Dyeing Easter eggs colors Brian’s memorySo we’re already just a couple weeks away from the second-biggest holiday that involves a supernatural being breaking into your house and leaving you mystery goodies (third-biggest, if you’re neighbors with Charlie Sheen). Yes, it’s almost Easter, which means you better commence with the egg boiling.
So we’re already just a couple weeks away from the second-biggest holiday that involves a supernatural being breaking into your house and leaving you mystery goodies (third-biggest, if you’re neighbors with Charlie Sheen). Yes, it’s almost Easter, which means you better commence with the egg boiling.
I’ve always had conflicting feelings about this holiday, probably because the day itself can’t seem to decide what it wants to be. Is it a holiday that focuses on religion and celebrates Jesus rising from the dead (pretty impressive, considering the week he had), or is it a holiday that crams kids full of sugary-sweet jelly beans, marshmallow chicks, and chocolate bunnies? When I was a kid, we celebrated both facets at our house, but one look at the silvery, fillings-laced set of teeth I carry around in my head will tell you which aspect of the holiday I personally looked forward to each spring.
My brother, sister, and I all got very excited when Candy Sunday rolled around. As we watched Mom haul our Easter baskets out of the hall closet, our youthful bodies would shiver in anticipation of the real sugar buzz that was soon to follow. And these were real baskets, not the cheap, plastic ones that currently line the shelves of local department stores. Our baskets were made of thin, colorful strips of wicker and filled with jangled mounds of plastic “grass” that resembled no kind of grass any of us had ever seen growing in the wilds of Saginaw, Minnesota. Then we excitedly left these baskets out for the Easter Bunny to fill with sugary concoctions. (Personally, I never understood why we needed the “grass” in the first place. It just took up valuable candy space.) Finally, before retiring for the evening, we also placed our colorful Easter eggs in each basket.
I always considered coloring Easter eggs as one of those family projects that sounds like a fun idea (plop some chalky tablets into cups of vinegar, then place a boring white egg on a thin wire hoop, drop it into the murky mixture, wait a few minutes, then … VOILÀ! … an embryonic color explosion!), but which, ultimately, was kind of pointless. I mean, we never ate the eggs. Do you know how hard it is to eat a hardboiled egg? You gotta peel it, then you have to be careful not to let that rubbery oval slip out of your fingers and hit the floor while you’re battling with the last few shell fragments. It’s why I never ate oranges, either. Too much work. We kids also succeeded in splashing most of the kitchen table with the color water, covering it with soppy rainbow puddles. Eventually, I figured out what Mom always knew: the point wasn’t the end food product. It was the time we spent together as a giggling, smiling, and blissfully happy family.
As I get older, I miss warm moments like those childhood Easters more and more. Oh, my siblings and I still get together at Mom’s house, but now it’s our kids who paint the eggs, then take them home to look at for a couple of weeks, before eating one or two and saving the rest to throw at the TV when the Vikings’ season starts. Yes, it’s really nice to spend a spring weekend at Mom's house as she creates Easter memories for her grandkids, just like she did for her own kids.
Plus, she’s the expert on cleaning kitchen tables that have been given a bath of orange, blue, and green vinegar.
Brian Matuszak has been difficult and demanding since February 2008. He is the co-founder of Renegade Comedy Theatre, founder of Rubber Chicken Theater, and loves the deviled eggs that Sue and Kaylee do eventually make out of their Easter eggs, both for the deliciousness and the irony.