This year, my family’s Easter celebrations were understandably tinged with sadness. The day after Easter, my family and I gathered in my parents’ hometown of Newburyport, MA to say a final farewell to my godfather and uncle, who passed away recently. While the circumstances of the visit were not ideal, it was nice to get to meet relatives, distant and not-so-distant, that I otherwise only know online or from my mother’s stories of her childhood; seeing the family home where she and her brothers and sisters grew up felt good, too. It was nice, also, to see the home where my uncle and aunt used to host our family Fourth of July reunions when I was a child. I will always remember my Uncle Leo as a patriarchal figure of my mom’s extended family, holding court poolside around a barbecue grill.
As a result of this jolt of nostalgia, I’ve been reflecting on the memories of my childhood more than usual. I have, given the season, also been thinking back to how my family celebrated Easter when I was a child. We spent the day at a party at a neighbor’s house, with all the other families in the neighborhood, for a gigantic egg hunt and brunch, but before we would go over there, we had our own little egg hunt at home. My parents would hide mostly dyed eggs around the house — as well as a few precious plastic ones, containing change for my piggy bank. Since I don’t have children yet, one problem I have not found myself faced with that my parents struggled with is how to eat up all those Easter eggs, after the excitement of the day has faded. Mostly, we peeled and ate them with a little salt, and choked down a few egg salad sandwiches, but there are lots more things you can do with hard-boiled eggs besides mixing them with mayo.
- Deviled eggs seem like as much of a given as egg salad, but we almost never thought to devil our leftovers. Deviled eggs are guaranteed to disappear much faster than their plain, hard-boiled counterparts. I’ve seen a family of four people demolish a dozen eggs’ worth in half an hour.
- Pickling them takes a few days, but it’s a good way of stretching the window of their usefulness, and you can add all kinds of cool things to the brine, like red pepper flakes for some heat, or beet juice to dye them a pretty pink color.
- Slice them and use them to garnish chicken liver pate. But then again, I will pretty much use any excuse to make and/or eat chicken liver pate.
- Chop them up and throw them on a salad. If your family eats as heartily as mine does on Easter, you’re going to be feeling like a few salads this week anyway.
- Add sliced eggs, along with sausage and/or bacon, and cheese to a pizza crust or a tortilla wrap for a tasty and quick breakfast.
- Potato salad is not potato salad without a few hard boiled eggs mixed in. Use the excuse of having a few extra eggs around to make a potato salad and throw some burgers on the grill. No, it’s not summer yet, but it’s starting to look and feel like it, so why not eat like it’s already here?
- Scotch eggs. April is widely recognized, though I believe unofficially, as Scottish Heritage Month, and while there’s some debate on the matter of whether Scotch eggs are actually Scottish at all (and they’re probably not) an abundance of hard-boiled eggs around the house makes this a very convenient time to try them.
- 1 pound pork sausage meat
- 6 hard boiled eggs, with shells removed
- 1 large raw egg, beaten
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
Make a very thin patty of sausage large enough to wrap each egg with an even layer of meat. Roll in beaten egg and then in breadcrumbs and pan-fry or deep-fry until crumbs are golden brown and sausage is cooked. Keep an eye on them — it won’t take long. Serve hot, with country gravy, or chill them and pack them for a picnic.
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