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Read, "The Story of the Missing
Cookie Jar" by PenVampyre.  A
delightful little Christmas story with
mouthwatering warm tasty recipes
for the most wonderful time of the
year!  

Read "
Santa and the Magic Key",
plus recipes for your holidays.  A
story by PenVampyre

Logan's Halloween Story -The
original story won first place in
sixth-eighth grade division of
Southeastern Middle School, 2005 by
Logan Lyon.   Alas, no recipes...

Food and Genealogy. A story By
Robin L. Wallace.  Our lives, our
families, our very history's are
defined by the foods we eat.

Family Reunion Recipes.
"The Fourth of July and Other
Disasters"
(With Apologies to Jean Shepherd)
By Robin L. Wallace

A short story by Suellen Fry.  
Memories of my father and his
version of Kickapoojoyjuice.

Memorial Day Recipes - "For me,
Memorial Day was the day when we
went out where relatives were
buried in the tiny, local cemeteries
and thoroughly cleaned up each
gravesite, carrying away branches
that may have fallen in the
winter.................."

Grandma Irwin's Story of Courage
and Swit Tater Biskits Recipe

Homemade Remedies Recipes -
Recipes our grandparents used from
a poultice, mustard plasters, gargles
and paste.

Thanksgiving Day Recipes and story
from the past.

College Foods and Other Mistakes.
The story of "Easter and Where NOT to Hide Eggs" was written by Robin Wallace, a modern day story
teller with an old fashion twist.

Now we present.....

Easter and Where NOT to Hide Eggs

Dedication: To Mary Beach for letting me know that being good at English and languages was okay, and that
not being mathematically adept is still okay -- and just to say thank you because I never did it enough over the
years.
Prior to coming back home to New York State after my dad got out of the Air Force, I don't remeber a lot about any kind of Easter
celebrations.  But AFTERWARDS is a different matter entirely.  Gram Irwin was the
consummate one to celebrate holidays like Memorial Day and Flag Day--one which is overlooked today as being old fashion.

The Fourth of July and Labor Day were always good makers as a midpoint for summer and the end of picnic season.  We never rushed from
the start of school in mid September past Halloween and Thanksgiving, straight into Christmas.  Today those two holidays seem a mere
bump in the road.  I implore you to take time to revere the days.  Get the family together and enjoy it while the ones you love are still with
you.

Remember and celebrate each one individually.  The holidays are markers of you lives.
Gram Irwin's Deviled Eggs
12 hard-boiled eggs, cut lengthwise (reserve yolks in a separate bowl)
6 strips bacon, cooked until crispy, then crumbled
Miracle Whip
Brown mustard (brown varieties like Guldens work best)
Powdered paprika for garnish

Directions:
Peel hard-boiled eggs.  Wash eggs to make sure that no shell bits remain on them.  Pat them dry with a paper towel.  
Cut eggs lengthwise, carefully separating the yolks from the white part into a separable bowl.  Place empty egg whites
on a plate for later filling.

Crumble bacon into small bits over egg yolks.  Mix well, mashing egg yolks into a fine paste.  Add enough mustard and
Miracle Whip, in equal parts, to the yolk/bacon mixture to make it a good, wet mix, capable of being spooned back into
the hollow left by the yolk when the egg was hard-boiled.  Fill eggs evenly, using all of the yolk/bacon mixture.

Dust filled egg halves with a little paprika for decoration.  Serve immediately, or refrigerate until needed.
Notes: As with the egg salad recipe above, I am told that mayonnaise may be successfully substituted for Miracle
Whip.  Feel free to experiment and see which of the two suits your own personal tastes better.

Everyone has their own method for hard boiling eggs.  The method I learned was to fill a pot with cold water, add the
uncooked eggs, then bring the water to a rolling boil for least 15 minutes to make sure the eggs were fully cooked.  
Many times this resulted in greenish coating to the egg yolks which some people may find objectionable (to me, it just
meant that the eggs were fully cooked -- the green would always disappear in the egg salad or deviled eggs when
mixed with the wet ingredients.  To avoid this problem, as soon as you feel the eggs have had sufficient time to cook,
take them off the heat, pour off the boiling water, and immediately run cold water over the eggs to stop the cooking
process.  Continue to run cold water over the eggs until they are cool to the touch.  At this point you can dry them off
and store them in the refrigerator for future use, or use them immediately.
Leona Irwin's Egg Salad
6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped finely
4 strips bacon, cooked until crispy, then crumbled
1 stalk celery, chopped finely
2 scallions, chopped finely
¼ cup Miracle Whip*
3 tablespoons brown grain mustard (brands like Guldens work well)

Directions:
Peel eggs.  Rinse off hard-boiled eggs to make sure there are no shell bits left on them.  Pat eggs dry with a paper towel.  In a mixing bowl,
chop the boiled eggs, then add chopped celery and chopped scallions.  Crumble strips of bacon over egg and vegetable mixture.  Add Miracle
Whip and mustard and fold until all ingredients are well coated.

Notes: *More or less mustard and Miracle Whip can be added depending on personal preference (remember to make your additions and
subtractions in equal amounts -- if you add Miracle Whip, remember to add an equal amount of mustard to the mix-- the same is true for any
amount left out.)
Gram Irwin never really measured the wet ingredients, rather choosing to eyeball the amounts in more or less equal measure, depending on
how many eggs she actually used.  When we were making egg salad for Grandpa Irwin, she tended to use a little more of the wet ingredients
to make a spread for him.  Personally, I tend to like my egg salad a little drier, so I use a little less.  Feel free to adjust the amounts of Miracle
Whip and mustard according to your own personal preferences.  

Since Gram Irwin was the queen of Miracle Whip use, I learned to hate mayonnaise at an early age.  My younger sister, likewise, detests Miracle
Whip and only uses real mayonnaise when she makes egg salad.  Feel free to substitute mayonnaise in your own salad if you really can' stand
the taste of Miracle Whip, either.

Other members of family report to me that they have successfully added in about three tablespoons of sweet or "bread and butter-type" pickle
relish that has been strained of excess juice.  If you don’t strain the relish, be sure to cut down the other wet ingredients so that the egg
salad doesn't get too soupy.

As with Alton Brown, Gram Irwin was a firm believer in the saying, “Squishy fillings should go on squishy breads.  This means that egg salad
really shouldn't be served on hard breads to keep it from running out the end when you bite into it.  Softer breads, like Italian loaf bread that
has been sliced, or sliced whole wheat breads make a much better and more sensible serving choice.  The softer breads can cradle softer fillings
better.

Being a fan of occasional nonconformity, I would often eat my egg salad on top of saltine crackers, rather than on bread as a sandwich.    One
day, when searching for a quick hors'doeuvre to serve at a party, I spooned some homemade egg salad on some fancy-type party crackers.  It
was a hit, and the party was saved.
Below you will find some recipes to help you use up some of the leftover hard-boiled Easter eggs from your own egg hunt.  I
hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Anna Stone, Easter 1966
Vintage Easter recipes.
Colored Easter Chickens
Vintage Easter chickens and my dog, Scamp.
Other fond memories flood back as I type.  Mom filling the baskets, chocolate eggs, creamed filled bunnies,
and of course, jelly beans.

What I wouldn't give to wake up one morning and be there again.

I've typed on a little longer than usual with my own childhood memories.  You're here to read Robin
Wallace's pieces.  So without further ado................I present  
My sister, Anna, in her Easter
bonnet.  The year, 1966.
 
Chillicothe, Manor
Family Easter cooking and recipes.
Easter basket and egg recipes
Spring recipes, circa 1969
O, great merciful heavens, me
back in 1969.
Chillicothe,
Manor
Easter bunnies.
Susan Cydrus
Vintage Devil egg recipe.
Vintage egg recipes.
vintage egg carton
Old time Easter recipes.
Easter on Elm Street, Chillicothe, Ohio
Vintage devil egg plate
Vintage egg plate of chicken
Vintage deviled egg ad.
Vintage tupperware egg holder
Me, back in the 1950's
on my cousin's farm..
Susan and her
award winning
bunnies, back in the
1950's
Harriet C. and her sisters.
You can see my dog with  the Easter chicken, circa 1960 something.  
One pink chick and one bright yellow.  The things I
made that poor dog put up with.
So there, I've stood on my soapbox and preached.  Done with that.  On with the story.

My father was an aerospace nurse during the Vietnam War.  The government sent him home to recover from injuries he sustained there.  Unable to work, he decided it was best if we
went to live with Gram and Grandpa Irwin.  They lived on a farm.   

Gram and Grandpa raise chickens and sold eggs for a living.  So I came to learn everything there was to know about chickens and eggs.  That included Easter, Grams favorite holiday.  

My daily chores include helping feed, clean and sort the eggs that Grandpa gathered.  The feed was a combination of commercial corn mixed with boiled potato peels and other food
scraps.  Gram kept an old pot on the back of the stove to collect the food scraps in.

At the end of the day, after supper, Gram would turn the heat on under the collecting pot to soften the scraps. When the contents had cooked down, she added crumbled stale bread
to the mix.  It cooled until morning.  Grandpa would carry the pot to the barn and mix the contents with a pail of commercial mash.  He had an ugly old stick he stirred his pot with.  It
was my turn to ladle the food into the feeders.  Later on in the day, a scoop or two of grain was added as grandpa gathered eggs.  Once or twice a week he added a scoop of crushed
oyster shells.  Our chickens lived like royalty.

The first Easter after we had returned from Dad's military assignment, Gram Irwin went all out.  Rather than using the small eggs, which she generally didn't sell and used in her own
cooking, she magnanimously saved out two dozen of extra-large eggs, one dozen for me, and one dozen for my sister.  On the Saturday before Palm Sunday she went shopping at the
local grocery store for the egg dyeing kits that were sold commercially.  Back in those days, the kits consisted of tablets of a powdered dye in four colors and a small copper wire tool for
placing the eggs in and retrieving them from the solution.  The dye tablets were then dissolved for use in containers of hot vinegar, one container per color.  

After the eggs had been hard-boiled and cooled, they were immersed in the dye until such time as the shell had taken on the desired depth of color.  In later years (although I'm not
sure by how much) an uncolored wax crayon was included in the kit.  With it you could write letters or draw a design onto the shell before dyeing.  After the egg was dyed, the words
or design would show up in white, the heat of the die having melted off the wax of the crayon, leaving the shell underneath wherever it touched uncolored.  I'm told that in later years
design transfers were also included in the kits, but they never turned out very well.  

Nowadays, I'm told, the dye kits are much rarer, being replaced by a kind of shrink-wrap sleeve containing a design.  When the sleeve is placed over a hard-boiled egg, the egg and
sleeve are then immersed in hot water, shrinking it to fit completely around the egg (as I have never tried these, I can't attest to how easy or hard they make it to peel the hard-boiled
eggs for use later).

I had just entered second grade that Easter year, and being keenly aware of where eggs came from, I spent the weeks before the holiday trying to figure out just how and where a
rabbit could come up with eggs, let alone cooked ones.  Unable to puzzle it out for myself, I finally resorted to asking Gram Irwin all about it.

You know, she said after a moment's reflection, that rabbits can't lay eggs, right?  Having figured that part out for myself, I nodded solemnly.  And you know that the egg represents a
new birth and the new life that Jesus gave us when He died for us because little chicks are born from eggs?  Again, a nod.
Well,  Gram continued, because Jesus was so tired after Easter Sunday's doings, He hired the Easter Bunny to deliver those eggs to good girls and boys to remind them of their new
birth that He had won for them.  And because it was such a happy time for mankind because of the special gift, Jesus wanted to do something to help those boys and girls remember
just how special it was.

Of course, by this time I was completely hooked and hanging on every word.  So do you remember from your Sunday school lessons what happened when the women rolled away the
stone from in front of Jesus' tomb on Easter Sunday?

They couldn't find Him because He wasn't there!  I exclaimed.  He had risen!

That's right! Gram Irwin replied, clearly pleased with my answer.  So as a way to remind everyone that He was gone from His tomb, a sign that He had risen to give everyone a new life,
He asked the Easter Bunny to make a game and have the kids find the eggs the Easter Bunny had hidden.  This way they would remember that there was a new life waiting for them
because Jesus wasn't in the tomb, where everyone expected to find Him after He was crucified.

Okay, I said, still puzzled.  But that still doesn't explain where the Easter Bunny gets his eggs from.

Oh, that's simple, Gram said, The Easter Bunny always a buys them from egg farmers.

But where would he get money to buy the eggs with from the egg farmers?  I protested.
From the leprechauns, of course, Grandpa Irwin replied.  Neither Gram Irwin nor I had heard him come into the kitchen to raid the old cookie jar resting atop the stove.  Why do you
think they work so hard to protect their gold all year long?

I'm not sure if that was the answer Gram Iriwn was planning on giving me, but she went with it (although well known for his wicked sense of humor, Grandpa Irwin was usually
notoriously silent on such matters, and looking back now, I can imagine that his weighing in on the situation must've come as a real surprise to her), and thus our family's explanation
of the reasons behind the Easter Bunny and his activities was born.

On the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday after we got home from town, Gram Irwin got out the dyeing kit and set to work at producing the colors necessary to dye the
eggs she had secretly hard-boiled before breakfast that morning.  She carefully explained to me that because she and Grandpa Irwin were egg farmers, they were very experienced in
dyeing the eggs that the Easter Bunny hid (it was really the egg farmers who dyed the majority of the eggs the Easter Bunny bought  -- rabbits were really much too silly to be
expected to decorate the eggs, and if I had seen any stories or cartoons which showed them doing it, why, it was just for show).  

She explained to the Easter Bunny earlier in the year while he was putting in his egg order that we had just come home after being away while Dad was in the Air Force, so to help out
the Easter Bunny, WE were going to dye the eggs that he would hide on Easter Day so we could find them after we had eaten Easter dinner.

I don't remember exactly what the weather was like that first Easter back, but as far as the routine we followed, it probably was like that of the other Sundays that we went through
following our return.  After an early breakfast, Gram would take me and my sister out to the church for Sunday school at 9 a.m.  Then she would go back home to get my grandfather
ready to get to Uncle Sammy's farm to help with the chores while we were in church.  After he was done, he would take a trip to the little grocery store near the end of the lake about a
mile from the house to get the Sunday paper.   On the rare days I got to go with him, I was always gifted with a free slice of bologna from the butcher's counter where Joe, the store
owner and chief meat cutter, could always be found.

Following Sunday school, we then went upstairs to join my grandmother in the pew in the back on the left-hand side that she had more or less staked out as being her own over the
years she attended there for the adult services that followed. For the longest time, there were two services, one at nine and one at 11, with the coffee hour being held downstairs in
the social hall for the half-hour in between the ending of the first service and the beginning of the second.  

Though Gram rarely attended the coffee hour, it was not unusual for her to send cookies along with the two of us to be dropped off on the way to our respective Sunday school
classes.  This coffee hour allowed the two of us kids to kill some time before we had to go up stairs and sit quietly for the adult service.  Since they always had juice or Kool-Aid for the
kids, it was also a good place to fortify ourselves with a couple cookies and a drink to get us through until lunchtime.  

Many times lunch was delayed until a least 1 p.m.. to give Gram Irwin time to get home and changed out of church clothes, before she started on the mid-day meal.  Grandpa Irwin also
took advantage of this delay because it gave him extra time to get home from Uncle Sammy's farm and to the store to pick up the Sunday paper.

On holiday Sundays, like Easter Sunday, especially if the holiday meal was not for supper, Gram Irwin would most likely start the meat in the oven right after doing up the dishes for
breakfast.  This would ensure that the meat was thoroughly ready by the time we had our lunch.  If pies were to be included in the meal, those were usually done the day before,
wrapped in foil, and stored in the egg refrigerator out on the front porch. Then, about five or 10 minutes before they were cut, Gram would pop them back into the still-warm oven to
heat them up a little before they were needed.  Other things like vegetables were usually started after returning from church to make sure that they were served piping hot with the
meal.  For many years while Aunt Agnes was alive, we got dinner rolls from her that were partially baked and only needed to be finished up in the oven for five or 10 minutes prior to
being served.

After the meal was over, to give us time to digest before dessert, Gram Irwin went into her bedroom and brought out two of the biggest wrapped baskets you can imagine.  Not
commercially bought, she had assembled these on her own, from decoration she kept on hand.  Inside was the most amazing array of toys, and name brand candies, naturally all our
favorites, that could be imagined.  I got many of my favorite Barbie outfits in this manner, not to mention other delights like the old Johnny West sets I adored.  I still have the horses
used for the figures from the knight set and which came with little tiny wheels in the feet, which allowed them to be scooted along the floor so that the two knights could joust with
each other.

Following the opening of the Easter baskets (we were allowed to eat one piece of candy each with the rest being saved for later), it was then time to go on an Easter egg hunt.  On
those years when the weather allowed, Gram Irwin secreted the eggs around or on the front porch just prior to leaving for church.  Other years, the hunt was in the house, usually
conducted in the dining room, the parlor, and the living room.  On this particular year (probably because it was our first, and to get us used to the procedure) Gram Irwin had hidden
hard-boiled eggs in and around the furniture in the house.  Gleefully, my sister and I rooted around the three rooms in, on, and behind the furnishings, all the while competing to see
who ended up with the most eggs.

After about a half an hour poking about for the eggs, Grandpa Irwin could stand it no longer, and announced it was time for pie.  The two of us cheerfully loaded our eggs into the shelf
on the refrigerator made especially for the purpose, never realizing we'd missed one egg in the living room.

For those of you who might not be familiar with one, Grandma Irwin was the proud owner of an old, upright player piano, complete with punched rolls of many popular tunes (for her
generation).  To operate the piano, there was a little brass lever to one side, which unlocked the doors at the top behind the music stand so the punched roll could be inserted and
threaded on to the mechanism, which operated the keys.  Down under the piano over the standard pedals necessary for playing the piano normally, was a little door which slid aside,
revealing a set of pump pedals, which when pumped would run the player part.  Once the door was opened, these pedals folded out over the regular set to allow the operator to work
the mechanism without having the regular set interfere with the player's operations.

As a kid, I was always fascinated with small spaces, and would spend hours jammed up underneath the old sideboard buffet where Grandma kept such things as table linens, candles,
formal silverware, and many of the decorations she used for various holidays.  When I was two or three, she would often open a huge center drawer where she kept her linens and
drape a huge old towel down so that it mostly covered the opening where I often hid.  I think this had to be my favorite place in the world to get away from everyone and everything I
needed to.  Up and underneath there were little supports (to this day I don't know what part they play in keeping the structure of the buffet together) which provided convenient
shelves where I often hid my little treasures like tiny trolls, gumball machine toys, miniature Barbie dolls, etc. The same was true of the space underneath the piano where the player
pedals often hid.  This pattern was true for the entire time that Grandma owned the piano (she traded it in for a spinet model when my piano lessons got serious -- she claimed that it
was too hard to keep the piano in tune with the player mechanism inside).

Knowing my predilection for playing under the piano, Gram Irwin had thoughtfully hidden an egg inside the door of the piano for me to find.  Had Grandpa Irwin been a little more
patient that Sunday, I might've found the egg.  As it was, I missed it, and Gram Irwin completely forgot she had hidden it there.

About a week later, Grandpa started complaining of a strange odor that he noticed while he was sitting in the living room.  At first, we didn't notice it, but as time wore on, the strange,
sulphury smell became more and more prominent.  No matter where we looked, we just couldn't seem to figure out where the stench was originating from.

Being pet lovers, there was never any shortage of animals in the house.  One of them was a foul tempered cat, who though named Tinkerbell, was often merely referred to as "Tinkle"
due to her method of voicing her displeasure when something didn't suit her.  By the time we had returned to New York following Dad's stint in the military, Tinkle was already into her
late teens (she finally died at the age of 21).

Tinkle would often regally sail into the living room as if to supervise our searches for the source of the foul odor.  But, alas, we apparently failed in our duty to keep her environment
odor free.  One afternoon, about three weeks later, we were greeted with my grandfather's cries from the living room of, "Lona! Lona! That cat's done peed on the door under yer
piano!"  (This was, of course, his way of dealing with the situation.)

Armed with rags and cleaning supplies, Gram Irwin came in to take care of the mess the cat had made.  She must've remembered about the whereabouts of the missed egg because
she suddenly began to laugh as she opened the door under the piano.  Gingerly, she removed the egg to dispose of it, before continuing with the cleaning efforts.

"Well," she said, "I guess I can't be mad at Tinkle this time.  She must've known where the egg was, and since we couldn't find it, told us the only way she knew how on where to find
the darned stinker!"

And that is why, you should never, ever hide Easter eggs in a place where you might forget them!  Here's to a happy Easter for you and your family!
Easter and egg recipes have long been favorites.  Today, our local city host Easter egg hunts in the city
park, but as a young child I remember running into the back yard to find the treasures.  

Growing up in southern Ohio you might find yourself hunting for eggs in the snow.  Late spring Easters
was my favorite. I loved finding eggs in onion grass.  Church followed the home hunt.  We would scurry
to find the eggs and then mom would dress us in frilly outfits.  As we grew older, we learned to color the
eggs.

Back then you could purchase colored chickens or ducks from a man on Riverside Drive. I loved my
chickens and ducks.  They all survived to maturity and went to my grandma's farm.