Rosemary decided to try her hand at making her own Easter eggs. She’d seen a demonstration on a television programme and it looked pretty easy. She had six grandchildren and another on the way, therefore the cost of Easter eggs was going up year on year. And what were they, after all – a teeny bit of chocolate, a bit of coloured foil, and a lot of packaging. Much more cost-effective and kinder to the environment to make one’s own, she thought as she headed to the supermarket to buy what she needed.
Rosemary had saved a few of the plastic inserts from last year’s Easter egg boxes. They were egg-shaped, and looked ideal for use as moulds. She washed them thoroughly, dried them and gave the insides a thin coating of vegetable oil to stop the chocolate sticking.
She melted some milk chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water and poured it into the first half-egg-shaped mould. Ow! Hot! She dropped the mould on the kitchen bench. Melted chocolate spread far and wide.
After cleaning up the mess Rosemary looked at the half mould. The chocolate that remained had formed a skin about an eighth of an inch thick in the plastic mould. That was how it had been done on TV: chocolate in, wait a bit, then pour out. Okay, the demonstrator hadn’t spilled chocolate everywhere, but this was after all her first attempt.
For the second half of the egg Rosemary held the half mould steady on the bench using the salt and pepper shakers and a couple of egg-cups. Whatever she could find in the cupboards. She poured the chocolate in, right up to the top, and waited fifteen minutes before pouring it out again. Actually it was more like twenty-five minutes; she got chatting to the next door neighbour while putting rubbish in the bin. To her surprise the half-egg looked pretty good, there was a good coating of chocolate on the inside of the mould. She tried patching the other half up to match but it looked a mess so she picked all the chocolate out of the mould, washed and re-oiled it and started again. Half an hour later the first two egg halves were hardening up nicely in the fridge, so Rosemary made a few more, ever mindful that she had six grandchildren to please.
Feeling hungry, she was surprised to see it was nearly two o’clock. How easy it was for hours to slip by when very little was being achieved. After a cheese sandwich (she’d lost her taste for anything sweet) and a cup of tea Rosemary ventured to the fridge. Yes, all the chocolate had set hard. Gently she prised the eggs out of the moulds and admired her efforts. They looked like a gathering of sleeping tortoises. She wondered what the collective noun for a group of tortoises might be. A huddle?
The next task was to join the halves. That was when it all started to go wrong. It was tricky melting the edges enough with a knife dipped in boiling water so they would stick together, but not too much so the edges were full of holes. The four whole eggs she managed to assemble looked a bit holey and mauled about.
Then a flash of inspiration! Rosemary tied ribbons round the eggs, thus covering the uneven joins. Now they looked a whole lot better. Then she had another flash of inspiration that involved a trip to the corner shop. She bought a bag each of plain and white chocolate buttons which she used to cover up any dents and finger prints.
But after all that she only had four complete eggs. Time was running short; she’d agreed to go to the cinema with a friend. So she decided to make a few smaller solid chocolate eggs in the hope they would join together more easily. This meant she had to pop to the corner shop once more for more chocolate. She left the next batch of eggs to set in the fridge overnight.
Next morning Rosemary joined the halves of the solid eggs without too much difficulty. Now all she had to do was write the children’s names on the eggs with icing in a tube. She attempted to draw a yellow rabbit on one of the larger eggs using piped icing but it looked nothing like a rabbit so she scraped it off and resorted once again to covering the marks with chocolate buttons.
She placed each egg in a gift-wrapped box filled with shredded tissue paper.
As she drove to visit her grandchildren on Easter Sunday morning Rosemary totted up what she’d spent in the supermarket and corner shop and realised by the time she’d bought gift wrap and tissue paper she’d spent more than she would have on six shop-bought Easter eggs.
‘Look, Danielle!’ she said to the eldest girl. ‘I’ve made your Easter eggs this year.’
Danielle didn’t look particularly impressed. Later Rosemary heard her on the phone telling a friend she’d got some rubbish home-made thing instead of the One Direction egg she’d been hoping for.
Shortly after Rosemary returned home her daughter rang.
‘Mum, Charlie’s just broken his tooth on one of your eggs.’
‘I’m sorry, dear. Poor Charlie, I hope he’s not hurting too much. It must have been one of the solid chocolate ones. I suppose next year I’d better do what everyone else does and buy Easter eggs.’
By Karenne Griffin
Last Modified on: 05-11-2015