“Honey, what do you know about making hard boiled eggs?”
My husband wanted to boil a few to add to some leftover pickled beet juice.
“Well, I know you can add vinegar to the water – that’s supposed to do something.” I told him that I could check one of my recipe books.
“Find out fast, because the water’s about to boil and I’m gonna to put them in!”
“You mean, you didn’t put them in the water first?”
Unfortunately, his eggs didn’t turn out quite the way he would have liked – kind of mushy in the middle. I guess we both have hard boiled eggs before, but not often enough to remember how. Usually I like to fry or scramble my eggs, or make the occasional omelet. But the hard boiled egg had been a once-a-year affair from childhood and parenting days of some time ago. Yes, for the purpose of decorating Easter eggs.
Now, in my experience, dyeing Easter eggs was an art project, a science experiment, and a dexterity challenge. First, my siblings and I, with the help of Mom, would prepare the water/vinegar + dye, which smelled funny. Not a bad odor, but different. Bright, deep colors would appear in each cup of liquid, and we couldn’t wait to put our eggs into each one to create masterpieces on canvases of eggshell.
Some of us preferred to keep the colors clean and separate, while others wanted to try a bit of each color. Of course, it wasn’t the easiest thing to lower the egg into the cup with the little wire holder shaped like a hollow spoon. I remember dropping a few eggs in my day. Dropping the eggs might result in cracking eggshell, which meant that dye would seep into the cracks to the egg white. A second-rate Easter egg, at best.
My grandmother showed us how to decorate eggs with melted wax and dye. That took more patience and dexterity than we children had, but the results intrigued us. A artistic and interesting tradition, her eggs made our eggs look like kids’ play (which is what it was anyway). All of the eggs went into the Easter basket which would be taken to the church to be blessed and then shared at the meal after Easter Sunday Mass. It was a wonderful tradition that everyone contributed to and got to be a part of.
In the meantime, I have done a little research to find out how to cook the perfect hard boiled egg. So Honey, please do check with me the next time you attempt this at home!
I’m so lucky – he’s a good egg. 😉