Every Easter my family has an Easter egg cracking contest. This is when we go head to head, egg shell to egg shell, and try to crack the other person’s egg. I used to think everybody did this when I was young. And when I found out we were the only ones, I thought everybody else was crazy. As I get older, I’m finding out we are the crazy ones. I guess this is an old Polish tradition. I don’t claim to know the history, but according to Google it’s an Eastern European thing. So I know there are other people who crack their eggs, just nobody I know.
It’s always such a highlight of our Easter dinner. We compete before dinner so the cracked hard-boiled eggs can be used to make deviled eggs. There have been eight players for the past couple of years. This year, there would be nine, but Ellie was sleeping making her ineligible for competition. We set it up like the March Madness brackets. The winner would receive a scratch-off lotto ticket. Who would be the reigning champ this year?
First to the cracking court was my dad and me. He won the coin toss and chose to “hit” instead of being hit. A hush fell over the crowd and we each griped our egg with athletic precision. It was age versus youth. Father against son. Generation against generation. Which one of us would make it to the Final Four? Dad lifted his arm and swung. Crack! We both looked at our eggs. Nobody’s egg cracked. He swung again. Crack! And I won! Dad hung his head low in disappointment as I would be advancing to the Final Four. Better luck next year dad.
Next up, was my brother and my uncle. The same situation; age versus youth. My brother swung and CRACK! He won! Well folks, it seems so far youth is dominating this first round. But there are still two games left, anything could happen!?
The tables turned for the second half. Aya played and lost against my mom. And my sister-in-law lost to my grandma. The “old” and “youth” were tied. This was getting interesting folks. The Final Four was going to be a nail biter.
The next series began with my brother and me. Brother vs. brother in a fight to the finish. Who wanted in more? CRACK! Ohhh! I was eliminated from the contest! With one swing, my egg was cracked and it was all over. BOOO! I think someone has a wooden egg!
The next game would decide who would be playing in the final championship. Who would be playing my brother for the title? You’d think my mom would take my 91 year old grandma out of the running, but grandma did beat my sister-in-law. There was still a good chance she could win. Grandma held her egg in her shaky hand.(note; my grandma has had shaky hands for as long as I can remember and as a joke within the family, we always refer to them as “grandma hands”) It’s a good thing these are already hard boiled, otherwise they’d be scrambled after grandma had them. My mom swung and CRACK! Grandma won! My mom was out! Grandma would be advancing to the final championship!
The final championship game; my brother vs. grandma. The young whippersnapper vs. the sweet old lady. Everyone was anxious for deviled eggs. We were ready for this contest to end. My brother had a look of determination in his eyes. A bead of perspiration running down his forehead. He tilted his head from side to side to loosen up a bit. My grandma was playing it cool, but we all knew she wanted it bad. Scratch-off lotto tickets are like grandma’s kryptonite. The coin toss was in her favor and she chose to hit. This was it! Swing, CRACK!… And grandma takes home the prize! Grandma is the 2011 Egg Champion!