Have you ever wanted to decorate eggs that you could keep forever? You can empty and clean the eggs quickly and easily so you won’t have to use your creations for egg salad!
I use an egg blowing tool (available here), but you can also use a tack or small drill bit and a syringe (without the needle). Along with the supplies I have pictured below, I also use a large bowl for collecting the egg whites/yolks and another large bowl for cleaning (if you are emptying a lot of eggs you could also use your sink).
Step 1: Using your drill tool notch one end of the egg and drill a hole. (If you are using a syringe you will need to make a hole on each end of the egg.)
Step 2: Take the cap off of the pump and insert it into the hole (which is facing down). Put your thumb over the hole and squeeze. As you squeeze the pump you will begin to empty the egg. When you squeeze all the air from the pump into the egg, take your thumb off of the hole and pump again. (If you are using the syringe to empty the egg place the tip in the top hole and squeeze so that the egg contents come out of the bottom hole.)
Use caution during this step because if your egg is cracked at all or too thin it will break as you pump air into it. Also, if you pump too much air into the egg too quickly it may break. I usually poke the end of the pump tool into the egg now and then to help some of the material come out and also to pierce the yolk sac. This step will take a couple to a few minutes, depending on how big your egg is.
Step 3: Once your egg is empty it’s time to wash it. Using warm, soapy water wash off the outside of the egg. Submerge the pump tool into the water to fill it. Insert it into egg and squeeze the water into the egg. Repeat this until only clean water comes out of the egg. Rinse the egg in clean water and shake out excess water.
When your egg is clean you can microwave it to sanitize it, if you’d like. I place my eggs on a paper towel-lined plate and microwave on high 3 times for 10 seconds each.
Step 4: I cook all of the egg whites and yolks and give them to our chickens, turkeys and ducks. The cooked eggs are a very nutritious treat for the birds!
Step 5: Once the eggs are dry they are ready to be decorated. Be creative and have fun!
Gnocchi can be made 2 ways… with potato or Ricotta cheese. I use my grandmother’s recipe to make mine and use Ricotta.
What you’ll need:
3 lbs Ricotta Cheese
2lbs+ Flour (you’ll need to add more than 2 lbs so that the dough isn’t sticky and also for rolling the dough)
handfull of parmesan (I use Locatelli instead)
Gnocchi boards or forks
Step 1 – Put wax paper on cookie sheets.
Step 2 – Measure out ingredients and make “well” in center of flour.
Step 3 – Mix together eggs, Ricotta and parmesan.
Step 4 – add wet mixture to well in flour and knead dough (don’t over-knead or the dough will become tough).
Step 5 – Wet a towel with water, wring it out and cover dough so it doesn’t dry out. Cut of small amount of dough off.
Step 6 – Roll into long “rope” and cut into small pieces.
Step 7 – Roll pieces of dough on gnocchi boards or forks.
Step 8 – Freeze gnocchis on cookie sheets then put into freezer bags (you can also cook the fresh gnocchis).
Step 9 – Cook in boiling water until they all float. Serve in a dish with gravy (we don’t call it sauce!) and enjoy!
We didn’t have corned beef and cabbage at our home…. we had corned beef and roasted potatoes, and other veggies. This year I got a Nathan’s brand corned beef from our local market and it turned out great!
We also had the best Irish soda bread. I got the recipe from a dear friend several years ago and make it every year.
Here’s the recipe:
4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk or regular milk
1 cup raisins (rinsed so they don’t stick together)
1 egg (beaten)
Mix all ingredients together. Pour in a cast iron skillet (grease and flour well). Sprinkle ¼ cup sugar on top. Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Let cool 1 hour in pan. Remove and cool completely.
Today is more commonly called Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday, but here in Berks county, PA we are in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country! Fastnacht (also spelled fasnacht or faschnacht) are a doughy potato pastry, similar to a doughnut, and fried in lard. In the past people spread honey on them but, today, you most commonly find them glazed or coated in confectioners’ sugar.Mardi Gras has been a traditional day of feasting since the Middle Ages. All the feasting would use up extra food in the home pantry that would be a temptation during the 40 days of Lenten fasting. Lent is the period of 40 days prior to Easter and fasting during this time began as a Catholic custom, but is also celebrated by many Protestants.
Historically, fastnacht dough was set out to rise on the Monday before Ash Wednesday. It was then cut into squares and fried in lard for Tuesday morning breakfast. Everyone would eat all the fastnachts they wanted with their coffee or other morning beverage.
Fastnachts & Coffee
I wish you all a happy Fastnacht Day! If you can’t find fastnacht where you live, here’s a recipe I found at www.maplespringsfarm.com. This farm is in Bradford County, PA and the family is of German and PA Dutch heritage. (The recipe make 100 fastnachts – you might want to reduce it!)
Ingredients2 cups mashed potatoes
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup shortening and ½ cup butter
1 quart milk – scalded and cooled
5 cups flour
3 packages yeast in 1 cup warm water (dissolve yeast in water + 1 tea sugar)2 eggs
1 tea salt
Rest of 5 pound bag of flour
DirectionsMix first six ingredients in order with electric mixer. Let rise until double, approx. four hours at room temperature.Stir remaining 3 ingredients into previous batter. Let rise till double (approx. 5 hours). Roll and cut. Let rise again till double (2 – 3 hours).Fry in lard at 425. Makes 100.
Happy Fastnacht Day!!