Monday, April 12, 2021

Easter with the pagans—shorebird edition

This post is late; we happen to observe not the Christian holiday of Easter but the pagan Ostara, which falls of course on the spring equinox. However, as noted in the Wikipedia  entry for Wheel of the Year,  "The precise dates on which festivals are celebrated are often flexible." What we are celebrating, after all, is the coming of spring, with all its associations of fertility, renewal, and rebirth, and that need not be tied to a single date. So kindly overlook my lateness.

Celebrating an earth festival with a basket full of plastic grass and plastic eggs seems wrong...but on the other hand, chocolate, right?!? Jessa came up with her own solution,  which I initially and incorrectly assumed she had borrowed from Pinterest, but which in fact was inspired by her sighting of a killdeer—completely edible killdeer nests. Recipe follows:


  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips (Nestle Toll House or the like)
  • Chocolate gravel (we get ours from Baker's Candies down the road in Greenwood, Nebraska; if you can't find a confectioners offering chocolate gravel, M&Ms will have to do)
  • Robin's Eggs (a seasonal version of Whoppers malted milk balls)

Place butcher's parchment on a baking pan. On the paper, arrange a quarter-cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips into a rough circle. Repeat, leaving space between the piles. Put the pan briefly into a pre-heated oven at 200°F—just long enough to partially melt the chocolate chips into a sort of cobble; about five minutes will do. 

After removing the pan from the oven, press the Robin's Eggs into the cobble—the standard clutch is four, and the white and yellow eggs the most realistic, though of course they're still not nearly as pointed as shorebird eggs should be. 

With the eggs in place, carefully press bits of gravel into the surrounding cobble and into any spaces in between eggs. Let cool—some time in the freezer will speed things up if you have the space.

Et voilà!

Related post: Pebbles full o' birds