Let the good times roll!

Easter fun doesn’t have to begin and end with an Easter egg hunt… If you’ve never tried egg rolling, you’re in for a real treat!

Dating back hundreds of years, the tradition of egg rolling as we know it in this country has always taken place around Easter and has always been all about children having fun – first by decorating hard-boiled eggs and then by rolling them down a grassy hill to see whose will go the furthest and survive with the least amount of cracks. And though nowadays most of the decorated eggs are painted or even foil-wrapped chocolate eggs, in days gone by, real eggs were wrapped in onion skins then boiled to give their shells an attractive marbled appearance. These eggs, known as pace eggs, were named after the Latin “Pacha” which means Easter, and were traditionally eaten on Easter Sunday.

Eating hard-boiled eggs after they’ve come crashing down a hillside may not sound like the sort of Easter treat you and your family would get excited about, but actually holding your own egg-rolling competition with friends this Easter really is great fun and – even better – it costs next to nothing.

If you’ve a houseful of children over the long Easter weekend, why not start by getting everyone to decorate their own boiled eggs? Be sure to hard-boil your eggs to avoid any messy accidents then let your guests go wild with their designs (Make sure your eggs are perfectly hard-boiled using the Egg Perfect Colour Changing Boiled Egg Timer or our Lakeland Boiled Egg Cooker) – just supply paint, glue, glitter or whatever crafty supplies you have to hand. Or for those among you who prefer a craft activity with an educational slant, let the kids recreate the pace eggs of old for an authentic hands-on learning experience.

It’s easy to make your own pace eggs at home using the papery outer skins of red and yellow onions to create a natural mottled effect. Start by covering your eggs in pieces of onion skin then tie butcher’s string around each egg to hold the onion skins in place – alternatively, you can wrap the covered your eggs in aluminium foil until each one is completely covered – then boil the egg parcels in a pan of water for about 5-7 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and leave the egg parcels in the water to cool before peeling off all the layers to reveal your patterned pace eggs. You can always smooth a little butter onto the shells to give your eggs a pretty polished look and make the colours really stand out.

When everyone’s egg creations are dry, it’s simply a case of picking a safe hill to line all your entrants up before they send those eggs-a-rolling! Generally speaking, the top of a steady slope with a good covering of grass is a good place to start, but it goes without saying that the more heavy-handed the launch the less the chance of survival! Expect a few eager egg-rollers to follow their eggs by rolling down the hill themselves, and be ready with a chocolate prize for the winner as well as smaller treats for everyone-else to ensure there are still smiles all around at the finishing line!


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