Samstag, April 15, 2017

Eggquest 2017

I did it! I dyed red eggs that are really red!

My red Easter eggs were disappointing last year. I have had this problem ever since the Greek Market in Salt Lake City closed a couple of years ago. Caputo's sells some of the items I used to buy there, such as Greek feta and olive oil, but they carry predominantly Italian, not Greek specialities. I had bought Greek Easter egg dye on Amazon, but the dye clumped and adhered to the eggs in a patchy scum that rubbed off and left the eggs a dull pink. Not pretty. This year I searched the internet for ideas. Some people recommended dyeing with onion skins, so I decided to try it.

The recipe said to use the skins from 15 yellow onions. I just took all the loose skins out of the big bag of onions we have in the garage.

I boiled the onion skins as directed in 4.5 cups of water (is that a liter?) with 2 T. white vinegar for 1/2 hour, then drained and let the water cool to room temperature. That took another 1/2 hour. The dye liquid looked promising!

I then boiled the eggs in the dye liquid. My technique is to bring them to a full boil, then simmer for 17 minutes. I read this in a newspaper article years ago. I think Chris's mother read the same article, because that's how he learned to boil eggs.

While they were beautiful, the eggs were not the bright red I wanted. However, the silver lining on that is that if your eggs aren't perfect, you feel better about going ahead and eating one.

The dye liquid still looked vigorous so I cooked a few white eggs in the same water to see what they would do. Immediately after cooking they looked surprisingly like the brown eggs.

I decided to leave the eggs in the dye water overnight to pick up more color. And it worked! Happy Easter!

Donnerstag, März 23, 2017

I Get My DNA Report

I decided finally to take the plunge and get a DNA kit from last year some time when they were on sale. The kit came. It sat around for a long time. I am really grossed out by spit, what can I say? And I have xerostomia, which is just the fancy name for dry mouth. Spitting is not on my regular list of activities.

Finally, in January, I sent in the kit. I got periodic encouraging emails explaining how Ancestry was processing my DNA. But I didn't get the email with the results until this week. Boy was I ever surprised--and a little disappointed.

It turns out I am more British than most British people. My friend Helen and her daughter, both born and raised in the UK, are a third as British as I am.


Of course, what did I expect? I know what my family tree looks like. I was neither disappointed nor surprised to be mostly British. But I was disappointed that Ancestry didn't break it down further. I wanted it to say 25% Welsh. Other people get a percentage of Irishness; why not Welshness? And I was a little disappointed that there weren't any big surprises. No one is going to make a video about my results. Although it will be fun to figure out who the Finnish or Russian ancestor is. And another family member said it was disheartening to learn that I am more British than he is--his mother placed great stock in her British heritage.

But I decided that I need more information about my DNA. I had heard about mitochondrial DNA tests, so I searched online and found National Geographic's Genographic project. They promise to track your ancestor's migration for 5,000-10,000 years, and will tell you if you have any Neanderthal genetics. Although I saw an article that says some people think the Neanderthal link is bogus, and sadly I didn't bookmark it.

Anyway, I ordered the Nat Geo kit on Monday and it came yesterday. I already sent it in!

I don't think it required quite as much spit as the Ancestry kit. Although I admit that as I sat there spitting into the tube I was a little jealous of Gaston in Beauty in the Beast, who considers expectoration one of his especial gifts.

Nat Geo says it will take six to eight weeks to get my results back to me. I'll let you know what I find out. I'm sure it will be interesting, even if I turn out not to be part Neanderthal.

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