My favorite tradition of the Easter season is coloring eggs. I don’t really EAT that many hard-boiled eggs, so I leave those safer-to-color ones for the kid, and I color raw eggs*. I’m much more careful than I used to be – no more full-hand grabs into the coloring liquid. I have mastered the use of that little wire holder in my 30-ahem years. I just love being creative and seeing what kind of cool designs and colors I come up with, and it’s a wonderful hour or more spent with my little guy. He’s getting quite good at it himself, and only spilled the blue dye this year.
So the Easter Bunny hid some of those colored eggs in my living room yesterday. Thomas had a blast searching for them, and of course his aunt and dad and I gave him the clues “you’re getting warmer” and “you’re ice cold” and such. Then we did the outdoor hunt with plastic eggs filled with goodies.
My cousins next door did the same thing with their kids, so we all got together and pooled our eggs, so to speak, and did a larger hunt with about 125 eggs. The coin-filled ones were of course the biggest hits.
I snagged my dad and made him take a break from his field work so he could enjoy a little R & R watching the kids and chatting with the adults. He pulled a chair under the decades-old maple tree and enjoyed a few minutes of shade while the kids ran around the yard.
He looked at my cousin and me and said, “ya know, it used to be you guys running around hunting eggs. Now it’s YOUR kids!” I think we were all amazed at that, not that we didn’t know, but that it’s so surreal. It’s almost as if Celery Avenue is a magical place ; no one wants to leave the farm.
We were reminded by the adults that when we were very young the family would hold major Easter Egg Hunts. All the kids on the road and some friends from nearby would bring their kids and we’d all line up on the cement wall along the road. At the precise moment, we’d all get the go-ahead and we’d run as fast as we could to find as many eggs and candies as possible.
I actually found an old home movie of this – I believe it was about 1975. The men had huge sideburns, the ladies all had feathered haircuts (pre-Farrah – so they were short) and bell-bottoms were all the rage, both denim and plaid polyester. The coats (yes, it was a cold Easter) were mostly browns and golds and oranges (egad!) and many of the kids had fur-lined hoods pulled up tight against their faces to guard against the cold spring wind. A few wore pants, but many of the girls had on the cutest little dresses and were freezing their knobby knees!
My mom had the Pocahontas hairdo, which she shed a year or so later in favor of a short, no-nonsense, easy-care hairstyle. Dad didn’t have a gray hair on his head. I was 4+ and Jeff was almost 18-months old. He was attached to my mother’s leg for most of the hunt. Thankfully, the moms and dads steered the older kids away from the obvious picks of huge eggs and candy bunnies hidden smack dab in the middle of a bare spot on the lawn. The little kids had to get something! Poor D from down the street was about 3 at the time. She kept falling. Every time she got back up, boom! Down she went again. Her mom was so cute, practically pleading with her to get up and stay up.
And so it went for the 20 or 30 minutes it took for us to find everything that was hidden for us. The adults also had their own game, though, so it wasn’t such a sacrifice. Somewhere in the yard there was always a bottle of liquor hidden. That particular year, it was tied high up in the very maple tree that Dad was sitting under in 2010. The home movies, complete with chipmunk-like sound, of ‘aunt’ Bonnie climbing the tree to get the booze are a scream. Everyone teased her about going to such lengths to get the prize. Another ‘aunt’ was razzed about her red nose. She insisted it was red because of the cold…. We’ll never know for sure!
So in honor of Easter, enjoy some egg salad. My favorite? Nothing special, really – just good, fresh ingredients. Chopped hard-cooked eggs, Hellmann’s mayo, a squirt of spicy mustard, salt, pepper and fresh snipped chives, served on a Wasa Crispbread. The creamy salad and the crunchy cracker make a great combination. And what a tasty, easy way to use up all those eggs!
* Just in case you get an Easter egg at our house sometime in the future, be sure to check it before you peel it. The long-standing tradition is to color ONE raw egg for an unsuspecting lunchtime guest. Right, Marty?