I am sending this for the Click: March (2008)- Metal hosted by Jai and Bee of Jugalbandi
Multipurpose Idli-maker !
Easter is nearing and everywhere in the shopping malls I see beautiful decoration. My nature is , whenever I see something very nicely decorated, I feel like knowing how they did it, even very basic kid stuff like Play-Dough (so you can imagine how much an Egg-dye kit seen everywhere nowadays makes me feel !) can occupy my time if I can get hold of some, but this sometimes goes wild as it can make me go on a shopping spree ..ahem(I am telling this from my personal experience when I was in India) , so I myself tell V that, I appreciate him so much , for stopping me from buying such stuff , though I start cribbing when he stops me ;-D .... Ain't I a good wife ? ;-) Is V reading this? If he is, he better nod ....in approval of course !! :-DD
Our TV is out of order from yesterday, so I was stuck with Internet. What more reasons do I want? With all the merry making I saw in Framingham for Easter, I decided to decorate eggs. This is my first time making Easter eggs. And yes I made up my mind not to spend even an extra penny for this at the store. I was going to make with whatever available in my home at that moment.
As usual, Internet was my help. I searched for the basics of blowing through an egg, making holes using things at home, Natural dyes etc etc.... When I got an idea of how they do it, I then made a mental note that , I have food colors , given by a friend, eggs ( a full carton! wow) , Lemon extract, Turmeric powder, Chilli powder (hehehe how can I forget my love for spicy stuff, though I am just dying an egg), color pens, markers. Well that would be enough for me.
The only thing I had a concern was the Egg blower, I didn't have one and I didn't want to use my mouth as I didn't want to ingest raw or uncooked poultry because of the risk involved. So I searched in the kitchen for an alternative, and yes, boy oh boy, was I glad to see my Pressure Cooker ? yes , especially the lid !! That along with my mouth was my "Egg Blower kit" ;-D
These are steps I followed to make Easter eggs: I used raw eggs at room temperature.
To make two holes in the egg:
1. Things used : A sharp pointed sewing needle, the usual scissors with sharp pointed tips.
First make a hole at the pointing end of the egg: Hold the scissors and egg horizontally. Using one of the pointed tips of the scissors on the pointed end of the egg, with a very little pressure (be careful to not cause any big cracks on the egg shell), start turning the scissors and the eggs in opposite directions in a motion similar to tightening a screw. It might take a while for the scissors to finally cause a tiny opening in the egg shell. If your hands start paining, just take a short break and resume again at the same spot (be sure to drill the same spot, so mark it if you forget)(in fact this speeds up the process ! ) . When the tiny hole finally starts forming, reduce the pressure to almost Nil, try scraping away (or just poking around the hole a little) the shell surrounding the hole using the needle. The hole you make at this end should be smaller than the one you make at the wider end. Stir the insides of the egg using the needle or the scissors (be careful not to cause any cracks while doing this). The stirring helps the yolk to come out of the hole while blowing.
To blow in the egg: This was quiet a task using the pressure cooker lid. But look at the positive side, I didn't have to waste a penny, and I got a good breathing exercise using my mouth. Be sure to have a good breakfast or whatever before trying to do this ;-D because it takes a lot of energy. Maybe I felt like this because I did it on an empty stomach ;-D
Keep a bowl to collect the egg white and the yolk (you didn't think I was going to throw that away did you? I didn't want to waste food, so I collected the whites and yolks and stored them in the refrigerator in an air tight container. Will use them for a quick omelet or scrambled egg. Fix the top part of the pressure cooker lid with the vent on the smaller hole on the egg, holding the egg in one hand and the lid in the other, breath deeply and give a good blow through the other side of the vent. If it didn't work out, enlarge the hole on the wider end a bit to allow the contents to come out. Repeat until most of the contents come out. If you are a first timer like me, I am sure you will be so surprised with the laws of physics involved here ! Fill the egg shell with water, and repeat the blowing to clean the insides. Allow these to dry for 5-10 minutes.
Dying the egg shells:
This is the fun part which takes you to your childhood as you will have color stains on your hands, nails ;-) I loved it !
Things used : Liquid Food dyes, Turmeric powder, vessel for boiling water, Lemon extract, stickers.
When the egg shells dried, I stuck small stickers (you can see the pony, it was originally a unicorn but the horn didn't stick well to the shell) imprint on the egg, its from the sticker :) ] on the egg shell. Then I kept the vessel filled with a little water (to cover the egg) for boiling. I filled the egg shell with water so that it doesn't float in the vessel, so that it gets a uniform coating of the dye. I added the egg shells filled with water to the vessel. When the water in the vessel started boiling I added the lemon extract (a few drops) (this I guess is the alternative to vinegar which helps to bind the dye to the egg shell), and then the dye (you can mix and match the dyes too ! ) . Then I allowed the mixture to come to a rolling boil, reduced the fire to low and just waited for a few more minutes until I felt that that the color of the egg is desirably changed. Scooped out the egg using a spoon, be careful the steam inside the egg shell can cause burns. Or you can just wait until the mixture cools. Then I kept it for drying . Don't wipe the shell with you fingers when its wet. When its dry, I peeled off the sticker to find the cute imprint of the pony on the shell. I was so happy to see that ! You can draw shapes using markers and ink pens.
I made several of these eggs and arranged on an Idli stand as you can see in the pictures. I was glad I could do something creative like this:)
Happy Easter in advance to each one of my readers !!