Each year I celebrate Easter twice. We celebrate our first Easter the same day as everyone else. We color eggs, have egg hunts, eat lots of ham and potatoes. Then about a month later we celebrate Greek Easter. Quick back story, both of my parents were born and raised in Greece and moved to the US along with my older sisters just a few years before I was born.
Greek Easter is a huge deal to the Orthodox; it’s almost bigger than Christmas. If you are able to go to a Greek Orthodox Good Friday service, go - it’s something else. It’s ornate and steeped in tradition.
Greek Easter dinner has its own set of symbolism and traditions. We always eat lamb, and we always eat hard-boiled eggs that are dyed a very deep, rich shade red. Then, beginning from the oldest to the youngest each person chooses an egg. This egg will be your game piece, so to speak, in “Tsougrisma” - also known as the egg cracking game.
This is how you play the egg cracking game: People are paired up. One person taps the fat end of their egg against the fat end of their partner’s eggs. Whosever’s egg cracks is out for that round. The process is repeated with skinny end of the egg. The process then repeats with any family members who have ends that have not cracked until only one person is left with an egg that has no cracks at all.
It is said that the victor will have luck for the rest of the year. Everything about the eggs is full of religious symbolism, which to be honest, is lost on me. My only plan is to pick the winning egg because I can always use a little luck.
My mom is always pushing us to eat the eggs, but after gorging on lamb, I’m always too full to eat my egg. I take mine home along with any unclaimed eggs. Leftover hard-boiled eggs are the perfect excuse to make egg salad!
This egg salad recipe is super simple and it has a little southwestern flair. Jalapeños, cilantro, Greek yogurt and celery salt flavor the eggs just enough. You still get lots of tasty egg in each bite, but the tangy yogurt and spicy peppers make this egg salad a keeper! Save your leftover hard-boiled eggs this Easter because now you know exactly what to do with them!