Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Part 1 of 4 parts.

I love other people’s holidays almost as much as I like my own. In some ways, I actually like them more (with the exception of Thanksgiving which is my favorite) because I don’t have that thing that tells me I should be doing something that I’m not doing.

I am a cultural Christian which means that when everyone is too big to dye Easter Eggs and refuses to wear an astounding hat I don’t know what to do other than make a dinner reservation or prepare a meal. But there’s this nagging thing that tells me that I should be in a church doing my Easter duty or celebrating Christ’s resurrection or something a little bit somber instead of arranging flowers and giving my family beach towels, which is my own personal tradition that no one recalls even though I do it every single year.

I am especially surprised that my daughter doesn’t remember that I do this as I spent a long time looking for very specific towels for her (My Pretty Pony, Rainbow Brite, Care Bears, etc.) and for years she seemed delighted to have them. My son was always easier and if you couldn’t find an Optimus Prime towel he was content with any old dinosaur which was always easy to find.

The reason my son was not especially concerned about his “special towel” was because he never staked it out as his own, didn’t care who used it and was very content to dry his body with anybody else’s towel especially, it seems, the aforementioned towels that my daughter coveted so I don’t have to tell you how the whole summer went about this. Thing is though, Easter, to me, is the hope of summer and the thing you do in summer is swim. Of course, you need a towel, preferably one that you treasure. This is so stupid that it makes sense that no one remembers this.

Stupid or not, I celebrate holidays. For the last four or five years, I hosted an Easter party for my Chinese friend’s children. This year, because it wasn’t possible to do it in our home because of the fire, we had the holiday in her apartment. We were worried that because the children are approaching 10, dying eggs wouldn’t be enough for them to do. We chit chatted about how they were older, mature and excellent with crafts so we really should think of something to do other than dip eggs in pretty colors (over and over again until they resembled hand grenades rather than eggs). So, I had to think about that.

What I thought was that it would be wonderful to do complicated eggs that you could keep for years and years. I had seen eggs whose insides were blown out from holes that you almost couldn’t see and I knew people kept them. There is, of course, a great advantage to doing this with people who never celebrated the holiday before as you get to be the expert about the holiday and its meaning and no one can dispute that. And so you know, I’ve been told a lot of traditions since I’ve lived on the Lower East Side so I know, for sure, that lots of other groups make it up as they go along too. That’s pretty okay.

I tend to be a 2000 kind of gal so I know about germs and the high caloric content of candy that no one is supposed to have. That is why, of course, you have to have something to blow out the eggs, so you don’t have to use your mouth which everyone knows is germy; humans are even more germy than dogs who get to slobber on you and when they do that no one so much as proffers a bottle of hand sanitizer. So, you can see how you’d have to use that aerosol can of air that you buy to blow away the dust from your keyboard.

Once you get the knack down about this it’s quite a bit of fun. What you do is peel a little hole in the top and bottom of an egg, and break the membrane. Then you have to find a long skinny thing with a point to put in the hole to break up the yoke. A yoke is a lot stronger than you think it would be so you have to poke it a lot. If the yoke isn’t liquid, when you apply the air (one long squirt is best) the egg explodes in your hand. If the yoke is broken, the egg whooshes out in a satisfying stream so it is best to do this over a bathtub and, in my opinion, is not the best project to do with anyone with a xy chromosome under the age of 50.

I spent a long time learning to do this and because I ultimately decided that it wouldn’t be a good idea to introduce this project in someone else’s house, and because we don’t yet have a kitchen, I nixed this idea.

I had a hard time letting go of that and could only put it aside after I wrote to the manufacturer so that their customers could know how to do this but I never got a reply. I was somewhat surprised about that and guessed that the project could raise liability issues or the directions were so un pc (I put in a warning about doing this with boys) so I understood even though I think they should have sent me a form letter thanking me and telling me that the e-mail had been forwarded to the appropriate person.

So, we just dyed eggs the regular way and baked them in little bread things that never actually browned. It is true that the children are indeed and becoming mature. The eggs turned out the colors that you think of when you think about spring. I don’t know how they tasted because I left when the eggs were still hot, but that’s not the point is it?

I wonder if everyone will be mature enough next year to blow out the eggs. Whatchathink?

Note this is in a couple of parts because I didn’t tell you how everyone else is celebrating and maybe you’d like to know about that too.

No comments: