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Eggs-actly boiled, decorated perfectly to your taste Cooking expert gives tips on egg decorations at Eastertime

Written by Contributor. Posted in Featured, Health & Wellness

Published on March 23, 2016 with No Comments

by Peggy Trowbridge Filippone

First, you have to have the perfect boiled egg. Remember, hard-boiled eggs is a misnomer as they should not be boiled for any length of time. Believe it or not, there is an art to cooking eggs in the shell. Find out how to cook them perfectly to your tastes without that gray-green tinge.

• Place eggs in single layer in saucepan.

• Cover with at least one inch of cold water over tops of shells.

• Cover pot with lid and bring to a boil over medium heat.

• As soon as the water comes to a full boil, remove from heat and let stand.

• Large soft-cooked eggs: let stand in hot water 1 to 4 minutes, depending on your tastes.

• Large hard-cooked eggs: let stand in hot water 15 to 17 minutes.

• When cooked to desired level, drain off hot water.

• Immediately cover with cold water and add a few ice cubes.

• Soft-cooked eggs: let stand in cold water until cool enough to handle. Hard-cooked eggs: let stand in cold water until completely cooled.

Tips

• Never boil eggs. It makes them rubbery.

• Use older eggs. Fresh ones won’t peel properly.

• To keep eggs from cracking while cooking (before placing in water), pierce large end with a needle, which will also make them easier to peel.

On to decorating

The decoration of Easter eggs to further enhance their value became an art form centuries ago and continues today. Dyes made from vegetables, edible flowers, fruits, coffee, tea, leaves, bark, and roots were used to tint the eggs. Lovely designs were created by wrapping the eggs in ferns before tinting. The art progressed, with western Europeans becoming expert at creating intricate patterns in vibrant colors on the small eggs.

Always be certain you use food-safe dyes when coloring eggs that will be eaten. Here are explanations of some of the many types of decorated eggs:

Etched: Traced back to Macedonia, this process involves dying the egg, applying a layer of wax in a design, then bleaching off the color leaving only the wax-covered areas with color.

Krashanky: The Ukrainian word means color,  and these eggs are dyed a solid, brilliant color, often red to symbolize the blood shed by Christ on the cross.

Pysanky: The term comes from the word pysaty,  meaning to write,  and this describes how the egg is decorated. Intricate designs are drawn in wax on the eggs, a process closely related to batik. The eggs are then dyed many colors. Ukrainian artisans are famous for their pysanky.

Fabergé: Probably some of the most famous and most expensive Easter eggs known are those created by Russian jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé in the 1800s. The eggs were made of gold, silver and jewels and most opened up to reveal exquisite tiny figures of people, animals, plants or buildings. A total of 57 eggs were made. These are obviously museum artifacts of high value.

Binsegraas: The Pennsylvania Dutch traditionally wrapped the pith of the binsegraas, a type of rush, in coils which were glued to eggs. Then interestingly-shaped scraps of calico cloth were pasted on the egg.The Polish use colorful rug yarn formed into elaborately-designed coils, although they, too, originally used rushes.

Jeweled:  Designs are created by gluing any manner of sequins, beads, flowers, etc., onto blown eggs.

Cut-Out or Carved:  Blown eggs are used also for these creations where a portion of the shell is cut away. The exterior is decorated, and the inside filled with a little scene to be viewed through the cut-out section. These can be exquisitely elaborate.

Calico or Madras: Eggs were wrapped in calico or madras cloth and then boiled. The water released the dyes from the cloth and transferred to the egg. Since most modern cloth is colorfast, these are rarely made nowadays. This type of egg is not to be eaten, due to the danger of the dyes.

Peggy Trowbridge Filippone shares her cooking tips online. Contact her at www.about.com.

Eggs to dye for, with a fun effort

Here’s an easy method for decorating hard-boiled eggs using food coloring.

What You Need

Hard Boiled Eggs; Food Coloring; Vinegar; Water

Instructions

In a cup, mix about 20 drops of food coloring with a tablespoon of vinegar. Add a half-cup room temperature water.

Repeat the steps for each color.

You can experiment with mixing colors. Mix red and blue to get purple, and mix red and yellow to make orange. If necessary, you can add a bit more water so an egg dipped into the dye is completely submerged.

Gently lower eggs in the cup. The longer you leave the eggs in the dye, the darker the colors will be. Once the egg reaches the desired color, remove from the cup with a spoon and pat dry with a paper towel.

These guidelines are for artists aged 3 years and up. It should take you about 30 minutes, without including drying time.

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