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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in eggs

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
It's the Pagan Easter Bunny

Colorful eggs, hopping bunnies, fuzzy yellow chicks – these are inherent Pagan symbols. Just because Christians conveniently borrowed (OK, out and out stold) one of our unique seasonal special days does not mean that we have to step aside. Have a Pagan Easter Bunny Day, instead.

Invite some of your closest over this Sunday to boil and hand-dye eggs. Beets, carrots, and the skin of red onions make some great all-natural dyes. Boil the veggies in separate pots and save the water to dip the hard-boiled eggs in, once they've cooled. You can always add to the decoration with colored pencils, crayons, and stickers, if you like (again after they're good and dry). The key to all of this is the perfect hard-boiled egg, of course. Here is a recipe for success:

     HOW TO MAKE PERFECT HARD BOILED EGGS
     Place the eggs in a single layer at the bottom of a saucepan. Cover with at least an inch or two of cold water. The more eggs that are crowding the pan the more water you should have over the eggs.
     Heat the pot on high heat and bring the water to a full rolling boil.
     Adding a teaspoon of vinegar to the water may help keep egg whites from running out if an egg does crack while cooking. Also some people find adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the water helps prevent cracking as well as making the eggs easier to peel.
     Turn off the heat, keep the pan on the hot burner, cover, and let sit for 10-12 minutes.
     If you have the type of stove burner that doesn't retain any heat when turned off, you might want to lower the temp to low, simmer for a minute, and then turn it off.
     Depending on how cooked you like your hard boiled eggs, the eggs should be done perfectly in 10-12 minutes. That said, depending on your altitude, the shape of the pan, the size of the eggs, the ratio of water to eggs, it can take a few minutes more. Or, if you like your eggs not fully hard cooked, it can take a few minutes less. When you find a time that works for you, given your preferences, the types of eggs you buy, your pots, stove, and cooking environment, stick with it.
     If I'm cooking a large batch of eggs, after 10 minutes I'll sacrifice one to check for doneness, by removing it with a spoon, running it under cold water, and cutting it open. If it's not done enough for my taste, I'll cook the other eggs a minute or two longer.
     I also find that it is very hard to overcook eggs using this method. I can let the eggs sit, covered, for up to 15-18 minutes without the eggs getting overcooked.
     Strain the water from the pan and run cold water over the eggs to cool them quickly and stop them from cooking further. Or, if you are cooking a large batch of eggs, remove them with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice water.
     I find it easiest to peel the eggs under a bit of running water.
     The best way to store hard boiled eggs is in a covered container in the refrigerator. Eggs can release odors in the fridge which is why it helps to keep them covered. They should be eaten within 5 days.
     (Recipe from Elise Bauer)
   
Hide them in the backyard and have a hunt. The one who finds the most eggs wins a dark chocolate bunny. Heck, deck out a whole festive basket for them: they now have organic jellybeans, believe it or not. Remember those chocolate "nests" made with coconut and jelly beans in the middle, from your local small-town specialty chocolate shop? Yummy!

Throw together a simple brunch to share of hot ham and rolls and mimosas on the side. If weather allows, chow down outdoors. Remember what it was to be a child at this time of year, pondering all the possibilities of a fresh new start to spring. Pay attention to the especially chirpy birds and notice everything beginning to bud. Wonder at the concept of one little bunny (or one giant one, kind of Stephen King-ish) assembling and hiding all those baskets in your house when you were a kid.


References:
http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_make_perfect_hard_boiled_eggs/

Photo by Stuart Miles from freedigitalphotos.net

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Hopeful Spring

There’s something about that first whiff of spring in the air that makes one hopeful. Even if you don’t normally consider yourself an optimist, it’s hard not to smile more often or sing to yourself when the sun shines a bit brighter and the birds sound a bit chirpier. This is the optimum time to start either a new project, exercise plan, or go for a new job. Here is a simple but effective ritual to assist in welcoming spring:

Decorate your altar with some fresh bright yellow daffodils. Fill your chalice with a sunny beverage offering such as orange juice or lemonade. Set out some eggs or images of eggs. In fact, get one boiling on the stove. An optimum hard-boiled egg should be brought to a rolling bowl, submerged in a small pot of water. Once the boil is full, turn off the heat but leave on the burner, cover and let sit for 12-15 minutes. Eventually drain out the hot water, rinse the egg in cold h2o, dry and set aside.

If you don’t already own some runic stones, I highly recommend "The Healing Runes," by Ralph H. Blum and Susan Loughan. Any set will do – however this one specifically for healing is apropos for new beginnings and the like. Light some incense and draw five runic stones from the bag and lay them out in a row vertically, going toward you. This is also fun because the stones are shaped like little eggs.

The first stone runic symbol that you draw symbolizes “heart in the past (overview),” and how that can be influencing your current situation. The second will represent the present, and what you will most likely be grappling with right now. The third stone represents “surrender” or an obstacle for you to overcome. And much like a tarot reading, the last rune will be the future, if you continue on this current path.

Decorate your now boiled egg with the symbol of the last rune of your reading. Peel, eat, and meditate on what you have learned. When you are done, toss the remainders of the shell into a planter outside that should bloom when spring gets fully underway.

Photo credits:

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Black Egg

Behold: black eggs.

Bright black.

To some, this might seem strange.

To us, it makes perfect sense.

Black is fertile. Black is rich. Black holds everything.

Other priesthoods wear white.

Not so ours.

Black as Mother Earth, who bears the red rye and white barley.

(See her likeness on the goose's egg?)

Black as Mother Night, with her great sky of stars.

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A Public Service Announcement from the Paganistani Ministry of Culture

It's time to start saving onion-skins.

Seriously.

We're nearing the end of the Imbolc thirtnight. Here in Paganistan we're in Bridey's Spring: what cowans call the “February thaw.”

Look up and you'll see the buds on the trees standing out from their branches. Light lingers well after sunset. Male cardinals are beginning to sing their breeding-territory songs.

So start saving those onion-skins now.

It's a month and some to evenday, when we'll stoke up the dye-pots and boil eggs along with all the onion-skins we've saved.

Eggs that will emerge from those dye-pots robed royally in the colors of Dawn herself: yellow, saffron, gold, orange, deep Minoan red.

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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, March 24

It wasn't intentional but very nearly all of our stories today involve food. Read about the revolution of "cutting meat," the development of the modern Japanese diet, and more in today's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment on science and Earth-related news! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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The Grateful Witch: A Tale of the Slovenian Roma

While eating lunch one day a girl noticed that, having shelled their hard-boiled eggs, her parents crumpled up the shells before throwing them away. She asked why they did this.

“If you don't, the witches use them for boats,” they explained. At one time this belief was quite widespread throughout Central Europe.

“Witches need boats, just like anyone else,” she replied, and threw her eggshell, uncrumpled, over her left shoulder. A whirlwind caught the shell and whisked it away.

One day the girl was fishing from an island in the middle of a river. Suddenly, due to a heavy downpour upstream, the water began to rise. Before she knew it, her boat was swept away, and soon the rapids were in danger of covering the entire island.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Milk Pails and Prayer Books

The thing about superstitions is, you just never know.

One of my favorites comes from southern Germany. If you want to find out who the witches in your parish are, when you go to church on Good Friday, slip an Easter egg into your pocket. You'll recognize the witches by three things: 

  1. Instead of hats, they'll be wearing milk pails on their heads.

  2. Instead of prayer books, they'll be carrying slabs of pork. (!)

  3. They'll be standing with their backs to the altar.

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