh.

No. 5: Plan Ahead. While children aged 17 and under are admitted free of charge at Kelso, adult tickets are cheaper when you purchase them in advance. Tickets for the next meeting on Saturday 6th April are available online now and are currently £5 cheaper than when purchased on the day.

Enjoy your treats and have a Happy Easter!