Paque Eggs – A Louisiana Tradition

Original image found at http://msenplace.blogspot.com/2010/03/cajun-easter-time-for-paquing.html

Original image found at http://msenplace.blogspot.com/2010/03/cajun-easter-time-for-paquing.html

Some people grumble about the commercialism of spiritual holidays. After all, what does a magical bunny really have to do with faith? Well, my short answer is…everything!

What’s more wonderful than believing in something we can’t see, something that can’t be proven, something that may or may not actually happen? Even as a child I always thought dying would be kind of like Christmas or Easter morning, running into the living room to see if all my prayers, hard work, and wishes had really worked out as I had hoped.

As a kid, our family hardly missed a single church service, especially on Easter morning. We always got a new special outfit, shiny shoes, and family photos in front of the house on our way to church. But I can’t really tell you anything about what happened while I was on that pew.

What I do remember are the many happy egg hunts, the hours spent coloring eggs, and the taste of sugary icing on the Easter bunny cake my mother would make with us each year. We’d also “paque” eggs, a Cajun tradition in which two people hit their eggs together end to end. After the hit, the egg with the fewest cracks in the shell wins. My cousins and I would stand in Granny’s kitchen and paque all our colored eggs until the shells were all cracked. We’d eat some, and the rest would be thrown into the warm potato salad to eat with gumbo.

Another fun Easter memory happened later, when my own children were dying eggs, hunting for treasures, and adding jellybeans to the bunny cake ears. We invited all our friends to a night-time egg hunt in our neighborhood park. We gave the kids flashlights and set them free. It turned out to be a wonderfully fun event for all involved. That was before glow-in-the-dark plastic eggs, but I think that would only add to the thrills.

Now, my children are too old for egg hunts and have told me they don’t really want to dye eggs this year. I’m sad to see them growing past the childhood traditions, as they did this Christmas too, but I’m happy to see them grow through each stage of their lives and will still enjoy every moment of our Easter holiday together, with or without paque egg gumbo.

Learn more about Louisiana traditions and find delicious recipes too by visiting this wonderful blog I happened to discover just today. http://msenplace.blogspot.com/

Happy Easter!
julie

author books sept 2011 2

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Julie Cantrell

New York Times bestselling author at David C. Cook
Julie Cantrell is a tree-hugging organic-farm girl and mother of two who happened into a mid-life adventure as a novelist. She's having fun parenting, writing, teaching, speaking, and living the dream.

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Comments

  1. Rachel Hauck says

    Julie, I have some fun memories of egg hunts. I think I liked finding them more than eating them tho.

    Love learning about Louisiana’s own unique traditions! Who knew??

    XO,
    Rachel

  2. Jorie says

    Good afternoon, Ms. Cantrell! :)

    I finally unearthed my issue with the RSS feeds for Southern Belle View, and happily read this post via the feeds!! :) I *love!* the Paque Egg Gumbo! I am clicking over to the website you mentioned to see what new recipes I can gleam and perhaps even try this time round for Easter! We were looking for some new recipes, as Mum + I are always happy to experiment in the kitchen together! We recently were able to start purchasing farm raised healthy eggs after my 9 year battle with an egg allergy finally ended! I cannot even begin to tell you what it was like finding a local ‘egg’ cafe that serves up the *same!* farm eggs in their dishes! My first order!? My beloved Benedict that I could only ‘dream’ of eating all these years, but I ordered it Florentine instead, as I’ve been turning into a herbivore since my omivore days! Laughs.

    Ooh, so what I was going to say, is that I was plumb curious about brown eggs verse whites, and so, one weekend we switched it up! Lo and behold, would you believe that the white eggs have light/weak yolks with strong whites AND brown eggs have a richer yolk and a lighter white!? I never can find someone who has noticed the same as everyone just says “brown white blue or indifferent, they’re all the same!” I was thinking that since we have so many browns… we can save ourselves the dye process and try out your Paque Egg Gumbo! :) :) Here’s to hoping there is a version of it on that blog you shared!! I wouldn’t know how to make proper gumbo if you asked me to ferret out the ingredients I had on hand and whip up a batch! Laughs.

    Thanks for sharing a part of Louisana I didn’t know about previously,… I’ve been enchanted with New Orleans ever since I was there in the early 90s, but there are so many outstretching cities and hamlets that are rich in history that one day I hope I can return and go off the beaten path!

    Have a joyous Easter!

    • Julie cantrell says

      Hi Jorie, We have two coops with hens and have all the colored eggs with those bright orange yolks. Haven’t bought eggs in a grocery story in four years now. Can’t imagine going back to those colorless, tasteless, antibiotic and hormone induced creations. Happy to collect our own each day on our farm. Hope you enjoy learning to make gumbo! There are so many variations…you can’t mess it up. Happy Easter! j

      • Jorie says

        Ooh, boy, I know what you mean, Ms. Cantrell! :)

        We’ve been shopping for local natural/organic fruit, veg, eggs, milk, cheese, honey, seafood, etc, all at our local farmer’s market — we can see the harvesting fields across the street which is run by our local homeless shelter in order to give them an honest day’s work and pay. They are getting certified in organics throughout this coming year, as they are natural growers already using non-chemical practices!!

        Being that I live in a city like most people on a city block, with even less of a yard than most, I do envy those who have a nice patch of land where you can raise hens, plant herb and veg, and live off your land properly! That’s a goal I have for the future, to be self sufficient but until then, I do feel good about supporting local farmers, and eating healthier food then what is warehoused in!

        Mum loved the idea of green gumbo — so we’re going to see which greens are available — we usually luck out with: collards, chard, elephant kale, and mustards,… but occassionally we’re lucky with baby bok choy too! Now, watch, for Easter weekend the greens will be gone! Laughs. I’ll keep you posted on my progress!

        Ooh, we transitioned to the local market 2 years and 4 months ago, but we’ve been eating farm fresh produce via another towne for over 4 years! :) Once you make the switch your quite right — no going back!

  3. Lisa Wingate says

    Awww… I hadn’t thought about Paque egg in a long time! We had a neighbor who used to do that. Egg hunts with them were extra fun. Thanks for bringing that memory back!

    It is sad when these kiddos get to big for Easter egg hunts, isn’t it? But these big kiddos are fun too!

  4. says

    Hey Julie! I had to back up and catch up today. I’ve been traveling. I enjoyed your post. I could “see” you as a little girl in those memories. Growing, changing, never standing still and embracing the “newness” of Easter– that is our ongoing challenge. :)

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