By: Ginger Hill
The sounds and smells of Spring time seem to be filling the air as thoughts of warm, wispy breezes and back porch lunches are becoming less of a dream. As the season of winter is being overtaken by the season of Spring, now is the time to start preparing for those elegant occasions with family and friends. But, how can this specific occasion be special and different from all the others? With egg salad, of course!
The basic ingredient of egg salad–the egg–symbolizes fertility and birth in many cultures, therefore, serving egg salad at a Spring luncheon is most logical because the season of spring is associated with blossoming love, the awakening of new life, and a positive change. In fact, an old French custom called the egg-rolling contest consisted of rolling raw eggs, identifiable marked by their owners, down a gentle slope. The slope of the terrain was a little bumpy and attacks by the competing eggs didn’t help much. However, the egg that survived was named the “victory egg” and served as a symbol of the rock that rolled away from the mouth of the tomb when Christ rose from the dead! Wow! Now, that is pretty powerful! I don’t know about you, but every time I see an egg from now on, it will remind my of Christ, who gives people new life and is the symbol of unconditional love! Now that is one positive change! What an elegant way to celebrate the coming of Spring by consuming the very food that symbolizes the season!
The diverse and sometime complicated study of history states that humans have been consuming eggs since the beginning of recorded time. The ancient Persians and Celtic cultures celebrated the spring equinox. The spring equinox takes place on March 20 at exactly 7:34 a.m. EST when the sun will cross directly over the Earth’s equator making day and night of equal length all over the world. Because the sun is a round shape and radiates red tones, the ancient Persians and Celtic peoples would give red-dyed eggs as gifts during the equinox. The eggs were consumed and the shells were crushed, a ritual that drove away winter. During the 9th century, there was a ban placed on eating eggs during the 46 days of Lent.The eggs were collected and held onto for safekeeping. After fasting, the eggs were distributed to servants and children who made the eggs into huge omelets.The practice became more refined as nobility used the last days of winter to decorate eggs to give to their mate, their master, or the King. By the 16th century, eggs were being decorated by great artists and demanded by the court of France. By the end of the 19th century, the court jeweler to the Czar of Russia, was creating extraordinary eggs of gold, crystal, and porcelain.
In present day culture, hand-decorated eggs are given as gifts, used to start a unique collection, and play important roles in religious ceremonies. As you can see, the incredible, edible egg has made a remarkable impact on various cultures throughout history.
Well, now it’s time to spread out a blanket in the backyard on the soft, sweet green grass, bask in the brilliant sun rays as butterflies dance in the warm breezes, and enjoy some eloquent old-fashioned egg salad! One of my favorite egg salad recipes is filled with the richness of wholesome eggs and cream cheese that gives the salad an extremely smooth texture. Let’s take a look at how to prepare this type of egg salad.
CREAMY EGG SALAD
1 package (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 c. finely chopped green or sweet red pepper (I
plan on using red)
1/4 c. finely chopped celery
1/4 c. sweet pickle relish
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
8 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, mayonnaise, salt, & pepper until smooth. Add green or red pepper,
celery, relish, & parsley. Fold in eggs. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 3 cups
How To Boil Eggs
The easiest way in which to prepare boiled eggs is to place the eggs in a pot. But, not just any old pot! Aluminum will cause your eggs to darken! Cover the eggs with cold water, then add a pinch of salt. Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat to a simmer. Typically, cook the eggs for about 15-20 minutes. Drain the hot water off the eggs and immerse with cold water which not only stops the cooking process, but allows the eggs to cool faster and we all know what that means! The closer we will be to sampling that egg salad!
I don’t know about you, but it seems like such a waste to throw away the shells eggs! A great suggestion is to make a candle from the eggshells. Let’s shed some light on that subject!
Simply, crush the eggshells into various sized pieces and dye them different colors. Find a container in which you would like the candle to be in. Melt some candle wax and pour into the container. As the wax begins to set, drop the colored eggshell pieces into the wax and insert a wick. When the wax hardens, the candle will appear as though it has confetti in it due to the mulit-colored eggshells sporadically scattered in the candle.
While you and your special someone enjoy a romantic evening by the egg candlelight, why not keep the children entertained with sidewalk chalk made from eggshells. Why not allow eggs to bring out the artist in your child with this simple recipe!
shells from 6 eggs
1 tsp very hot tap water
1 tsp flour
Wash the eggshells well, so they don’t have any egg left in them. Dry them and grind them with a rock on
the sidewalk or other concrete surface. Make sure the rock you’re using for grinding is clean so you don’t
get dirt ground in with the eggshells. Grind the eggshells into a fine powder. You’ll need one soup spoonful of this powder to make a stick of chalk. When you have enough powder to make a stick of chalk, sift or pick out any little bits of eggshell that are still not ground up and throw them away. Scoop the powder into a cup or paper towel and bring it into the house for the next part. Stir the flour and hot water together in a small dish to make a paste. Put the soup spoonful of eggshell powder into the paste and mix well. It may help to mash it with the back of the spoon. Add a few drops of food coloring if you want colored chalk. Shape this mixture into a chalk stick. Then roll it up in a strip of paper towel and set aside to dry. (Drying takes about three days.) Then just peel the paper off one end and you’re ready for some creativity!
Well, folks, I hope that you are ready to welcome the season of spring with a romantic evening filled with love by the flickering of an egg shell candle while the kids get in touch with their creative side by drawing with egg shell sidewalk chalk. But, don’t forget, to make this evening memorable, feast on the rich goodness of egg salad!
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