Thursday, December 10, 2009


Christmas has always been a time for reminiscing. Back in the 19th century, thoughts of home and Christmas for German immigrants living on America's open prairie were filled with visions of fine glass-blown ornaments hanging from the branches of the tree that had become the centerpiece of the holiday.

Lacking the means and opportunity to buy such an extravagance, these ingenious settlers used what was available to recreate the magic of Christmas' past in their new homeland.

That tradition lives on to this day on the Kanto plain of Japan.

Each year I blow the filling out of as many eggs as I can find and handcraft them into eggsquisite Christmas tree ornaments. I often give them as presents and everyone is very impressed.

Of course, I'm not expert at it yet and there are lots of mistakes along the way. I once brought a few egg ornaments as gifts, along with some holiday eggnog, to a year-end party (bonenkai). Everyone was blown away by the workmanship and demanded to know how it was done, so I explained the process. Needless to say, the secret behind the egg decorating process detracted from some of the allure that the eggnog originally held and I suppose most of it was fed to the plumbing before the night was over. Today I have improved on the process and own the device pictured here that allows me to pump out eggs all day long without a single one ever touching my lips, reducing the chances of my bodily fluids mixing with the eggs to practically zero. We've come a long way since the 19th century.

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