Sunday, 8 April 2012

Egg ideas

 This morning I used the roots that I bought in Georgia to dye my eggs red. In Eastern Orthodox Christianity, the red egg denotes the blood of Christ. Eggs have much symbolism attached to them: in Medieval art they represent the soul and immortality. They also used egg tempera to paint with, binding the egg yolk with dye, ensuring that the paint would last. In Scandinavia and Russia, clay eggs were put in tombs to assure life after death.
There are fun crafty things to do with eggs for those who do not wish to eat chocolate. Last year I made tea eggs and dyed them with onion skins. In China, tea eggs are a popular street snack: you boil the eggs, then lightly crack the shells and simmer them in tea with a little salt for an hour. Once the shells are off, the white eggs have a tinted tea marbled surface. You can also do this with food colouring, soy sauce or orange juice for different colours.
I also dyed eggs using soaked onion skins to stain the shells; in Russia they do this with herbs, placing the sprig upon the egg to leave a pattern.
You can also make edible birds' nests using kataifi (a Greek shredded filo pastry) or noodles, shaping them into a bird's nest, sprinkling them with sugar and baking them. 
Bird's nest soup  is one of the most expensive things you can eat in China; made from a Swift's nest (the bird's saliva aids construction), once put in hot stock, it dissolves into a gelatinous substance that is considered a delicacy.
Another crazy story from China: the urine of young boys is collected from schools to make this speciality: urine soaked eggs. Here is the link on Chinese wikipedia and from Reuters. Not so strange when you consider that 1000 year old eggs were originally soaked in horses' urine to preserve them.
Here is the link to my Pinterest board on eggs: I use it to free associate ideas. Check out the Egg board for crafty ideas and Easter recipes.

In Georgia, I bought these beautiful moulds in the shape of walnuts. 


  1. The walnut moulds and the marbled eggs are beautiful.

    Deeply envious of your trip to Georgia (travelling vicariously through you and Niamh at the mo). I thought the food would be interesting (fascinated by the glimpses of it I've had from Silvena Rowe's books), but it's much more than I expected.

  2. It was so fascinating. In about 15 years time you too can start to travel again!
    I'm coming out the other end now....she's 18 and I can leave her for a few days. I still worry though.
    Does Silvena Rowe have Georgian recipes in her books?

  3. Love the walnut moulds - just love 'em. I'm totally addicted to moulds and cutters - there's probably a name for it. I've been dying eggs too this week - but with bought dyes from a supermarket in Bavaria where I was last week - duck eyes with white shells dyed wonderfully well. So looking forward to seeing the moulds in action sometime soon.

  4. Thanks liz. What are the other moulds a shape of? is it nutmeg?

    1. Looking again I think the other mould might be of a chocolate or cocoa pod

  5. Hello! What you have here is madder root, "endro" in Georgian. We use the roots and onion skins together to get a deeper color. Once eggs are died and dry, we shine them w paper soaked in a bit of olive oil. Madder root is available in US online.
    You can use hard boiled eggs, cut in half, as great lunch - just cover them with walnut sauce "sazivi"
    As for the molds - they make the most delicious dessert. Cookie like dough is baked in molds and then filled with a mixture of dulce de lece, whipped butter and Indy minced walnuts. Yum!

    1. Hi Ani,
      Thanks for your most interesting comment. Aha so it's madder! Good to know. I've still got some left.
      Like both your other suggestions too.
      Any link to a recipe for the moulds?


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