Monday, April 25, 2011

Brown Eggs

The Easter Bunny has come and gone. The colored eggs will slowly disappear over the next week added to school lunches, snacks and egg salad sandwiches. On the farm, we knew that our colored eggs would soon become pickled eggs hanging out with pickled beets or in a huge bowl of Mother's potato salad garnished with a few slices of hard boiled egg on top.

Coloring eggs was different on the farm. My granddaughters look at me strangely when I tell of gathering warm eggs from beneath a chicken then taking them into the house to be boiled then colored.

"Our eggs were brown," I told them.

"Did they taste different," Gabby asks.

"Why were the eggs brown," Sydney asks.

Did they taste different? Well, yes, they were fresh and maybe with a bit warmer egg taste. Why were they brown? As I remember, it had to do with the type of chicken.

"How does the chicken lay the egg? Where does it come from?" Gabby asks.

Oh, my. I hate these conversations.

"Well, they just plop them out their backside," an easy out by Grams.

A duel chorus of, "yuk".

"They poop them out?" Gabby exclaims.

"Noooooo," I answer trying to dig out of the hold I'm in.

I hate these conversations that take me places I just don't want to go. So, I change subject.

"My mom had big white cups that she put the dye in to. We dipped eggs a lot like you do now. You know, brown eggs look different when you color them," I said.

"How do they look different," Gabby asks.

Being a grandma is a challenge. Sometimes telling my suburban born grandchildren stories of my past on the farm back the lane must seem to them a fairy tale. They have never been to the farm. Never walked around a hen house. Never placed a small hand beneath a warm, clucking hen. They have never seen the house where the eggs were dyed nor the met the woman who was their great grandmother. In case you didn't know, this blog is a history I write for them.

"Well, the brown eggs are just darker than your white eggs when they are dyed. Brown eggs are brown, so the color you color them will be darker, too," I explain.

They are trying to figure out what I just am I.

I didn't tell them that some eggs just turned out brown and often yucky shades of the other colors.

Easter egg question are dormant for another years. Whew!

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