While I'm not quite as extreme about pickling, I do like my fair share of pickled products. Pickling is the process of preserving food by anaerobic fermentation in brine to produce lactic acid or marinating and storing it in an acid solution, such as vinegar. I love about anything pickled, especially pickled garlic cloves. But most dear to my heart is my grandmother's pickled eggs, or red beet eggs.
Red beet eggs originate from the Pennsylvania Dutch. I was unable to find any further information on their origins; perhaps pickled eggs were simply a norm of the culture and no one bothered to note the eggs' origins. Beets were commonly used as a dye in colonial times; beet dye was used for making pink frosting and pink pancakes. I've also heard that red beet eggs can also be called Easter eggs and symbolize the crucifixion, as the dye represents the blood of Christ. However, since this information likely came from a Sunday school teacher of mine, I'll take that information with a grain of salt.
Since the historical origins of pickled eggs is rather cloudy, I would rather consider the importance that the recipe has for my family. My grandmother has the Willis knack for making great food without even glancing at a recipe. She can whisk together Thanksgiving dinner without even peeking into her recipe card box, instead she relies on her sense of smell and taste to figure out the correct ingredients. Pickled eggs are simply a side dish to larger meals. These pink-purple dyed eggs occupy the same tray as the olives and pickles, but for me, the pickled eggs let me know that I am with family. I've never had pickled eggs anywhere else.
Sadly, unlike my grandmother's wondrous works in the kitchen, I botched up my batch of pickled eggs. They weren't quite pickled enough, but I hope the class enjoyed them as much as they could.