In my family, we followed traditional Easter traditions. On Easter Sunday, we donned our new bonnets and ruffled dresses and went to church. Afterward we had a dinner that most often centered on a ham, dark ham gravy and mashed potatoes. My mouth waters just thinking about my grandma’s ham gravy and mashed potatoes. Of course I learned how and that’s been the custom in my family for as long as my kids can remember.
But the highlight of Easter morning? The chocolate bunny! I’m still a sucker for a chocolate bunny.
We always dyed eggs prior to the big day. You know, the old stinky stuff that required hot water and vinegar. I don’t remember Easter egg hunts as a kid, but we always hid eggs for our children. And it’s now a tradition for the extended family to gather at our place for the hunt. One person stores the plastic eggs each year. We have way way too many. Everyone brings candy and coins and while the kids are otherwise occupied, a team fills the eggs. Another hides them. And then the kids look for them, of course.
Over the years I’ve probably taken hundreds of pictures of Easter egg hunts. And now…well we have more teenagers than not, so it’s not such a big deal anymore.
My husband is German, and traditionally eggs are dyed differently in the old country, so in order to bring some of his culture into the holiday I learned how to dye eggs with onion skins. They’re so unique that I actually prefer them. They make beautiful baskets and trays, and the eggs don’t taste any different.
You can start saving onion skins ahead of the holiday – or, as I do, go to the grocery store and gather up a bag of onion skins that have fallen to the bottom of the bin.
Soak several large ones in water and moisten raw eggs.
There are many techniques that work for patterns. You can wrap the wet skins around the egg.
Or you can gather little flowers and leaves out of doors, press those against the egg first, and then wrap the egg with a skin. Rubber band it on if you like. Or cut little squares of cotton fabric and tie the wrapped egg inside, then fasten with a twistie or a rubber band.
Or you don’t even have to wrap them at all. Boil the eggs right out of the carton. Do half and half.
Layer a large saucepan or heavy kettle with onion skins, place wrapped or plain eggs on top, cover with more onions skins and set to boiling.
The first time I heard of this and tried it, the directions called for hours of boiling, so I tried it. The eggs were even edible. later I learned you can boil them for a normal 8 minutes.
Rinse will cool water, dry and, if you prefer, rub a little vegetable oil on the shell to get a gloss.
The design possibilities and variation of color and darkness are limitless.
So whatever, your holiday tradition, whether you meet friends for dinner or have a crowd to your home, I wish you a lovely holiday.
Have a blessed Easter!