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View Full Version : Hoppy Easter! Sharing traditions?



Chevette Girl
04-17-2011, 09:04 PM
So, does anyone have any interesting Easter family traditions or recipes to share?

I'm not religious (and I realize a good number of you wonderful folks are so hope there's no insult given) so I am just sharing what my family did when I was younger and what I do now.

I'll start... I always dye all my raw eggs in the fridge with food colouring about a week before because I'm silly that way and I'm the only one who uses the eggs most of the time so I get to choose which colours get used first! Mwaahhahaa!!! Most years, I make chocolate-covered cream filled eggs (mom's recipe) and an easter bread wreath with (peeled) coloured boiled eggs tucked into it.

Eggs:
1 can sweetened condensed milk (300 ml is the size sold here, not sure how many fluid ounces that is, looks close to 10? exact amount isn't critical, if your can's bigger, just make sure you have more icing sugar on hand!)
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp Bird's Custard powder (optiona)
yellow food colouring (optional)
2 lb icing sugar
about 12 ounces of semisweet chocolate for coating, baking squares will work but I use coating chocolate

Cream the butter into the condensed milk, add the vanilla and custard powder if used, then start adding icing sugar in 1/2 cup increments, making sure it's smooth before adding more. Optional: When it starts to hold together on its own, separate about 1/3 of it out into another bowl and add yellow food colouring to it if you want to make yolks, I always do because I'm silly that way), continue adding icing sugar to both bowls until the mixture is stiff enough that if you pinch some out and roll it in a ball, it doesn't flatten out if you place it on a cookie sheet. You want it stiff enough that if you pick up the ball off the cookie sheet, you don't leave big finger dents.

Once it's sufficiently stiff, take a small lump of yellow, roll it in a ball, take a lump about twice the size of white, flatten it out a bit and wrap it around the yellow ball, then roll the whole thing into an egg shape. The smaller you make them the more chocolate you'll use to coat them and the longer it takes, so it's tempting to make a lot of bigger ones because it's faster, but just remember, once you start eating one you won't stop till it's gone, and they're a very rich source of sugar-shock :) I usually make half a dozen larger "family size" ones (bigger than a real egg but a little flattened, I've made them about the same volume as half a medium-sized apple) to wrap up fancy and give as gifts, and the rest I aim to make smaller than an egg, maybe the same size as a walnut or pecan in its shell.

Waxed paper or parchment paper is handy, I lay the eggs out on ppaered cookie sheets as I make them and once you're done with that, time to coat them. Easiest way I've found is to only JUST melt the chocolate (don't get it really hot, just warm enough to melt so it doesn't go on too thin or start melting the eggs), and then dip each egg in to coat one side (keeping fingers out of chocolate works best for me) and stick them to the waxed paper, chocolate side down, once they're all dipped, then use a spoon or pastry brush to dab or paint chocolate over the tops of all the eggs. I usually try to go over them twice because I always miss a spot at the bottom and anywhere you see white, it'll dry out the cream filling. If you've got a better method to chocolate-coat something that melts if left in hot chocolate too long, by all means, please share! (when I first tried making these myself, I tried submerging them on a fork, doesn't work, the chocolate melts the egg to the fork)...

Allow to cool completely somewhere cool until the chocolate is solid, peel off the waxed paper, keep refrigerated. Makes LOTS, perfect for sharing, they also last a long time in the fridge (if you can refrain from eating them, that is). The big ones are nice to serve sliced thinly with a sharp knife (I do this even with the little ones so I can see how round I got the yolks to be) but you have to get them out of the fridge a bit beforehand, long enough for the chocolate to soften up a little or it cracks when you apply the knife.

If anyone wants the bread wreath recipe, I'll dig out my bread machine cookbook, it's a breadmaker recipe but I make the dough by hand cause it's more fun. If I recall, it's a fairly standard eggy bread recipe with ground cardamom, braid it into a wreath and tuck an odd number of dyed boiled eggs without the shells into the braid before letting it rise, I think brush it with egg before baking but I could be misremembering that.

AToE
04-17-2011, 09:39 PM
As half my family is Ukrainian we used to do a lot of egg painting/dying, with the traditional funnel-on-a-stick beeswax technique.

I'll have to find some pictures of eggs my great grandmother made before she died (made it to 94 years old!), they are absolutely amazing, just incredible works of art. I could never create something even close.

Chevette Girl
04-17-2011, 10:01 PM
As half my family is Ukrainian we used to do a lot of egg painting/dying, with the traditional funnel-on-a-stick beeswax technique.

I'll have to find some pictures of eggs my great grandmother made before she died (made it to 94 years old!), they are absolutely amazing, just incredible works of art. I could never create something even close.

I've done a couple of those over the years using the kiska (sp?) over the candle with Ukranian or Ukranian-trained friends and they turned out very well, although nothing compared to some I've seen! These days though, I'd rather focus on consumable decorations, so I settle with just food colouring on the eggs to be eaten, I don't have anywhere safe to store the fancy eggs I've done anyway, I think the last ones I did are still at my ex-bf's house! I just eat the prettiest dyed eggs last...

Family traditions can be funny, I've got a couple family traditions on my mom's side (like Grandma's blintzes) that seem to be Ukranian, but the closest my lineage on that side gets to that is my Transylvanian (Romanian) grandfather, which is pretty close, all things considered :)

Fisher kel Tath
04-17-2011, 11:13 PM
Family dinner at my moms, which means getting drunk early to be able to stand my family, and making fun of my brother for not eating ham.

wildoates
04-17-2011, 11:17 PM
Being a Christian, Easter is one of the big holidays for me--but with only adults in the family these days, a lot of the things we used to do are in hibernation until the next generation comes along--like the egg hunt we used to do, hiding eggs high in trees and other inaccessible spots that require planning and teamwork to get.

Ah, the good old days!

This year it'll just be my two daughters, my sister, and me enjoying a lovely brunch accompanied by mimosas made with sparkling mead :)