Eat This

Another great reason to cherish the chicken


In spite of sprawl, urban blight, and other factors, Buffalo still has a vibrant Polish-American community. Every Easter you’ll find them—and everybody else—at the Broadway Market, where in addition to such specialties as placek, holiday kielbasa, and pierogy, there are various renditions of psanky/pisanki, decorated eggs.


Over the years, I have become addicted to these eggs; they have utterly spoiled me for the dyed eggs of my childhood. Traditionally, the decorated eggs are made by Ukrainians, Poles, and other European cultures for Easter, but like many Christian customs, their origins go back to ancient nature worship. There are wooden ones that are also very charming, but I love the wax-resist-method eggs pictured here. (These are not the priciest.) Some of you may know how to make these; I took one look at the instructions and decided to continue providing economic stimulus to their makers.

The survival of traditions like psanky seems very much aligned with the local, the fresh, and that which you have brought/helped bring into being with your own two hands.


Tomorrow we’ll be beating each other with pussy willows, but that’s another story … another tradition …

Posted by on April 12, 2009 at 5:00 am, in the category Eat This.
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5 responses to “Another great reason to cherish the chicken”

  1. Elizaabeth — I well recall Easter time visits to Broadway Market and listening to the Polish radio station. I love psanky and thought the prices for the ones pictured were very nice. One shop here always sells them ($25) and also has a demonstration and a decorating contest — local traditions that have been going on for 30 years. But I’m with you; I’ll be part of the stimulus package.

  2. chuck b. says:

    Those are beautiful.

  3. Jenn says:

    They are a great craft item to try out with a bunch of friends. Don’t try to do the fancy schmancy designs right out of the gate – just concentrate on playing. Draw little fuzzy chicks, or spring flowers, or bunnies in many colors…

    It’s a ton of fun and a great group activity. Get a bunch of friends gathered around a table, each one with a candle in front of them… make your neighbors talk!

  4. Michele Owens says:

    We just had a huge egg-dying thing happening in my house. We’re really getting sophisticated here on Caroline Street, with lots of crayon “lost-wax” action and artful over-dying.

    I have to show my kids these–they won’t believe it.

  5. When I was a child in my Polish household Easter egg dying was a big event. We would blow some out (what a pain it was to try and break the raw egg’s yolk with a pin and then blow it out a pin hole) and drip wax on others with a toothpick (pre-wax crayon days). I’ve never seen anything as intricate as these eggs, but I certainly can see the genesis of our childhood tradition in them. Beautiful!