Saturday, March 31, 2012

Easter Eggs and Model A Fords

The best free show in town Friday afternoon was in a front window at Piper's when confectioners Mickey Davis and Katie Mathes came out of the candy kitchen to demonstrate their Easter-egg-making craft in a front window.

Hundreds of these eggs are made annually at Piper's during the pre-Easter season for sale locally and shipment around the world. The eggs come in four sizes, half-pound (one of which I'm in the process of eating), one-pound, two-pound and five-pound. The half-pound eggs are filled with M&Ms or a small candy mix; the larger eggs, with Piper's homemade candies, produced here on the northeast corner of the square since 1947.

Katie (above), with a chocolate egg, has the most experience. She began working at Piper's while in high school and, now with four children, has been at it since. Mickey (below) is close behind, however.

It's a touchy process that begins when the egg shells are molded, then cooled. Once cool, the filling is added and the shell assembled and sealed with more candy. Finally, after the seal has taken hold, entire eggs are coated in more candy, swirled artistically and decorated.

Dealing with the pure chocolate used in the candy-making process is tricky, too. It must be properly tempered to ensure that it behaves itself. That involves heating to a specific temperature, then cooling to another and reheating to yet a third level before it is molded or used in a candy recipe prior to solidifying.

Piper's has been in business at the same location in Chariton since 1905 and remained in the family until the deaths of the late Ruth and Bob Piper. Jim and Anne Kerns took the operation over after Bob's death in 1987 and it now is operated by their daughter, Jill.

Chariton Newspapers reporter-photographer Bill Howes also was photographing the fun Friday.

Candy is available year-around as are groceries, gifts and notions, including many locally generated products. Here's the Web site. And if you missed Friday's show, there will be another at 10 a.m. on April 7.


Also on Friday, we should have had a parade I suppose when the Lucas County Historical Society's prized Model A Ford made its triumphant return to the museum campus. But the decision to bring her home was made late, so Jerry and Al settled for a couple of quick spins around the square before heading west on Braden.

The Model A had been parked for about five years with a variety of mechanical difficulties until LCHS board member Jerry Pierschbacher volunteered last year to get it going again and enlisted Al Pearson, who has forgotten more about Model As than most others know, to spearhead the project. That's Jerry at left and Al at right.

The two men worked on the vehicle off and on for several months in Jerry's shop to return it to top form. She starts easily, ran perfectly around town Friday and we're looking forward to entering the Model A again in the various parades that will be held in Chariton this spring, summer and fall.

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