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Easter Eggs?

Easter is not far away. In fact, judging by the array of Easter eggs that have been on display at my local suprmarket since about two days after the New Year I am surprised that it hasn't been and gone already!

This year, instead of the usual chocolate goodies that we devour in minutes and then feel sick for the rest of the day, why not think of something that is a bit more lasting whilst retaining the element of "egg"?

painted eggsTraditionally, in many countries, Easter is a time when blown eggs are decorated and given as gifts. Why not try it for yourself this year? Apart from all else it's fun to do and your recipient "might" appreciate the effort that you have put in. Although, I guess that many youngsters, in particular, might disagree!

How to Blow Eggs

Wash the egg and prick top and bottom with a thick needle or hatpin. Peel away a little shell at the base. Holding the egg over a bowl, seal your lips over the top and blow hard. The egg will resist then come out in a rush! Rinse the shell carefully in cold water and prop up to dry.

Alternatively, eggs can be hard-boiled after they have been washed (and the shell degreased).

How to Colour

Use only food-grade dyes, such as red food dye or other colours.
Dissolve the dye in warm water, add a pinch of salt and a few drops of vinegar, then bring to boil.
Dip the hard-boiled or blown eggs and leave to colour on all sides.
Leave the egg to dry on a plate with blotting paper.
You could also use onion skins to create a really glamorous Easter egg! Boil eggs (in shells) with onion skins and they'll turn a rich, glowing bronze. Then paint patterns on them using gold, silver or bronze pens.
Alternatively, melt some candle stubs in a saucepan over a low heat. Dilute a few drops of different food dyes in glasses of water. Dip egg first in dye then into the melted wax just to cover the dye mark. The wax seals the dye so you can dip the egg in several colours without them running into one another.
You could also, try patterning the egg with little stick-on circles and stars. Then paint with poster or spray paints. Peel off the labels to reveal the shapes in contrast underneath.
For a two-colour effect, paint the whole egg first in a light colour, stick on the labels, repaint in a darker shade and remove labels (the shapes will retain the original pale colour).

Then, as a great addition to your beautifully decorated eggs you could give a funky or stylish egg cup as well.

cico egg cupWhy not take a look at Alessi's iconic Cico Eggcup, complete with salt shaker and spoon? Inexpensive and fun!

circo egg cupOr what about Zack's beautiful Circo Eggcup and Spoon? Again, this comes with its own salt shaker and spoon.

Great gift ideas and no chocolate in sight!

Available online from Proleno.

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