It won’t be long before Peter Cottontail invades our homes with baskets full of annoying fake grass, hollow chocolate, malted robin’s eggs, and those horrible Peeps. Give me jelly beans and peanut butter eggs. As frightful as it is to know that a possibly oversized rabbit with magical powers is doing a B and E at the home of every child in the neighborhood, it’s even scarier to think of the food poisoning possibilities from tepid boiled eggs.

The boys and I will boil and decorate eggs while watching a little Easter Beagle and refrigerate our masterpieces as soon as the dye dries. We don’t play around with that. I’m going to eat the eggs one way or another, and I’m not risking a bacteria outbreak. The rabbit is crafty enough to find them and hide them for us. Be sure to count them before you go to bed. It’s bad to “think” you retrieved all of the incredible edibles and then have the dog discover a rancid, neglected oval with a scribbled name on a marbled finish. He will bite it. And you will regret it.

One of my favorite post-Easter meals I learned from dear old mom. It’s a simple ham and egg pie perfect for that last April cool snap we always endure. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Leftover ham, leftover eggs, I’m a recycling machine.

The portions do not matter. Choose a baking dish that supports your leftovers for two layers.

Leftover ham, torn or sliced
Leftover boiled eggs, sliced
2 frozen pie crusts, thawed and sliced into inch-wide strips
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ cup milk
1 raw egg, beaten
Salt and pepper to taste

This is one of the few recipes I’ve put in here that does not begin with a roux. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a deep casserole dish layer the ham and sliced eggs. Add milk, salt and pepper (heavy on the pepper). Layer the first pie crust in a lattice fashion.

Next, layer eggs, ham and another lattice crust. Brush the lattice with the egg and sprinkle on the sugar.

Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the pie crust is golden brown. The crust is the only thing that isn’t cooked, so it gets all the attention. Serve piping hot with love. Turnip greens with rabbit fricassee are nice suggestions for accompanying dishes, but I think this one can stand alone as a single dish entrée.

How do you boil them?

I spent years boiling the crap out of my eggs with mixed results. Nowadays I get much better results with consistent yolks that don’t edged their way to the side of the white yielding an impossible to stuff egg. And this is easier because you don’t have to babysit them as much.

In a large pot or saucepan cover eggs with water. Add a ¼ teaspoon of salt for a dozen eggs. Bring to a boil. Cover, remove from heat, and let them sit for 15 minutes. Cool the eggs in cold water. Easy cheesy.

I’m tickled when they are pickled

A lot of you will turn your nose up to a pickled egg. You think they are an inferior method of protein consumption, but I am here to shout from the rooftops that pickled may be my favorite way to eat an egg. It isn’t just a gas station delicacy anymore. There are as many pickled egg options as there are Bubba Gump shrimp dishes. I love mine with onions and garlic so I’m pickling more than just eggs. Make sure your jars are sterilized and these things will last a while, that is if you can keep your hands off them.

1 dozen eggs, boiled (see above)
1 quart white vinegar
2 white onions, sliced into rings
6 peeled cloves of garlic
2 raw cayenne peppers, preferably from your garden
1 teaspoon peppercorns

Place the peeled boiled eggs in jar(s).

In a medium saucepan combine vinegar, onion, garlic, cayenne peppers and peppercorns. Boil over medium-high heat for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and allow it to cool a bit. Remove cayenne peppers if desired. Pour mixture evenly over eggs.

Seal the jars and refrigerate for at least a week. Some say longer.

If making small batches as with Mason jars, you may chop up the cayenne peppers and add to the individual jars, making some hot, some not. Don’t forget to label the hot ones. What a great gift idea. I’m sure the ladies would have fun dressing the jars up, but don’t bother with mine. It’ll be open in minutes. I would shy away from sticking these in someone’s Easter basket, but this is a gift that can be given to fans of low brow cooking any time of the year.

Don’t forget to eat the onions and garlic. They make your breath smell great. Try substituting whole peeled pearl onions for the regular sliced white. Want to know how to make the eggs pink? Beet juice is the key. You still have to have the vinegar, but the beet juice also gives the recipe a bit of sweetness. Have fun with it. Share your ideas. Maybe a little cumin for a Mexican flavor is in order. I’ll let you know how those turn out.