I love Easter. It's not that I'm religious (that's laughable) and it's not because I love candy (I mean, I do, but that's not the point). So why do I love Easter? Well, there's the food, but really, it's all about the bunnies. Rabbits rule.
I had a pet rabbit when I was a kid, Bandit. He was black and white and cute all over (groan, I know, but I had to!) I don't think I would ever want another pet bunny, not now, not in my teeny tiny apartment. So in the meantime, there's Roebling, and the plethora of bunny themed goodies sold around Easter time (and that blissfully go on sale when Easter's over).
Okay, so back to Easter and the eating part…. A late Easter is wonderful. Spring produce is becoming available, flowers are up and the weather is more amenable to outdoor egg hunts. The religious holiday becomes more of what it was originally, a celebration of the end of winter, the end of eating out of one's pantry and root cellar.
One of my favorite things that my mother and grandmother used to make for Easter was pickled red beet eggs. Eggs are, of course, another symbol of Easter, but they're also a sign of spring (the hens start laying again), so this is a cool dish that's based in both the root cellar and the new produce of spring.
These eggs are gorgeous. The beets leech out their ruby red color and the eggs suck it in during the pickling process, dying them a gorgeous royal red all the way to the yolk. When you cut one open, they look like little reverse sunsets.
I've never actually made my grandmother's recipce, and for some reason my mother has stopped making them too, but this year, I'm determined! I think the boy might hate them, but that's okay, I'll just take them home with me when I head upstate. And so, without further ado, here is my grandmother's recipe, in case there's other people out there with families from Pennsylvania Dutch country craving a little taste of home this spring.
Pennsylvania Dutch Pickled Hard Boiled Eggs And Red Beets (aka, pickled red beet eggs)
1 can small, whole red beets
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 c. cider vinegar
1 c. cold water
3 or 4 whole cloves
small pieces of cinnamon
1 doz. hard boiled egs
Put all together in a pan and simmer for 10 minutes.
Peel eggs and add to liquid and beets.
Put all in a jar or container and cover.
Allow to pickle for about 2 days before using (aka,EATING!)
This recipe first appeared in the Pitcher Hill Church's Ladies Cook Book.
A gentle reminder. Live bunnies do NOT make good Easter presents. They need love and care. Giving someone an Easter rabbit is akin to giving someone a suprise cat. It's an easy choice, don't do it!
Picture of Roebling–the brooklyn bunny–from his blog, Brooklyn Bunny Blog.