Saturday, April 7, 2012

52-year-old eggs out for another Easter and that's no yolk

My treasured 52-year-old Easter eggs.

Today, while getting ready for Easter lunch tomorrow, I put out a small basket of dyed and decorated eggs. My daughter said, "Are you going to blog about those?"  I hadn't thought about it, but it seemed a good idea. The eggs are 52 years old.

My mother did them for me when I was four. I don't remember that particular year, but all the years that followed. She got them out every Easter and told me about how she did them. "I went out in the country and bought some brown farm-fresh eggs. They are supposed to hold color the best. Then I came home and blew out the yolks and whites by punching a needle hole in the top and bottom. I almost blew my brains out doing this."

She dyed them beautiful shades of dark blue, pink, purple, green and yellow. Then mama decorated them with bits of rick rack and other embellishments from her sewing box—sequins, glitter, trim, tiny pearls. On the bottom of some of the eggs, she glued a small plastic ring, so the egg could sit upright. On one she fashioned a little hat and hand-painted its face.

I tried this once when my children were little. Notice I said once, not one batch of eggs—one egg. I felt like my eyeballs would pop out sooner than the yolk would come out of the egg. That made mama's eggs more special.  They were always gotten out on Easter-eve, and we talked about them. After Easter, they were wrapped in tissue and put away. Over the years, only two have been broken.

I accidentally saw a segment on the Today show this week with Martha Stewart—notice I said accidentally....not a Martha fan. She was demonstrating this art form with a new gadget that drained the egg. No blowing and no headache afterward.

Could those eggs possible be as treasured as the ones on my table? I think not. But if you are going to do this, it might be nice to wait until the child is old enough to actually remember the process. Four is a little too young. I've had to depend on the family lore.

Why do mothers do silly things like this?  Why did I go crazy nervous making my daughter a Holly Hobby cake on her first birthday? I don't know. She just stuck her fingers in it, but it looked good in the picture for a minute.

Another question comes to mind.  How did mothers of the 1950s know how to do these cool things? No Internet, no Facebook, no Pinterest.  They were just crafty, I guess.  Let's see if these survive another Easter Sunday. 

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