Tag Archives: eggs

Eggs and Soldiers

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Eggs and soldiers made by L.

Eggs and soldiers made by L.

It’s been a busy year for us with a lot going on, including moving to a bigger house! When we purchased our new house, we inherited five lovely chickens who do a very good job of keeping us in an abundance of eggs. The kids love collecting the eggs, playing with the chooks, and feeding them, they are a wonderful addition to our family. The only problem is that my kids claim that they don’t like eggs (unless they are cooked in a cake, of course!). So I’ve been trying different methods of cooking with eggs in the hope of winning them over to the “eggs are yumtastic” camp. I have so far won over the younger three with scrambled eggs, hard-boiled eggs and quiche, but my eldest is still reluctant to even try eating eggs. In an attempt to remedy this, I got her involved in cooking eggs and soldiers this morning.

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Placing the eggs into the water.

I helped her get out a saucepan and start heating the water on the stove-top. Our eggs had been sitting on the bench and were at room temperature, so we brought the water up to boiling before adding the eggs to it. L used a dessert spoon to carefully place each egg into the saucepan without cracking them or burning herself.

Since these eggs were homegrown, they varied in size (one of our chooks is smaller than the others and lays smaller eggs), so even though we only boiled the eggs for around five minutes, the smallest of the eggs had already hard-boiled. The larger eggs were nicely soft-boiled.

Making buttered soldiers to dip in the eggs.

Making buttered soldiers to dip in the eggs.

L had a go at cracking the tops off the eggs using a spoon. As the eggs were very hot, she held the egg gently using a tea-towel to prevent burning her fingers while she removed the top. She also cooked the toast and cut it up into soldiers.

A took one look at the runny egg and refused to try it, while the toddlers hooked right in. L sort of gave the eggs a sniff then told me she didn’t want to try it after all. Oh well…. I had a lovely meal of eggs and soldiers prepared mostly by L, and now I’m back on my quest to convince her to eat eggs soon!

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Dyeing Easter Eggs

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L blowing out an egg.

L blowing out an egg.

A blowing out an egg.

A blowing out an egg.

Before we started this activity, I washed the eggs to remove any dirt or chicken poop from the shells. We had to blow the egg out of its shell before we could dye them, which meant making a small hole in the top of the egg, and a slightly larger hole in the other end. I was going to use a metal skewer to puncture the eggs, but I couldn’t find one, so an old-fashioned can opener did the trick. To break up the egg to make it easier to blow out, I inserted a meat thermometer and swirled it around inside for a few moments. A toothpick or wooden skewer would have also worked. Each of the kids had a go at blowing out the eggs by placing their mouth over the small opening and blowing through the egg so that the egg white and yolk was forced out the other hole into a bowl. Once all the egg came out, we ran some water into the shell and swished it about to remove any remaining traces of egg, and then blew that out too.

L dripping wax onto the eggshells.

L dripping wax onto the eggshells.

Adding wax to the shells.

Adding wax to the shells.

The eggshells needed to be dry before we added wax to them, so we dried them in a tea towel, being careful not to break them. I lit a candle with a match and let some of the wax melt. Then we dropped the wax onto each shell, making spots and lines. Melted wax is hot and can burn, so it was particularly important to do this part carefully and with adult supervision. L had a go at placing wax on the shells, but A did not, as I felt she was a bit young to do this without incidence.

The wax dried quickly on the shells, and then they were ready for dyeing. We used food colouring in cold water for this part. We placed blue colouring into a saucepan to do multiple eggshells, while other shells were placed in cups each containing red, yellow and green coloured water. Egg shells float, so to keep them down, I filled them with the water, making them sink. We left the shells to colour for about an hour.

Dyeing eggshells in cups.

Dyeing eggshells in cups.

After dyeing.

After dyeing.

Prior to removing the wax.

Prior to removing the wax.

When I removed the shells from the coloured water, we shook out as much water as we could, blew out the rest, and placed them on paper towel to help absorb any excess water. Most of the wax scraped off easily with my fingernails, and the loose wax wiped off with a tea towel. The wax protected the shell from the food colouring, creating patterns of colour and natural egg shell. Blue and red were the strongest colours, and green was light, but still good. The yellow was hardly visible at all, though looking closely, it was possible to see the pattern. The colours may have been more vivid if I had had lighter coloured eggs to work with.

The blue eggs after the wax is removed.

The blue eggs after the wax is removed.

A adding stickers to the egg basket.

A adding stickers to the egg basket.

The kids decorated a plastic ice cream container that I had covered in white paper. They added Easter stickers and some curly ribbon to make it pretty on the outside. Inside, we placed some bunched up pink tulle to make a cushion for the egg shells to lay in. This has been placed on the table as a centre-piece.

A did drop a couple of the eggshells on the floor after we were finished, and they broke open, so she learnt to be more careful handling the shells as they are only fragile.

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