Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Egg Decorating

Guest Post By Denise of Real Farmwives of America & Friends and Who is the Grown Up?

Beyond the significance of Easter in the Christian calendar, this season is also a fun time for family traditions—like coloring eggs.

My daughters, now 13 and 11, have enjoyed coloring Easter eggs from a very early age.

Side Note: I had a hard time finding a picture of Elaina wearing clothes while coloring eggs! So I had to do a little positioning of the pic of Diana.

I have to admit:  We’re kind of a boring, traditional family when it comes to coloring eggs. Every year we break out the good ol’ Paas egg dying kit to bring a little color into our lives. After all, it’s inexpensive, convenient, easy to clean up and results in lots of pretty eggs (that will be part of lunches for a week or two!).

This year, we’re going to jazz things up a bit and try something different. I got a little inspired during a trip to Europe last year. Take a look at some of the beauties I brought back:

I bought these eggs (and about a dozen others that went to family and friends) while visiting Slovakia last year, when I had the privilege to be part of Class 13 of the Indiana Ag Leadership Program (ALP).

As part of the two-year ALP program, each class takes an international trip to experience the culture and learn first-hand about agriculture in other lands. Our class journeyed to Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

In doing a little pre-trip research, I discovered that the people of that region have a couple of Easter-related traditions tied to their colorful eggs.

In Hungary, on Ducking Day (the Monday after Easter), the boys go from house to house and will sprinkle water or perfume on the girls they like. (This is the modern version of dousing them with a bucket of water like they did in the olden days!) The boy might ask for a kiss or a red egg—which was the positive response from the girl. Apparently, the color of egg she gave back was an indicator of her opinion of the young man.

The Czechs had a similar Easter Monday tradition of the girls giving decorated eggs to the boys. Only the eggs were given after the boys playfully whip the girls on the backs of their legs with pussy willow branches decorated with ribbons. The story goes that the pussy willow is the first to bloom in spring, and the whipping will bestow fertility.

While I’m not expecting any boys to come calling at our house on April 25, I think the girls will have some fun being a little more artistic this year. Although, I’m not sure we’ll be as detailed as the artist was for this egg. The gold-colored petals on the flower and the stripes on the grid are actually small, flattened pieces of a wheat stalk glued on the eggs.

Here’s the plan, in case you haven’t blown eggs before:

  1.  Carefully clean the outside of the uncooked eggs with a damp paper towel. (Because I’m a germ-a-phobe, I, personally, prefer to use a food-safe disinfectant like diluted bleach, since the kids are handling them.)
  2. Gently pierce each end of the egg shell with a clean tack or pin. Use a long pin to break the yolk, or you won’t be able to blow it out. You can use a bulb-style ear-and-nose syringe to blow out the eggs.
  3. After the eggs are empty, rinse them in a bowl of water. Next dip the shells in a bleach-water dilution to prevent anything from getting moldy or smelly.
  4. Once the eggs have air-dried completely, they are ready to paint or dye.
  5. For those of us who hate to see food go to waste, use the egg whites and yolks to make scrambled eggs—provided they haven’t sat out of the refrigerator for more than two hours.
If you have a fun and creative egg decorating idea, or even an egg that inspires you, be sure to share a link or post it on our Facebook page!
Happy Easter!



Liz @ Two Maids a Milking said...

We used to make blown eggs as kids! So much fun!!

ann said...

The pictures of the eggs are beautiful. The colors are great.

lou said...

Love the stories behind the traditions! Those are hilarious!

Lana said...

These are beautiful!