Making your own eggshell vase is to honor the close attention that spring inspires. After all, you’re breaking an egg without crushing its shell, saving the food it contains for later, and then filling its hollow with small and fragile blossoms. This is not summer’s hearty tromp.
But it does immerse one smoothly into an awareness of the tiny surprises that spring unfurls. Green tips suddenly push through the earth; bare limbs are now awash in blooms; sour grass joins mustard and acacia to yellow the landscape. Close observation is daily rewarded by new discoveries — but only if you’re able to slow down your pace and your vision to really notice your surroundings.
Think of this small project as a way to ease into the sharp sight of spring. This video adds a glorious blur!
After winter’s molt, the hens are again laying, and the glory of abundant fresh eggs harkens the change in the year. Whether you’re preparing to make a special coddled egg feast (we have a marvelous recipe!), a frittata brunch, or just a warm plate of scramblers with crème fraîche and herbs to greet Saturday morning, try saving the shells to later fill with flowers.
• Eggs — Try a dozen if you can, saving the eggs themselves for cooking later. You’ll want to have a few more eggs than you think you need because they’re fragile!
• A butter knife
• Tap water
• Short-cut spring flowers
• Egg carton
• Egg cups
Using the side of the knife, tap the egg to crack it near its top, rotating the egg as you go until you’ve made a circle about 1 inch in diameter. Carefully remove the circle of shell, including any stray pieces. (Your flowers will cover the opening so that its jagged opening won’t show.)
Reserve the liquid egg for later use, rinse the shell, and invert it in the egg carton to drain.
Use a measuring cup to fill the shells three-quarters of the way with tap water and place in egg cups for stability.
Place the empty eggshells into egg cups in preparation for filling.
Arrange small cuttings of your favorite herbs and blossoms into the eggshell vases. Place them so that they cover the opening and vary their heights for interest. Set individually or grouped together in a centerpiece, these arrangements are lovely additions to the place settings at your table.
(If anyone in your house believes in fairies, they’ll be particularly gratified to learn that a collection of eggshell vases is like a forest for fairies. This is a place where they love to play!)