An egg boiled very soft is not unwholesome. Serle understands boiling an egg better than any body. I would not recommend an egg boiled by any body else....
Mr. Woodhouse, Emma
Spring at last! Easter holidays, fresh flowers- sunshine! Always a welcome change from the winter doldrums. As Mr. Woodhouse says, a very small egg will not hurt you. Decorating and coloring boiled eggs for Easter was the custom in England during the middle ages. In fact, in 1290, household accounts for Edward I record an expenditure of eighteen pence for four hundred and fifty eggs to be gold-leafed and colored for Easter gifts.
Just how do you get the perfect Easter Egg?
Now for the colors:
- Place eggs in a pot.
- Pour just enough water into the pot to cover the eggs.
- Place on the stove and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer gently for 15 minutes.
- Remove and plunge eggs into cold water.
Use 1/4 tsp food coloring, 3/4 cup hot water and 1 Tbsp white vinegar. Mix the liquids in a bowl or cup and add your colors. Colors and shades are limited only by immagination. The longer you leave your egg in the dye, the darker it's color will be. Of course Jane wouldn't have had commercial food dyes. Here are some ideas for natural colors.
What to do with all those eggs once Easter is over? Martha Lloyd, Jane Austen's Sister-in-law, suggests this recipe from Mrs. Dean Dundas:
Bone a fat breast of veal, cut some slices of ham, the yolks of six eggs (boiled hard) and a handful of parsley chopped fine; cut your veal in three pieces, but the fat piece at the bottom of a cake tin, then season with pepper, salt and parsley, (eggs and ham between each layer). Put the thinnest piece of veal at th top. Pour a coffee cup of water over it. Bake it three hours in quick oven, with the bones over it--when done take them off, and lay a weight on your meat in a small plate, (as it cools the weight must be heavier that the cake may be close and firm). The brisket of the veal is the only part used.
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