Wednesday, March 16, 2016


This morning I took a class at the nearby Franciscan Life Center demonstrating and making pisanki eggs.
In Polish, the word 'pisac' means 'to write' and it's a long, long held custom at Easter for Polish (and Lithuanian and Russian) cultures to share a single hard boiled egg that had been blessed, at the traditional Polish Easter breakfast.  That means no matter how many people are at that breakfast, just one single blessed egg is sliced and shared.

A few years ago I took a class in the Ukranian decorated eggs and it was much more intricate than this class.  Sister explained the peasants didn't have the supplies the more intricate eggs demanded, they celebrated the tradition, but simply.
 The hot wax is leftover candles melted down.  The stylus is a sewing pin stuck into a pencil eraser.  We dipped the pin into the wax for each stroke.
 Quickly we took the pin from the wax and made one stroke.  Dip stroke dip stroke dip stroke. No pencil designs as in the intricate Ukranian designing. 
 You can see it takes practice and isn't an exact science to the uninitiated.  But it was surprisingly relaxing.  I was sitting with two other women and we chatted like old friends while we worked.While this technique isn't much different than getting a wax crayon in your egg decorating kit from the grocery store, it IS more refined and demands your attention (hot wax on a hot plate isn't a good thing for unsupervised children) and gives you a finer line. These eggs were not blown out, we each brought 6 hard boiled eggs.  The ladies I sat with said they still have their eggs from last year! 
 Our colors were food coloring tempered with white vinegar and hot water. 
 There were about twelve of us and everyone used their imagination, their various talents and the eggs were beautiful.  Even more important, they were all different.
 When the eggs dried we scraped the wax off.  If you had fingernails that worked.  Sister uses a butter knife.
 These were some of her eggs to share as an example
 And these were mine nestled in their Polish pottery dish ( tee hee.)
Every Wednesday during Lent the Franciscan Life Center offers lunch and today we went upstairs to  Irish stew with fresh baked Irish soda bread.  The place smelled wonderful.  I don't know how many loaves they went through but I counted about 80 people for lunch and they offered loaves for sale, and of course I bought one home.
   Fun day!


  1. I love traditions. These eggs are like like jewels nestled in that dish, are they for your Easter celebrations?
    There must have been some delightful anticipation waiting to see how the design looked after colouring.

  2. Oh, how incredibly fun! Love those rich jewel-tone colors. Food coloring and vinegar is how we used to do it--your designs are lovely :)

  3. The eggs look amazing hope you had a lovely Easter