Chocolate Filled, Silk Tie Dyed Eggs

Please understand, artsy/craftsy is not generally a word people think of then they think of me.  However, I saw this post  over at Our Best Bites and this post  from Not Martha and thought I would simply die if I didn't try to combine the two and come up with my own little thing!  I home school my 6 year-old Mini-Mortal, and this became an almost 1 week art project!  She was with me every step of the way.

First take a plain egg.  Using a Dremel tool cut off the bottom of the egg.  (Do this outside because you can rest assured that you and your entire kitchen will be covered in egg if you don't.  Trust me, I know this from experience!)  Remove the bottom, and dump the egg into a bowl.  Cook the eggs immediately into a fabulous dish, or leave it alone to rot and get very smelly over the next few days.  (I would certainly suggest doing the egg dish rather than letting them go rotten, just my humble opinion).  

Next, you pick out 100% Silk, and 100% Ugly ties, the uglier the better.  (You can also chuckle as you get weird looks at the thrift store when you discuss with your children how wonderfully ugly a tie is!)

It's even more fun when you let your children express their opinions on the ties, just FYI.
Cut the ties down the middle, remove the inner lining, and cut the silk into pieces large enough to wrap around your eggs.  Secure them with a twist tie.

Enjoy making designs out of your eggs.  I know we did!

Then, wrap them again in a lightweight white fabric.  (I used a pillowcase.  By cutting it into 3 inch strips, sewing up the sides of each strip and sewing across it in 3 inch segments to make little pockets.)  Secure each pocket with another twist tie.  Put them in a pot with enough water to cover them and add 1/4 C. vinegar.  Boil the heck out of those suckers for 20-25 min.  I had to weight them down with cake pans so they wouldn't float to the top.

 Pull the eggs out of the water with tongs and set carefully into a colander.  Then wait for them to cool.

While you're waiting, you can enjoy the drawings that your kids make regarding their experience so far.  Those things in the middle of the table are the eggs all wrapped up, in case you couldn't tell.
After cooled, unwrap the eggs, set them on a cooling rack with something under it to catch the dripping water, and oooo and ahhh at how pretty they turned out so far!  Leave them alone overnight to dry completely to make sure the dye stays on during the next step.

The next morning clean the inside out really well with warm water and let them dry again.  Then, melt chocolate in a glass measuring cup with just a little bit of veggie oil or butter  to make sure it flows well.  Coat the inside of your eggs with chocolate by pouring it in the egg, swirling it around, then dumping it back into your measuring cup.

Set it on the cooling rack again to let all the excess chocolate drip out.  (It's going to  form a small lip of chocolate.  That's ok, you'll need it later). 
Melt more chocolate with a bit of butter mixed in.  Get out a baking sheet, and layer with parchment paper.  Make the sheet of parchment paper about twice as long as your baking sheet.  Pour the chocolate on the parchment, fold the parchment over the top of the baking sheet and smooth out the chocolate to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness.  Pop in the freezer for about 5 minutes.  When you pull it out, use a cookie cutter to make chocolate disks.  After you've made your chocolate disks, fill your eggs with candy.
Now, use a hot knife (I kept it in a pot of boiling water to keep it hot) to melt the chocolate lip around the outside of the egg, and place the chocolate disk on top of the egg to meld the egg and disk together.  Now, dye some coconut green by putting it in a bag with a few drops of green food coloring and "Shake It Up, baby now. Shake it up baby.  Twist and shout, twist and shout" until the food coloring is evenly distributed.  Take your hot knife and run it over the side of the chocolate disk that is closest to the egg and plop the green coconut on top.  Smash down the coconut to make sure it stays in place.

 Now the eggs are beautiful, and you can be proud and happy from your little creations!

What did those eggs have to go through to become so beautiful and sweet?  Well, let's see...they were cut, wrapped, shoved, boiled, squeezed, drenched, heated and scrubbed.  Was it an easy, quick process?  No.  It took time to transform them from something that could turn rotten to something beautiful, filled with sweetness!  The trials in our lives can act like that for us as well if we turn to the Lord.

Hebrews 12:10-11 discusses trials, "[He chasens us] for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby."  So, basically, we're given trials not so the Lord can see us suffer just for kicks, but so that we can find the peace that righteousness can bring even during trials.  It's truly difficult to believe sometimes.  

This past week, I had an extremely difficult time believing it myself.  This past year has been pretty difficult, and it all came boiling out of me this past weekend.  My mom and another friend passed away.  A friend of mine, who I respected and trusted, landed in jail for some unspeakable crimes.  I've seen 2 friends go through messy divorces, and had a friend who's younger than me develop a brain tumor.  I felt like life as I knew it had been cut out from underneath me.  I was wrapped in anger and rage for all the pain I felt and seen the past few months.  I envisioned God shoving me around and squeezing all happiness out of me.  I questioned whether God loved me or anyone else. I've never before doubted His love, but I felt quite sure he couldn't care one bit about me after going through such a rotten year.  Tears squeezed from my eyes from the pressure of the pain I felt.

As my tears subsided, I finally hit my knees in prayer for the first time in a while.  As I prayed I still felt anger, but felt slow changes.  I began to feel sweetness filling in where rotten bitterness had resided.  It wasn't instantaneous.  It took time for me to work through.  In fact, I'm still working through it, but I'm beginning to gain some understanding.  It's been extremely difficult.  I know as I continue to work through the pain and frustration, the Lord will continue filling me with beautiful, sweet peace that only He can bring.
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