Saturday, April 4, 2015

Russian red eggs

These richly colored eggs have a story behind them. Growing up in Beverly our Russian neighbor, Manishka Kotsovolos (married to a Greek man), would celebrate Russian Orthodox Easter every year  after our regular Easter. When we would arrive at her festive and aromatic home to celebrate the Russian Pascha—the Greek word for Easter—Manya would greet us with a hearty "Christos Anesti!" (Christ is risen!), and the feasting and celebrations would begin.

At the Pascha, the grown-ups would drink and laugh and talk with wonderful passion, and the kids would indulge in the many exotic Russian-Polish-Greek sweet treats that Manya had baked. And there, on the table, was always a giant bowl of these glorious ruby colored eggs that we—both children and adults—would play "Egg Wars" with. Two people, each holding an egg, smash the pointed or round ends of their two eggs together. The owner of the eggs that does not crack is the winner who goes on to the next round, and so on, until there is just one winner. Read more about Greek Egg Fighting here. Needless to say, there was a lot of egg salad the following week. Our family has since adopted this tradition for own own Easter celebrations.

So why do the Russian Orthodox dye their eggs red? Red symbolizes many things, but in this instance the Red is meant to represent the color of life and victory, and blood of Christ. Coloring Easter egg originated with the early Christians of Mesopotamia, who stained eggs red in memory of the blood of Christ. Read more about the history of Russian red eggs here.

Yummy red!

Here's how to make these crimson, blood red eggs: Dyed in onion skins and red food coloring, these eggs come out vibrant red every time. You may have to scrub your pots and pans a bit when the dying is complete.  After your eggs have come out of their red bath and are dry, lightly oil them with mineral or olive oil to give them a brilliant, luminous shine. Have fun!

You may also like:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Type your comments here. If you don't have any of the accounts listed, select "Name/URL" and just put your name. Thanks!