Dyeing Easter eggs is a tradition that was apparently started by some guy named Paas. I don’t think he started out deliberately trying to color eggs for the holiday. Who would ever think of coloring eggs to celebrate the resurrection of Christ? More likely Mrs.Paas gave her husband some chicken coop chore, which he botched miserably and tried to cover up by saying, “Look, honey, I made these beautiful eggs for you.”
“What am I supposed to do with blue eggs?” she replied skeptically.
“You could put them in a basket full of fake grass,” he answered.
“And what does that have to do with Easter?”
“Er, well, eggs symbolize new life?”
Noticing her blank stare, he threw in, “and if we market this we could make millions.” And thus, the egg dyeing industry was born.
Of course, over time some adjustments had to be made. The Paas family children demonstrated why you should only dye hard boiled eggs, never raw. After their first five hundred attempts rolled onto the floor, they also realized the need for egg holders. And thankfully, they also accelerated the need for stickers to cover a shoddy job on the coloring.
So we begin by throwing little colorful tablets into vinegar and watching them dissolve like Alka Seltzer. Should it concern us that our food is going to be dipped into a substance which looks like it would remove pesky toilet stains? And the smell is unmistakable. Christmas smells like gingerbread, candy, and cookies. Independence Day smells like mouthwatering barbeque. And Easter? Stain remover. Thankfully, we can cover the smell somewhat by placing Peeps in the microwave until they explode. The burning sugar nicely displaces the rancid smell of the vinegar.
For most of my life, I have been a self-proclaimed egg dyeing coward. I know there are people who double dip and make professional grade multi-colored eggs. I’m happy for those of you who can use a flimsy wire holder and turn out Faberge eggs fit for the Romanoff family. Believe me, I’ve tried. My egg always flips out of the holder and drowns itself, leaving me no choice but to pretend that I really intended for my egg to be one color. I’ve tried using a spoon and even my fingers, but my eggs are always one color. I’m a Monochromatic Mary. I’ve got no tricks up my sleeve; I do one color and slap on some dopey looking stickers to cover up the fact that my three year old could do a better job.
My brother is the only person I know who can use that “magic” white crayon and do an invisible drawing on an egg, tie-dye it, and make it look like a painting on the Sistine Chapel. I tried it once, but it looked more like graffiti on a Vegas Wedding Chapel.
I’d like to think that even Michelangelo would have had trouble with the Paas magic crayon. But the truth is he probably could have even used the wire holder as a paint brush. He could have painted beautiful eggs while standing on his head. But using the cardboard egg holders? That’s another story…