The egg has been the symbol of new life and rebirth since the ancient Egyptians, Persians, Phoenicians, and Hindus -all who believed the world began with an enormous egg. History around the world shows eggs connected with Easter. In the household accounts of Edward I of England showed an expenditure of eighteen pence for 450 eggs to be gold-leafed and colored for Easter gifts. A North African tribe had a custom of coloring eggs at Easter. Long hard winters often meant little food, and a fresh egg for Easter was quite a prize. Christians abstained from eating meat during the Lenten season prior to Easter. Easter was the first chance to enjoy eggs and meat after the long abstinence, so both eggs and meat made it to their Easter table.
The first book to mention Easter eggs by name was written five hundred years ago. Here are a few you can share with your children today:
· The Golden Egg Book (Golden Lap Book) by Margaret Wise Brown and Leonard Weisgard
· The Easter Egg by Jan Brett
· Bright Baby Touch and Feel Easter by Roger Priddy
Where Are Baby's Easter Eggs?: A Lift-the-Flap Book by Karen Katz
· Pinkalicious: Eggstraordinary Easter by Victoria Kann
Easter Egg Hunt (Razzle Dazzle Books) by Chuck Murphy
Happy Easter, Mouse! (If You Give...) by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond
Legend of the Easter Egg, The by Lori Walburg and James Bernardin
· The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story (Berenstain Bears/Living Lights) by Mike Berenstain and Jan Berenstain
Bunny's Easter Egg by Anne Mortimer
The Best Easter Eggs Ever! by Jerry Smath
The Golden Egg (Templar) by A. J. Wood and Maggie Kneen
Henri, Egg Artiste by Marcus Pfister
The Big Bunny and The Easter by Steven Kroll
· Easter Craft Book By Thomas Berger and Petra Berger
· Easter Egg Craft Book: Egg Decorating Book by Nan Rooff
· Easter Eggs by the Dozens!: Fun and Crative Egg-Decorating Projects for All Ages! By Rhonda Massingham Hart, Rhonda Hart Poe-Storey
To hard cook your eggs: Set eggs gently in a sauce pan. Cover eggs with cool water. Heat just until water boils. Reduce heat so that water is just below simmering 20 minutes. Set saucepan in sink and run in cold water for just a few seconds. Tip: A greenish ring around the yolk of a hard-cooked egg is a common, harmless occurrence caused by the formation of iron sulfide. To lessen the possibility of such rings forming, carefully watch the cooking time and immediately cool the hard-cooked eggs in cold water.
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To Dye Eggs Prepare Easter egg dye as directed on package, or use a few drops of food coloring in small bowls with enough water to cover egg. With care set each egg, one at a time, into the dye. Let stand turning occasionally until evenly colored. Lift out and place on cookie rack to dry.
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Artistic Eggs Paint them, color them glue bits of trimmings, buttons, paper, stickers, lace, ribbons, glitter, rickrack bows tiny flowers. Be imaginative, making a special egg for everyone at your table. Or simply write each guest’s name on an egg with crayon before dying.
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Zippy deviled eggs Removed shells from six eggs Slice eggs in half, With a teaspoon, remove egg yolks and place in mixing bowl, and smash with a fork Mix in 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise 2 tablespoons mustard ½ teaspoon of Mrs. Dash Mix well. Fill center of egg whites with the egg yolk mixture. Sprinkle paprika over the egg. Chill and serve.
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Easter Facts • The first Easter baskets were made to look like bird's nests. • The traditional act of painting eggs is called Pysanka. • The custom of giving eggs at Easter time has been traced back to Egyptians, Persians, Gauls, Greeks and Romans, to whom the egg was a symbol of life. • In medieval times a festival of egg-throwing was held in church, during which the priest would throw a hard-boiled egg to one of the choir boys. It was then tossed from one choir boy to the next and whoever held the egg when the clock struck 12 was the winner and retained the egg.
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• Easter is now celebrated (in the words of the Book of Common Prayer) on the first Sunday after the full moon which happens on or after March 21, the Spring Equinox. • Easter Bonnets are a throwback to the days when the people denied themselves the pleasure of wearing fine angels for the duration of Lent. • Some Churches still keep up the old tradition of using evergreens - symbolic of eternal life - embroidered in red on white, or woven in straw, but most now prefer displays of flowers in the spring colors of green, yellow and white. • Americans celebrate Easter with a large Easter egg hunt on the White House Lawn. • Every year at Easter Pope John Paul sends his " Urbi et Orbi " to the world. • The date of Passover is variable as it is dependent on the phases of the moon, and thus Easter is also a movable feast.
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Rhonda Cratty includes her experiences of 30 years of public school teaching, raising children of her own, and articles written for on-line and hard copy publications -within the pages of Learning at home. Learning at home can be purchased in print or eBook form through Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/dp/1494917203 • For more information please see http://famfunlearn.com/.