The Incredible Edible

On Saturday mornings at my house, we often have eggs for breakfast. It’s the only day of the week with no school or church so we have time to fix them. On the last Saturday in March, I cracked open the egg that I had pulled from the fridge for myself and gasped with surprise as two yolks followed each other double-yolked egg. I set it aside to show my youngest daughter (and hoped she would be in the mood for eggs since I was saving it for her) and took out another egg for myself. “It’s like it would have been twins, right?” she said peering down at the two small yolks in the bowl. “Yes, how do you want it?” I replied. Of course we left it sunny side up and “dippy” so it could be displayed and appreciated that much longer.

It’s that time of year when our stores usually run special buys on eggs. This may prompt some of us to hard boil a few more of them than we usually do (and maybe even color a few for Easter.)

Early man stared with wonder at an egg (just the way I did at my double yolk.) It is a kind of miracle that from this stonelike thing can come new life. Persians, Greeks and Chinese all gave one another gifts of egg during spring festivals in celebration of the new life surrounding them in spring. The ancient druids in England and France circled around piles of serpent’s eggs which stood for life; their circle for eternity – eternal life.

It is hard to say just how the idea of Easter eggs in our western world came about. The first book to mention Easter eggs was written five hundred years ago, but North African tribes that had become Christian are know to have colored eggs at Easter long before this.

During the hard times of the Middle Ages, the egg came to represent a precious gift one might receive as an Easter gift when hungry children in Europe roamed around begging for eggs. In England, this came to be known as Pace-egging, which is still done today sort of like our trick or treat. In Russia and its surrounding areas, baskets of eggs were blessed at church on Easter Saturday to become the special breakfast for Easter Sunday. Decorating eggs for Easter became an art. In Poland and the Ukraine, special egg decorating is called “pinsanki or pysanki” meaning “to design” or “written eggs.” We can connect the Pennsylvania Dutch with bringing the art of scratching designs on colored eggs from Germany.

People everywhere have believed in the magical powers of Easter eggs. There are egg games and egg contests wherever Easter is celebrated. Many centuries of traditions from all over the world have combined to bring us the Easter eggs of our world today. HAPPY HOLIDAYS.

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