Easter is near, and it’s hard to miss. The pastel plush bunnies, the brightly hued baskets and the endless arrays of candy catch our attention many places we go. At our farm, we celebrate our personal pet bunnies, Tundra and Minun, then focus our festivities on something we have in surplus: eggs! We color them, trade them, hide them, andâ€”of courseâ€”eat them. Our son Bryce especially looks forward to Easter eggs. A budding culinarian, Bryce enjoys hard cooking the eggs and turning them into edible delights once weâ€™re done admiring our artistry. Consider giving one of these Hotaling holiday ideas a try in your home.
All-Natural Egg Coloring
Since Bryce is acutely allergic to artificial colorants, we use natural foodstuffs to tint our Easter eggs. For each color, we combine 1/3 cup cold water, 1/4 cup white vinegar and one of the following:
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric: yellow
- 1 tablespoon pickled beet liquid: pink
- 1/4 cup pureed fresh blueberries: blue
- 1/4 cup pureed fresh spinach: green
Thoroughly blend each ingredient into the water-vinegar mix, then allow the eggs to steep until your desired color is achieved. Our son Nicholas brought home a pound of saffron threads from his travels to Turkey, so we use these for golden-orange eggs.
No Soft-Boiled Surprises
Years ago, my mother taught me to hard-cook eggs: drop them into boiling water, then cook at full boil for 20 minutes. Iâ€™m surprised those things didnâ€™t bounce. These days, my steps for the perfect hard-boiled egg is:
- Place the uncooked egg in a pot.
- Cover with water.
- Bring it to a boil.
- Boil for one minute.
- Cover and remove from heat.
- Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Shock in a bowl of cold water.
This hard-boiling method prevents soft, undercooked eggs as well as the overcooked, green-yolked eggs from my childhood. No one should have to eat those kind of eggs.
I clearly remember one Easter egg hunt, years ago, at my Aunt Cocaâ€™s house. She had hidden eggs throughout her home for my cousins and me to find. My cousin Francis and I discovered one egg tucked under the basement couch cushions when we sat down and heard its distinctive crunch. My mother informed me a week later that my aunt had just found another eggâ€”by its smell. To save our home from unwanted post-Easter aromas, my husband, Jae, and I developed a system to track our hidden eggs: We number each egg with a Sharpie, photograph each egg in its hide and use our handheld GPS units to mark each eggâ€™s waypoint. This might be overkill, but our sons havenâ€™t missed an egg since 2009.
Easter Egg Salad
Bryce likes to surprise us with what he prepares with all of our colorful Easter eggs. He makes delicious deviled eggs and has blended chopped yolks into mac and cheese. Our favorite is his egg salad, which vanishes within minutes of serving:
Separate the yolks from four hard-cooked egg whites. Roughly chop the egg whites and place them in a bowl. Thinly slice one celery stalk and one scallion; toss with the egg whites. In another bowl, mash the egg yolks. Add three tablespoons mayonnaise, 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice, and one tablespoon Dijon mustard. Blend thoroughly, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Gently fold the chopped egg-white mixture into the egg-yolk mixture. Serve at room temperature or chilled.