Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Eggs from my Foremothers (Edible Poetry)



Even though I think of the Pacific Northwest as my home I can't help but feel some ties to the many corners of the globe my ancestors hail from, in particular Eastern Europe. My father's mother comes from a long line of Hungarian people, while my mother's mother was the descendent of the Polish aristocracy. In fact, my great great great Grandmother was the revered Polish actress/folk hero Helena Modjeska (her son, Ralph Modjeski, designed many famous bridges in this country, including one I have been driving over almost every day during my stay in Portland!) I am proud to be descended from so many interesting and inspiring people and though most of my connections to them are through stories and photographs and heirlooms, I like to connect on yet another level: through food. 

The recipe for these naturally-dyed eggs was passed onto me by my grandmother, who described the blood-red eggs dyed with onion skins at Easter celebrations in her youth. I think of both of my grandmothers every time I make them, but I adapt the recipe to fit my current home: I use local herbs to decorate the shells but make the dyes with red cabbage, blueberries, and yellow onions just the way my foremothers taught me to. It's also worth mentioning that these eggs are presented in a hand-blown red glass bowl also made by me, as part of a performance piece I did in college about ancestry and origins. It's called "Rodzina" and you can see it on my website, www.betsyhinze.com. This bowl (and the others from this event) were a gift to my mother to celebrate her and all she has done for me.

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Naturally-dyed easter eggs with wild herbs, glossed with olive oil and served in a handblown red glass bowl. To be eaten with the customary horseradish dipping sauce

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