Spring is here early this year. Albany is beautiful on the Avenues this time of year. The Dogwoods, Spirea, Azaleas, Lady Banks in white, shades of pink, purple and yellow, are just gorgeous. It feels like Easter. I’ve been thinking about Easter Hallelujahs, menus for family gatherings and egg hunts. These have always been traditions in our family.
Decorating eggs is one of my favorite things to do. You don’t need one of those kits. All you need is a box of food coloring, white vinegar, birthday candles, Q-tips or cotton swabs, deep mugs and boiling water to make your own. On Saturday before Easter, boil your eggs…place eggs in a large pot of cold water, add some salt, bring to a boil and lower the heat to slow boil as to not break the eggs. Cook eggs about 3½ minutes; pull off the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Dry the eggs off on a sheet pan lined with paper towels.
While eggs are drying, mix your colors. Line up your mugs; drop in food color, using color guide on the food color box. Use more color for deeper colored eggs. Put a capful of white vinegar in each mug; fill mug three-quarters full with boiling water; save room to drop egg in mug.
When colors are ready, begin to decorate the eggs using wax birthday candles to write or make designs on the warm egg. After decorating the egg, drop it into the desired color. Be creative… dye egg a solid color; then use undiluted food color on a Q-tip or cotton swab and personalize your egg or draw whatever design you wish. We have drawn crosses, sunrises, and monograms. There are endless possibilities.
After the masterpieces are completed, be sure your egg cartons are completely dry, place the finished eggs back in the carton and store in the refrigerator until time to hide and hunt them. After the hunt, place eggs back in refrigerator….do not leave out so they will be safe to eat. Troy, Ida, Rick and I have many cherished memories of decorating eggs together for years.
If you have cracked eggs or just have some extra boiled eggs, make deviled eggs, which is always a favorite at any gathering.
Cut eggs in half and separate the whites from yellow yolks. Put white halves on an egg dish or platter. In a bowl, mash the egg yolks with a fork…may use food processor.
To the yolks (from one dozen eggs) add:
- 3 tablespoons of sweet pickle relish or dill, if you prefer;
- 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard;
- Salt and pepper to taste;
Add enough mayonnaise to make the mixture fluffy,not soupy.
Taste for seasoning. Stuff egg whites with the yellow goodness just before serving. Sprinkle with paprika; for a different taste try chili powder; it’s good.
Hope you enjoy.
Joyous Easter to you all! May God Bless You!
Elaine Barrett, along with husband, Rick, owns and operates The Flower Gazebo on Washington St., in downtown Albany and is part of a family of excellent southern cooks. She recently she has written and published a cookbook, “In the Kitchen with Elaine”.