Eastering the Egg
The weather on Easter Sunday was glorious, the kind of perfectly beautiful day my mother calls “top ten.” It was so gorgeous it almost made you forget you were under shelter-in-place. Almost. Except that not being allowed to gather in church on Easter just felt wrong, like I was missing out. Because I was. I’m grateful for Home Worship, but it’s not the same.
One thing that was the same was Easter Eggs. I got to dye real, hard boiled eggs with my grandson (using our DIY colored concoctions). We dipped them for short and long times, wrote on them with a Crayola to make names magically appear, and practiced a new trick. Gently wrap a rubber band around an egg before you dye to make it striped! We had plastic eggs for hunting of course, they serve their purpose too as perfect containers for chocolate coins and jelly beans and to house each tiny treasure in our set of Resurrection Eggs.
The egg is not just a fun huntable or an excellent source of high quality protein and disease fighting nutrients. For centuries and in many cultures it has been a symbol of new life, whether it’s the chick just peeping out of the egg or an empty shell representing the empty tomb after Jesus’ resurrection, the ultimate Giver of Life in my Christian faith. Jesus mentions the egg in the Bible (Luke chapter 11) when talking about the good gifts given by the Father.
As one of God’s many creative designs, the flexibility of the egg is amazing. It can be boiled, soft or hard, and prepared for our eating pleasure. Delicious deviled eggs, chopped hard boiled eggs for tuna or egg salad, colored eggs for hunting, or plain white boiled eggs for an egg relay race. Poached eggs are a favorite for some, and the love of scrambled eggs is almost universal, but personally a perfect over-easy egg is hard to beat (no one made those like my Dad) – fried in bacon grease if you want to kick it old school, or simply turned in a well-oiled pan.
In baking, the egg is unmatched. The yolk provides stability and adhesion, not to mention flavor. And the whites? Magnificent! You can scramble them on their own to be extra heart healthy. You can beat them to the just-frothy stage in preparation for a nice meringue or the perfect cookie icing. Some recipes call for egg whites beaten to a medium peak. Or, like the delicate soufflés I made for Easter lunch, you can beat the tar out of them until they reach a very stiff peak then gently fold them into a white sauce vegetable mixture and bake for a taste and texture you won’t get any other way.
So, next time you open a carton of eggs or pluck one out of the chicken coop, take a moment to marvel at the smooth oval you hold in your hand, its Maker, and all the possibilities.