Saturday, April 23, 2011

Egg-cellent Day!

Easter is, apart from being a religiously significant observance, 2/3 tradition, 1/3 chocolate.

Ok, I acknowledge the bad pun for today's post title and I promise it's the first and last one you will read. There is no denying the fact (despite the pun) that it has indeed been an excellent day. A day rich in traditions, of which, most have involved eggs, and well, egg puns are just too easy.

I've been baking egg laden Portuguese sweet bread, a nod to the traditions my stepfather brings to our family. Also in the works are Hotcross Buns, a traditional Easter treat from my childhood. Tonight the Easter Bunny will stop by and hide colourful eggs about the house.

Of course Egg colouring was high on the to-do list today as well.

I impressed myself today with my egg boiling prowess. I have developed an almost fool proof method over the years, through experience and hours of food network training. I don't think however that I have ever managed, as I did this morning, to boil and entire pot of eggs without a single cracked shell. (I hope they are cooked inside.)

Egg colouring is an activity enjoyed by everyone in our home, big kids and bigger ones alike. Does anyone every really reach an age when they aren't interested painting eggs? My grandfather coloured eggs well into his 70's. Easter eggs from Grandpa were like gems. His tradition was to dye them with onion skins. He would wrap the eggs in the skins and place them on to boil. When the eggs cooled, they were stained the colour of tobacco in a lacy marbled pattern. My mother continues the tradition now for her grand kids and when I see those mottled jewels resting in the old wooden Easter bowl, my mind travels instantly to the fabulous moments spent with my grandpa.

The day will come I suppose when I will take up the tradition of wowing my grand kids with magically painted eggs. For now we subscribe to the newspaper covered table, food colouring and water filled expendable container method.

Having formal colour theory training behind me, I prepare 4 colours, knowing that you can make every colour from the primaries; red, blue and yellow. I also know that I've been trying for 26 years to convince Michael that green is NOT a primary colour.

Traditionally everybody gets the same number of eggs. Traditionally the following will also happen...
  • Everyone will want to use blue first
  • Someone will get creative and introduce crayons
  • Someone (usually KJ) will leave their egg to 'soak' thereby preventing everyone else from using that colour
  • We will end up with at least 1 brown egg (that's what happens when you mix all the primary colours) Brown eggs I can buy at the store, if that's what they want, why trouble ourselves.
  • Mom will be left with the mess.
I expected all of the's tradition. I did not however expect that left unattended, my children would attempt to dye their noses.(Lord help me, I thought each generation was smarter than the last.) Insert exasperated *sigh* I'll expect it every year from now on. Lou will be coming home from her date soon and I promise you that as soon as she finshes dying her eggs someone will tell her she has to dye her nose too!

A red nose, a blue nose and a black eye.
Why don't we have recent family photos you ask?
Thats' how dumb traditions take root...momentary acts of stupidity. Thats' how the "smash an egg on your neighbours head" thing got going. This tradition was passed to our family via my father. When we were kids my father delighted in luring us over in the guise of a hug or chocolate treat, only to whack a hard boiled Easter egg against our cranium. This was always followed with "Can you get me the salt please?" and he would laugh like only a father can. As we got older the game changed. We began sneaking up on one another, everyone was fair game. It became the 'thwack' and run tradition. I was a very good 'thwaker' but I was an even better target.

I remember when I first shared this tradition with my kids. I wish I had been thinking clearly and strategically at the time. I would have modified the tradition. Instead of retelling it like it was, I should have said...

"...and we would see who could smash the most eggs on Daddy's head."

If I had said that, if I had been thinking, I would have had the upper-hand before the tradition took hold in our home.

Gratitude today for the 'stuff' that creates family tradition and gratitude for getting that pun out of my system.


Spend some moment everyday in reflection of gratitude and happiness. Even if the time found is standing in line for coffee...use is wisely.


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