Easter, for me, always evokes the memory of having to sell White and Milk Chocolate crosses and bunnies to raise money for my parochial grade school. It wasn’t until a bit later in my life that I realized just how generally fucked up it is to eat a chocolate reproduction of the cross that their creator died upon. But, outside of that, it was the “Ham” holiday (Turkey is Thanksgiving, Prime Rib is Christmas and Ham on Easter). We got together and ate alot, not that it made it different really than any other holiday except for the show piece in the center of the buffet table. If I lived still lived in that area, that’s what I would be doing this Sunday.
However, that has long since changed since being adopted into my girlfriends Lithuanian family who live much, much closer than my own. Jugs of wine and Gennesse have been replaced by Krupnik and other things done in shot form. This year I’m making the Pashka recipe found in the most recent Saveur and stuffing a leg of lamb with as-yet-undetermined ingredients.
But the best part of it, which I am told MUST be done slightly intoxicated, is the decorating of easter eggs.
Lithuanian Easter eggs are essentially regular Easter eggs with a lot of intricate patterns made from hot wax
usually applied with a small tipped pin or different size nail heads that are placed onto the naked egg
dipped into the dye
and then the wax is peeled off.
Then a game is held where you stand in a circle, egg in hand, and tap your neighbors egg with your own as you go around. If your egg breaks the others, without cracking, you go on to the next and so fourth. If your egg cracks from being tapped, you’re out. I’m not sure exactly what the winner gets–something like a lucky year or the bottle of Krupnik–but there’s something.
Partially because I’m not artistic and partially because I’m an ass my four eggs that I decorated in anticipation of their entry into the Egg Terrordome are not ornate or even remotely artistic. They are crude and silly.
Like my attempt at this pig, here. One says “Eat Me” and the other is a Grateful Dead lightning bolt. I’m thinking the pig may take it this year.
So, if you’re dying eggs over the next few days go get yourself some parafin (it came off easier than bees wax), small nails or pins, some Paas or natural dyes, something to make the time consuming effort a bit more festive and give your eggs a different spin this year. Actually, there are much better, and more in depth, instructions by someone who actually knows what they’re talking about.
I’ll have pictures of what we actually ate next week.