Henry’s the artistic one in our relationship—not me. I’ve been called tricky and sly, but never crafty. (See what I did there?) In fact, when I started popping out kids, one of my worries was that I’d diluted Henry’s creative genes. Luckily, our two boys appear to have turned out more more left-brain-dominant than their right-brained mama, as evidenced by Big-O’s creepy clay sculptures and Lil-O’s colorful comics and Lego creations. Phew.
Even though I can’t keep up with the boys artistically, I do occasionally manage to come up with a fun project that convinces my spawn to put down their colored pens and join me in the kitchen.
The other night, as I was leafing through the yellowed and food-stained pages of my well-loved copy of Jacques Pepin’s La Mèthode, I was struck with some old-school culinary inspiration. There, mixed in with the chef’s classic (but eye-poppingly intimidating) recipes for Goose Liver Pate in Aspic and Stuffed Pig’s Feet, I stumbled upon a super-simple, kid-friendly kitchen activity:
“Hard-Boiled Eggs, Clown-Style.”
Yeah, you heard me right:
I don’t know why, but I couldn’t get these insane clown faces out of my mind. So at the break of dawn, I bolted out of the bedroom and announced to my bed-headed boys that we were straight-up making Crazy Clown Eggs.
What follows is Big-O’s interpretation of Chef Pepin’s jaunty clown-faced eggs, with an assist from me (I helped prep the eggs and veggies) and his pop (Henry supervised my nine-year-old’s knife work).
Here’s what to gather to make your own goofy-faced eggs:
Here’s what you do:
Hard cook your eggs…
…and then ice them for at least 15 minutes before peeling them.
Meanwhile, prepare all the face parts for your little peeps. I used spiralized carrots for hair…
…sliced olives for glasses/eyes, cucumber slices and halved cherry tomatoes for hats, and ham slivers for tongues.
Slice a small bit of egg from the top and bottom to create a flat surface on both ends. Unlike Weebles, untrimmed hard-boiled eggs will most certainly wobble and fall down.
Hand the eggs, garnishes, and the mayonnaise “glue” to the budding artist(s) in your house, and make sure an adult is supervising the shenanigans. (Losing a finger tends to ruin all the fun.)
Feel free to improvise with different vegetables and edible goodies; after all, there’s no wrong way to make these cute eggs. Plus, if you make a mistake, just get rid of the evidence by eating it.
Mayonnaise does a great job of keeping the parts on the face, but you may need a toothpick to secure the hat in place.
As Robb Wolf writes in The Paleo Solution, your protein needs a face and a soul. These little eggheads may be soulless, but hey: they’ve got a face, and they taste waaaay better than plain boiled eggs—in the same way that gummy bears were more delicious when you imagined that you were biting the heads off small, rubbery mammals.
Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index! You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my New York Times bestselling cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel 2013).