Saturday, April 15, 2017


 The images here are scans of post cards that my dad received in childhood -- let's say between 1910 and 1915. Of course, the bunny / chicky thing has been associated with Easter "forever," but today I was surprised to see images of colored eggs from a century ago. I don't recall that either of my parents mentioned coloring Easter eggs as children.

"Hope you had lots of eggs for Easter."
Certainly as I grew up, we did color Easter eggs. The dye came in kits which included six color pellets, I think, and also some transfers and paper holders, etc. Mother would protect the table with old towels and then set out six mugs from her Fiestaware. I remember trying to match the mugs to the color of the dye. Once the pellet was in the mug, half a cup of boiling water was added. At this point, it was important to dissolve that pellet so that your eggs dyed evenly. Mother insisted this phase be done correctly -- stir, stir, stir. Lastly, a tablespoon of vinegar was added to each cup.

"Hope the kids didn't steal your eggs."
Of course, the eggs -- two or three dozen -- would have been boiled in advance of the dying party. Most of my eggs were "plain janes" -- dye one egg and move to the next. I simply wasn't imaginative in my approach. Mother and my sister Nina would do fancier things. 

By the time my children came along, the process of dying eggs had somehow lost its luster, and I don't remember that they thought it was fun. 

Today, I am happily free of the eggs and the dye. I made hot cross buns instead. But -- I still remember that once upon a time it was fun to dye eggs on the Saturday afternoon before Easter. KW

[The messages on the back of the postcards seem to indicate that the children on the farm enjoyed a lively Easter game of finding hidden eggs -- and also stealing them from others.]


Hallie said...

We dyed eggs. I believe we were having fun, but it's not an activity that I miss as an adult. It's smelly and messy and sometimes the dye would leach through to the egg, making it unappetizing in appearance.

Kathy said...

Smelly and messy -- yes. And I think by the time I was dying eggs with my own children we were aware that real eggs need to be refrigerated, and we also knew we shouldn't eat a lot of eggs at one time. Seemed like a waste to cook up all those eggs, even though it really didn't matter. Eggs are always cheap at Easter time.

I'm pretty sure that real eggs are no longer used in organized Easter egg hunts. I never cared about those either. It's the people out in front that win the prizes.

Chris said...

I love deviled eggs, egg salad, and potato salad. That said, we haven't dyed eggs at our house since the kids were young. You're right--it's messy work, but it was definitely part of the holiday when I was young and a (supposed) necessary carry-over when I became a parent.