Did anyone else watch the original Batman growing up? The ridiculous, camp version with the iconic theme song, starring Adam West? I may have been born of the generation that was weaned on Batman: The Animated Series (and goodness knows I watched plenty of that too), but reruns of the 60's-era Batman were all over the television when I was a kid, and I ate up the silliness. I ask, because when I was trying to come up with a reasonably clever title for today's post, I couldn't help but think of Egghead, the pun-intensive Batman villain played by Vincent Price. I always thought Egghead was one of the weaker villains, but in retrospect, I think he just added to the show's aura of so-bad-it's-kind-of-awesome-ness.
And why was I thinking about Egghead and egg-related humor today? Simple -- with Easter right around the corner, and the notoriously capricious Chicago weather keeping us indoors and away from our original weekend plan of visiting Starved Rock State Park, Justin and I decided to decorate Easter eggs. Nothing beats a craft project on a rainy day, especially one that is ultimately edible. It'd probably been at least a decade and a half since the last time I dyed Easter eggs with my mom, but it was always a favorite part of the holiday season. We might not be particularly religious in our household, but we still had fun observing the secular traditions associated with otherwise religious holidays.
If you think about it, dyeing eggs is a pretty wacky tradition as it is practiced in America. At least in Eastern Europe, the favorite colors for Easter eggs are red (a symbol of the blood and suffering of Christ), black (a symbol of His death), and green (a symbol of rebirth and His resurrection). Here, however, we dye them in vibrant pastels. It seems to have about as much to do with the resurrection as decorating a Christmas tree does with the birth of Jesus, but that's how it goes I guess. Who am I to argue with such time-honored traditions?
For decorating inspiration, I looked to my muse and favorite lifestyle icon, Martha Stewart. Yes, I know she's kind of evil and probably a bitch in real life, but she and her staff have clever craft ideas, reliable recipes, and know how to throw a party. I think I could do worse for an aspirational figure. Since I wanted to hard-boil and consume my eggs later, I was restricted to the decorating methods that utilized food dye (as opposed to the legions of ideas that involved glitter, decoupage, and paint), but I settled on two interesting techniques that involved wrapping eggs in rubber bands to create stripes of color, and dripping rubber cement on to eggs to generate a splatter-painted effect.
The rubber cement technique was by far my favorite; I really liked the Jackson Pollack vibe of the ones we dyed that way. They took more effort than the other eggs, as they had to be held until the rubber cement dried before they could go into the dye bath, but I think they were well worth the extra work. The rubber bands were my next favorite, with a certain minimalist charm, but drawing on the eggs using the crayon included in the $2 package of Paas Easter Egg Dye from Walgreens was definitely a bust. Spend a little money on some extra supplies, and your eggs will be much more interesting.
Decorating Easter eggs might have felt like a bit of a let-down in comparison to the day trip Justin and I had planned for today, but sometimes you have to bend to the whims of Mother Nature. It was still fun to express our creativity and produce something together, and hopefully we'll have provided a bit of inspiration for your own Easter celebration...