Growing up in a Greek family meant Easter was always a very special time of year celebrated with lots of ritual, food, and special traditions. One of my favorite traditions that I love sharing with my family and friends today is the Easter egg game called tsougrisma.
To play the game you need some dyed hardboiled eggs. My family used to always dye at least a dozen vibrant red ones, which is the traditional colour used in Greece. These days I like to use plants to dye eggs naturally and non-toxically, so they are usually lovely pastel hues.
Once the eggs are ready, you need to round up two players and give them each an egg. Players hold an egg in their hand, and the first person taps the end of her egg lightly against the end of the other player’s egg. The goal is to crack the opponent’s egg. When one end is cracked, the winner uses the same end of her egg to try to crack the other end of the opponent’s egg. The player who successfully cracks the eggs of the other players is declared the winner and will be blessed with good luck during the year. Don’t worry too much about the rules about which end of the egg to tap first, how to hold it, or how to tap. It’s mostly just about having fun!
You want to make sure you have at least two hardboiled eggs per person so everyone has a chance to play at least twice. Once you get started with this game, it will be hard to get everyone to stop! If you are having more of a formal Easter feast, this game is fun to play around the dinner table, which is good because that means the salt and pepper will be close by.
Your children will probably be more interested in eating their chocolate Easter eggs than the leftover boiled eggs from this game. One great way to use up leftover eggs is potato salad. My favorite combinations include:
Blue Cheese, Apple and Walnut
Indian Spiced Chickpea and Potato
Artichoke, Black Olive and Mint
The kids really like eating the leftover eggs in egg salad sandwiches too. To jazz things up a bit I like to pull out special seasonal cookie cutters and transform them into traditional Easter shapes. Fun, and they will probably eat all of their lunch.
Anastasia Akasha Kaur Malay lives by the sea in Nova Scotia, Canada with her husband where they raise chickens, turkeys, goats, and children. She shares her passion for life on her blog Keeping It Real.