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Now is the Time to Eat Easter Eggs

deviled-easter-eggs3  According to my mother, now would be the time to eat Easter eggs.  Easter Eggs that had been hard-boiled and colored for Easter Egg Hunts.  Now, three or four days after Easter.

Long before the days of plastic eggs and cellophane wrapped candy eggs, Easter eggs were real eggs.  Real chicken eggs.  Eggs that my granny gathered from her chicken house.  On the Saturday before Easter, Mom boiled two to three dozen eggs in an aluminum pan.  As soon as they were cool, she and I colored them using a PAAS coloring egg kit and crayons.  And as soon as the eggs were colored, we had our first Easter egg hunt.

I’m sure when my brother, my only sibling five years older than me, was young, he hunted Easter eggs, but my memory only goes back to Mom and me taking turns hiding and hunting eggs in our backyard.  The backyard where our dog ran and played and slept in his doghouse.  Where my brother rode his horse right up to the within a few feet of the house and tied her to a tree.  Where everyone walked every day.  That’s where we hid Easter eggs on the ground, under shrubs, and in bushes.

Mom chose the best-colored eggs to take to the church Easter egg hunt that immediately followed the 11:00 Sunday service.  And after that hunt, I brought home a basket of eggs – mostly eggs that other church members had boiled and colored.  So by Sunday afternoon, we had at least three-dozen Easter eggs – some from our house and some from the church egg hunt.

What to do with all those eggs?  Mom and I hid and hunted, then hid and hunted again and again and again.  Until mid-week, when she declared that it was time to eat some of the eggs and put the rest in the refrigerator, while they were still good.  Still good – as in not crushed or too dirty.  Eggs that had not been refrigerated since they’d been boiled on Saturday.  Eggs that had rolled around in grass and weeds.

Mom’s decision called for a sorting process.  Eggs without cracked shells were put in the refrigerator.  Those with cracked shells were eaten first.  A boiled egg with a cracked shell had rivers of color – just like on a map – that matched its shell color.  I’d sit on the back porch, tap an egg on the on concrete floor, shell it, and eat it.  Hand to mouth, with a few sprinkles of salt.

Supper included deviled eggs.  I chose the one I wanted to eat by the outside rim of color on the white.  A blue or pink rim, certainly not yellow or green.  During the next week, Mom served boiled eggs for breakfast and chicken salad sandwiches for lunch.  No egg was wasted.  And none ever went bad in the refrigerator.

Recently, I was told that boiled eggs should be refrigerated two hours after being cooked.  Maybe that’s because today’s eggs aren’t gathered in Granny’s chicken house.

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