Here are some more Easter Egg legends. I'm sorry this didn't go out on Friday as promised, I got caught up with some other projects. Enjoy.
A Polish legend says that Mary gave eggs to the soldiers at the cross and asked them to be less cruel to her son. As she spoke, she wept, and her tears fell on the eggs, spotting them with brilliant color.
Ukrainians relate that Mary gathered the eggs into her kerchief and went to the palace of Pontius Pilate to beg for the body of her Son in order to bury him. On the way, she gave her eggs to each child she met. Finally arriving at Pilate's house, Mary fainted and the eggs from her kerchief rolled all over the world. From that day, it became the custom for people everywhere to decorate eggs and give them to one another at Easter. In some cultures it is a common to paint wooden Easter eggs and hand them out as gifts.
Simon of Cyrene is one of the little heroes of the Passion of our Lord. An unsuspecting bystander, he is pressed into service by the Roman soldiers when Jesus collapses under the weight of his cross. They compel Simon to carry the cross for Jesus for the remainder of the walk to Calvary. But who is Simon? And why is he in Jerusalem that day?
An old tradition gives this explanation: Simon was a farmer. He had come into Jerusalem that day to sell his produce to city folk who were preparing the Passover feast to be eaten that evening. Simon had eggs to sell, something that everyone would need for the Seder table. When the soldiers forced him to carry the cross of Jesus, Simon had no choice but to leave his basket of eggs behind. Remarkably, when he returned for his basket later in the day, it was still there, and not an egg was missing. But, even more remarkably, the eggs were no longer white, but were brightly colored. Christians continue to color eggs in memory of the first man to take up the cross of Jesus.
These are just legends of course, and I'm not sure how true they are. But it makes me look at those colored Easter eggs differently. Now I'm reminded of the empty tomb and the joy of the resurrection with each colored egg I see.
And here is the Chocolate center recipe I promised. It is a classic Truffle. I've altered the basic recipe as follows with good results.
I used a teaspoon of good vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean.
I used 10 oz of semi sweet chocolate instead of the bittersweet and milk.
I skipped the rum, I have used rum extract before. I like it better without the alcohol taste.
I've used different kind of coffee beans, a Butter Rum flavored one this time.
Classic Truffle center
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, cut in half
A few grains of salt
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon coarsely ground coffee beans
9 oz bittersweet chocolate, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 oz milk chocolate, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tablespoon of dark rum or liqueur
Combine the heavy cream, vanilla bean, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool 5 minutes. While the cream is heating, melt the chocolate. Set aside. Strain the hot cream through a fine sieve into a small mixing bowl. Whisk in the egg yolks and melted chocolate. Add the rum or liqueur and blend until smooth. Place the bowl of ganache in ice water, making sure that the water cannot slosh into the mixture. Stir constantly with a rubber spatula until the ganache is very thick and completely cool. Immediately whip the ganache in an electric mixer, using a paddle attachment it you have one, until it lightens in color, about 15-30 seconds. Do not overbeat or mixture will be grainy. Use with a mold or roll into balls, dip in coating or dust with cocoa powder.
Left over chocolate? Add a drop of peppermint oil and mold for after dinner mints. My favorite is a drop of peppermint and a drop of orange oil into semi sweet chocolate. Yum!
Another favorite is adding cinnamon to white chocolate.
Do you have a favorite candy recipe? I love to add new ones to my collection and Steve is always willing to be a taste tester. Although he usually tells me they aren't good enough for anyone else, so he better eat them all. Oh and I need more practice so please make them again. Let me know how yours turn out.
Happy Easter Everyone!