I didn't bother going the extra step of checking the internet for exactly how or why vinegar works, so after a lot of blotting, I just take a vinegar-soaked rag and rub the spot like Lady Macbeth after a killing spree. Well, it seems that the correct way is to get a spray bottle and then dilute the vinegar one part to six parts water and so on. But at this very moment I just don't feel like getting a spray bottle, so my house will continue to smell like a Paas Easter Egg kit until I take the big trek to the Dollar Tree store two blocks away.
When we were little, my grandmother would get us a Paas kit every spring. After boiling a carton of eggs, we would plop the little color tablets into small glass bowls. We would watch spellbound as the dye would slowly dissolve into the vinegar, a phosphorescent sea animal in a slow-moving underwater dance. My excitement would build as the murky water would turn purple, pink, yellow, and green.
Like a scientist over a bunsen burner, I would gingerly take the wire holder and dip the alabaster egg into the awaiting bowls and then immediately cover them with the accompanying carrot-stick and bunny stickers. Because the egg was always still slightly wet, the stickers would peel away, leaving white spots in their place.
Our colorful creations would go into a large bowl in the center of our dining room table. There they would sit, unrefrigerated all week, until invariably I would find a plate of speckled shells. I always knew the culprit was not far behind.
"You know, Grampa, I made that egg. You ate the egg I made," I would say indignantly.
My grandfather, egg white hanging out of his mouth, would nod.
"Go grab me another one, would you? And be a good girl, peel it for me."
After a stomp and a humph, neither of which he picked up on, I would head off to get him whatever egg I was least artistically attached to. I would hit the shell ever so slightly against the wood table until a small crack appeared. Like people, each egg had its own way of uncovering itself. Sometimes it would take me forever to take off the shell, piece by piece. Other times, the layer would float off, instantly revealing its soft, smooth surface underneath.
Something about the process of peeling eggs transfixed me and before I knew it, all the remaining eggs were naked.
"Here you go," I would say, handing him an egg.
"You really shouldn't talk with your mouth full," he would reply, gently wiping away yellow and white specs from my face.
With the house still enveloped in vinegar, I decide to head out to the Dollar Tree after all, hoping that next to the spray bottles I'll find a Paas kit waiting for me.