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Hunting For Easter Eggs

Or How I Took a Trip Around the World

 

Today we are going to take a trip from America to Germany to England and back in time to the Crusades; even to ancient Rome and learn to say a Latin word.

I have written about my Hungarian heritage several times. That is my mother’s side of the family. I have not written too much about my German heritage, or my father’s side of the family. I did share the German New Year’s Day pork and sauerkraut tradition. 

So today I am going to share what I have always believed was a German tradition. But in doing some research for this post I learned the roots are not so much German as English.

I knew that there was English blood on my father’s side of the family. But I don’t know where it came from.

Every year at Easter my brothers and I, like millions of children all across America,  dyed Easter eggs with the kits you can buy in grocery stores. But my dad also dyed eggs using what I thought he said was a German tradition. In any event, it was how Easter eggs were dyed when he was a child in his home. And he passed the tradition on to his children.

What did he do that was so different?

He dyed the Easter eggs with onion peels.

I searched and searched the internet for this German tradition. I found nothing. Nothing at all. After an hour’s search I was about ready to give up.

But I don’t give up that easily. So I started over. When I got to Wikipedia’s Easter Egg page a second time I spent a bit more time there. Mostly I looked at all of the pictures of eggs from different countries at the bottom of the Wiki page. 

That is when I saw them!!!

But they were not labeled German. They were labeled, “Pace Eggs.”

I had NEVER ever heard that name before. So ever the intrepid researcher, I did another internet search this time on Pace Eggs.

The first reference I found was on a Flicker photo sharing page. And who ever posted that picture also included quite a description. He or she described boiling the eggs in water with the onion skins. This results in a one-color egg.

My dad wrapped the eggs in the skins and then in a piece of cloth and then hard-boiled them.

But this is where I found the English link. The Flicker page said coloring eggs this way was a tradition in Cambria, which is a region in England. So I continued searching.

Well……………..it seems this way of coloring Easter Eggs has been around since at least the time of the Crusades. “Pace” comes from the Latin, “Pacha” which means Easter.

English villagers from Lancashire, Yorkshire, and Northumberland did all manner of things with eggs colored this way at Easter time from rolling them in the streets to drinking ale, and all manner of activities to plays and street festivals. You can read the details by clicking the following link if you are interested in more information: Pace Eggs. It is very interesting and gives a very detailed, yet short history of Pace eggs and all the frivolity surrounding Easter in those days.

This page describes making the eggs the same way my dad did.

Another site I found, A Simply Gorgeous Life, describes her English mother making these eggs. She states, “In Britain, Pace eggs were traditionally given at Easter to friends as a token of goodwill.” She also has a recipe.

So, with this background I share German-English-Crusades-Roman Easter Eggs made like I learned from my father.

Featured Recipe          German Easter Eggs
This is what you will need:

As many eggs as you want. I am making six.

A large pot to hard boil the eggs in.

Saved onion peels.

Cloth to wrap the eggs in.

String to bind it all together.

Here is what you do:

Fill the pot with water and set on the stove.

Place a square of cloth on the counter. Take an egg and place it on the cloth. Wrap some of the onion skins around them. Completely wrap the egg in skins using multiple layers of onion skins if necessary. Use contrasting colors for the best effect.

Now wrap the egg with the onion skins in the cloth tucking in the sides of the cloth as you go………….

………..and bind it with the string. I changed the color of the string from white (ingredients picture) to black string so you could see it. Wrap and tie well but gently. You don’t want to crack the eggs. Yet you want that cloth to hold the skins against the egg shell.

Continue until all your eggs are wrapped.

Then place the wrapped eggs in the water and cook as you would hard boiled eggs.

You may need to place a plate on top of the eggs to keep them submerged so they hard boil.

This is how I make hard-boiled eggs:

Basically I heat the water till it starts boiling. Then I remove the pan from the heat, cover and let sit 15 minutes.

When your eggs are hard-boiled remove the eggs and let the eggs cool until you can comfortably handle them.

Unwrap the eggs and dry them off with  towel.

Then grease them with some lard or oil so they shine. Wipe excess oil off.

It is hard to get the real color of the eggs to show through in a picture. And after this winter I never thought I would ‘complain’ about sun today. But there was just too much light with glare in my kitchen for me to get a really good picture. I did not find any really good pictures on the internet either. So there you have it.

But here are a few that will give you an idea of what they look like.

 

 

Happy Egg Hunting!!!!

No cost analysis today.

Quote of the Day

This recipe is certainly silly. It says to separate the eggs, but it doesn’t say how far to separate them.”

Gracie Allen

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