Easter Egg Hunt: Quest of the Holy Quail

We have an annual Easter egg hunt at our house, for those who are actually children and the virtual child in each adult. The competition is fierce because a Golden Egg (leafed with real gold) is displayed in nearly plain sight by hiders who collapse laughing at what seems obvious to us but is elusive to the seekers. It sometimes takes a couple of hours to find the prize. We have five or six golden eggs in our cabinet, won in past years by family members who want to keep them safe. Visiting families cart their treasures home.   

Usually we use chicken eggs but this year, we used a diminutive quail egg from nearby Griggstown Quail Farm, which raises a great variety of poultry besides its namesake. The egg was tiny, a little over an inch tall, which made it all the more challenging to find. Even though its gleaming surface could be seen in the sunlight, nestled in a stone wall, that is, if you figured out which part of the wall to search.

The drill for making a gold-leafed egg is the same each year: pierce the polar ends of an egg, carefully blow out the whites and yolks into a bowl, paint the eggshell with adhesive size for metal leaf (a kind of glue) and let the surface dry for a few minutes until just tacky. Then apply sheets of real gold leaf (or copper or silver leaf), patting the precious material in place and using a small brush to clean up the loose pieces.

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