Easter Eggs, Soft Boiled Eggs Sprinkled w/Cumin, Arabian Soldiers & Chaa’nine
Which egg’s your favorite? Mine is the lilac colored egg with the butterflies. Of course, you already knew that since I gave it the best seat in the house!
I’ve always loved Easter and all the celebrations that came with it. In Lebanon, we have a beautiful custom that is called Chaa’nine which takes place on Palm Sunday. On this bright and sunny day, the air filled with the scents of spring, all the young ones come out dressed in white or pastel colored clothes, carrying very long candles that are intricately decorated with ribbons and flowers. The fathers then position their over-excited (or was it just me?!) young ones, in turns, on their shoulders before being led by the priests around the church in a procession.
It’s sounds like a blast huh? It’s a shame I’ve not been able to convince my dad to give me a shoulder ride in a long time. Not even one last time!
Easter egg coloring and decorating followed later on that week and just a couple of days before Easter Sunday. All us kids would get together and make a huge mess with all the colors. We would also create dyes, the traditional way, with the skins of red and yellow onions although in all honesty they never yielded very exciting results! Then come Easter Sunday we would all play the egg-cracking game which is meant to symbolize the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave like the little chick that breaks out of the egg, alive.
I used some of these gel colors to reach all the outrageously beautiful colors above. I used violet, green, rose, yellow and brown. I also made sure to use the whitest of eggs for best results. For the eggs who’s destiny was to be stained with the brown dye I selected them darker. To get all the different patterns I used an assortment of stickers and white wax crayons for drawing before plunging the eggs into a color bath. You could also rub oil on the colored and dried egg for a more glossy effect or apply sprinkles.
Bonus egg recipe… I love boiled, perfectly runny eggs. I know it’s not everyone’s cuppa tea but it sure is mine! Here’s one way I enjoy them: sprinkled with cumin and a side of Arabian soldiers.
To get soft boiled eggs, bring a heavy bottomed pot filled half way with water to a boil. Once boiling remove off the flame and using a spoon gently lower each egg into the water. Place the pot back on the flame and let boil for five minutes. (exact timing will change depending on altitude). While the eggs are being boiled, cut some Arabic bread into thin strips and grill for 2-3 minutes, till crispy. By now egg is ready! Run it under cold water briefly, crack the top open, sprinkle with salt, pepper and cumin. Find your soldier and dig in!