My family has never been one for traditions. We had shrugged off most holidays and family gatherings unless someone gave birth, someone got married, or someone died. Yet we looked forward to a certain activity every year during my childhood.
Coloring Easter eggs.
I believe the reason we did this was that we raised chickens on the farm and my father loved eating hard-boiled eggs. A Two-Fer! We had plenty of eggs - too many, sometimes. Often I had tiptoed from the barn with my shirt loaded with almost twenty eggs as I had to somehow navigate my body under the electric fence wire without having all that cow-shocking current coursing through my backside and forcing me to drop an egg.
I had good days and bad days when involving that fence.
Anyhow, I carried my findings into the house only to see the kitchen refrigerator stocked to the hilt with eggs. Then I checked the porch refrigerator and found that one completely filled. After a deep sigh, I entered the greenhouse and looked at the little yellow bundles of peeping chicks all warm under their heating lamps. I told them to lay off with all the eggs when they grow up.
Fun and useless fact: I don’t care much for eating eggs, although I love eating chicken. As for my brother, he hates eating chicken and eggs. On the other hand, my sister loves both but is turning toward a vegan diet. Weird family? Yeah, you don’t have to remind me.
So what did we do with the eggs? The only thing we could do, which was we left them to rot and then took shots at each other with the smelly balls. Okay, we didn’t do that with ALL of them. My mother cooked them: deviled, scrambled, hard and soft boiled. Also, we painted eggs for Easter before my father cracked open the shells and ate those too.
Sunday newspapers covered the kitchen table as we got our water ready and pulled out those egg coloring kits found in the checkout lanes at the grocery store. A few drips of the dye, and we went to tie-dyeing those cooked eggs in stripes and dots and funky psychedelic colors as our grinning, happy faces breathed in the steam fumes leftover from the boiling pot of water. We used our plastic dipping spoons that could never quite snag the egg out of the container as we had to use our fingers to retrieve the undeveloped fowl. Then we placed them on the holders to dry with multicolored fingers.
The eggs would last two days before my father ate them.
Of course, this wasn’t the only thing my family did - remember the title to this post. We would also make . . . get your napkins and powdered sugar ready because this is going to make you hungry.
For as long as I can remember we made donuts with nothing more than dough and a pot filled with hot cooking oil. And this wasn’t any ordinary pot. It was one of those old electric ones with the metal prongs and the temperature dial on the side - the predecessor of the modern day crock pot.
It was perfect for donut-making.
We prepared the dough using a large glass as a round cutter to make the shapes. A smaller shot glass created the donut holes (and those would end up in the cooking oil too - yum). Carefully, our fingers placed the dough into the pool of golden brown. We watched them sink to the bottom before bobbing up to the surface like dolphins taking a breath of air. Then we used a fork to flip the dough after it browned on one side. Barbeque tongs helped to fish out the donuts as we placed them on the cookie racks.
Powdered sugar donuts
Glazed donuts made with cooked powdered sugar and water
Donuts with sprinkles leftover from Christmas cookie decorations
Donuts with shaved coconut pieces
The only ones we could not make were the jelly-filled kind. No big deal. We grabbed a butter knife along with the jelly/jam containers and slathered the good stuff on top, or we cut the donut in half as we ate them like bagel sandwiches.
Colored eggs and donuts . . . are there any better food combinations for a kid to make?