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Easter is always eggstra special

The day after our church’s weekly kids’ program, my friend shared what her 6-year-old gleaned from class: “Amanda said Jesus died and was in an egg and it cracked open and He came out a chick.” Apparently my lesson with our first-graders did not go quite as well as I would have anticipated. 

Fortunately, his parents have a good grip on theology and can amend his hilarious misunderstanding. I’m hoping that wasn’t everyone’s takeaway on the resurrection, but just in case, I’ll make sure and bring up the connections — and distinctions! — between Jesus and Easter eggs again this week. 

Eggs really are ubiquitous around this most important holiday, so much so that we of course call them Easter eggs. To adults, the reasons behind their presence may be long ingrained or simply logically correlative, but I think we’re missing an opportunity for added joy if we forget to explain it to the kids (or maybe we need a reminder ourselves). Eggs have long been associated with new life and Spring, as well as rebirth, renewal, and resurrection for Christians. 

Although two-year-old Benson doesn’t yet grasp the theological symbolism of the chick leaving the eggshell empty reminding us of Christ leaving the tomb empty (this is where the first-graders got tripped up), he did get to marvel at the miracle of new life close up. Last month I filled up our little Styrofoam incubator up with fresh eggs, and he got used to going downstairs with me every day to gently turn our brown and tan eggs. After three weeks of anticipation, suddenly we started seeing some action — which, although I tried to explain it to him, I think was a complete shock. We had eggs...and then we had chicks. If only I could give you a video of his high-pitched shrieks and “baby chicks!” squeals, as his whole body crunched up in sheer delight. It matched the chicks’ incredibly loud peeps quite well. He would almost go into a paroxysm of joy every time we visited them or found another one hatched. Maybe I should have that kind of reaction when I think of the new life given to us on Easter. 

Other eggy egg-tivities, like dyeing and hiding eggs, are likely linked to historical Christian-based traditions as well. Some say eggs were valued (our economy would agree) and therefore given as tithe to the church or gifts to each other, and began to be decorated in the process. Egg hunting could be nodding to the resurrection story when the women and disciples found the empty tomb ... although it could just be because of the 17th century mythical egg-laying Easter Hare hopping around. Either way, it’s fun. 

Eggs have also sometimes been included in Lenten fasting, so Easter marked the celebratory beginning to eat them again — if I think too much, it feels a little weird to be eating the symbol of resurrection, but I guess that leaves the eggshell empty which is what we’re going for. I always associate deviled eggs with Easter, which again feels weird to eat something called that specifically on this day, but I know it means “spicy,” which is how I like them anyway, so okay. 

I made a batch of deviled eggs for family Easter dinner, and some of the eggs we dyed will likely end up that way as well; based on Benson’s initial reaction to egg hunting, I’m assuming he’ll be thoroughly occupied gleefully “hiding” and “finding” plastic Easter eggs. And I’m hoping I’ll remember to still be looking for and seeing reminders of resurrection and new life, all around in eggstra special places. 

You’ll eat olive these deviled eggs

Now I know that to some, it’s a heinous crime to make anything different than classic deviled eggs (which aren’t even a hint of spicy, people!). You’ll see in my photo that I know better than to “mess with” all of them, so the few peppered ones in the center were for me — as well as the extra ones left off the table for later. I’m guessing I have made at least 75 variations of deviled eggs (that’s a whole other story for another day), but this is how these came out today and I was very pleased. Bonus thought: two people brought deviled eggs to Easter sunrise service breakfast; my mind was blown and my life is changed for the better.

Prep tips: I’m sure you have a way for hard-boiling your eggs, so do that, but just don’t overcook them (that’s what makes that gray-green ring around the yolk). Make the filling a smidge “too” salty since it’ll be going in the unseasoned whites.

a dozen eggs, hard-boiled and peeled

¼ cup mayo

2 tablespoons cream cheese, soft

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

a splash of white vinegar

a pickle spear or two, minced (plus a splash of juice)

as many green olives as you want, minced

salt, pepper, red pepper

Carefully halve eggs lengthwise, popping out the yolks. Mash the yolks with a fork, then stir/smash in the remaining ingredients. Dollop a spoonful into the whites just before serving.

Amanda Miller lives with her husband, almost-two-years-old son, and whoever else God brings them through foster care on the family dairy farm in Hutchinson. She enjoys doing some catering, teaching cooking classes, and freelancing, but mostly chasing after her kid(s). Reach her at