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  #1  
Old 04-27-2011, 07:02 AM
Orville mogul Orville mogul is offline
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Is there a way to preserve hard-boiled Easter eggs?

This weekend was the first time we celebrated Easter with our 15-month daughter, and it was even better because her also-15-month old cousin was with us as well.

The high point was decorating the easter eggs, which was the first time I have done this in 20 years. I had forgotten what fun it is (and how quickly the egg dye can get around!). And with a little help from their parents, the babies managed to paint a few brushstrokes onto a couple of eggs.

To me, those eggs are beautiful, and my wife and I cannot bring ourselves to eat them. We would rather find a way to keep them for posterity. But is there any way to do that? These are fully hard boiled eggs, and the dyes are water soluble. We have already taken a bunch of photos, but would love to save the eggs somehow.
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  #2  
Old 04-27-2011, 08:06 AM
SmartAlecCat SmartAlecCat is offline
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Doesn't help your current situation, but we often blow out the contents of the shell (prick the top and bottom with a tiny hole) instead of hard boiling. Then you can decorate and keep them forever.
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  #3  
Old 04-27-2011, 08:11 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is online now
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They should eventually dry out and the contents will mummify, but there's a risk they could putrefy first, which could result in the production of gases which could rupture the shells (not to mention being very, very unpleasant.

Best suggestion I can think of:
get one of those box-type picture frames ready (with a depth of just more than half an egg)
Use a dremel with a fine disc grinder to carefully cut the egg shells in half (either around the equator, or around the top/bottom)
Use a very thin, sharp knife to extend this cut through the contents of the egg
Use the sharp knife to carefully cut and pick out pieces of the cooked egg, leaving two halves of shell.
Pack them with a little cotton wool and glue them in place in the frame.

You could try sticking them back together, but you'll end up with something you have to handle in order to see both sides.

Practice on some cooked, unpainted sacrificial eggs first.

Last edited by Mangetout; 04-27-2011 at 08:12 AM..
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Old 04-27-2011, 08:17 AM
Uncertain Uncertain is offline
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Just put them in a cave for three days.
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  #5  
Old 04-27-2011, 08:30 AM
Orville mogul Orville mogul is offline
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Originally Posted by Uncertain View Post
Just put them in a cave for three days.
And be responsible for every war for the next 2000 years? No thanks!
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  #6  
Old 04-27-2011, 08:44 AM
Orville mogul Orville mogul is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangetout View Post
Best suggestion I can think of:
get one of those box-type picture frames ready (with a depth of just more than half an egg)
Use a dremel with a fine disc grinder to carefully cut the egg shells in half (either around the equator, or around the top/bottom)
Use a very thin, sharp knife to extend this cut through the contents of the egg
Use the sharp knife to carefully cut and pick out pieces of the cooked egg, leaving two halves of shell.
Pack them with a little cotton wool and glue them in place in the frame.
Wow, great suggestion. Sounds like it might work. I guess it just depends on how much effort I want to put into this.

I had to look up what a dremel was. It's a bone cutter!
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  #7  
Old 04-27-2011, 09:06 AM
salinqmind salinqmind is offline
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Growing up, we had a bowl of Russian decorated Easter eggs in a bowl, years old, contents dried up and mummified. I don't know why, though, some eggs dry up and some eggs putrify. That's all I got, sorry...Too late now, but don't arts n' crafts stores sell paper mache eggs to decorate?
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  #8  
Old 04-27-2011, 10:23 AM
JerseyFrank JerseyFrank is offline
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Eat it and move on. The less-little they get, the more crap you accumulate.

I was you for a while, and I got so tired of stressing over broken stuff, ripped artwork, etc. that I just treat it all as disposable. My wife still surreptitiously hoards some of the stuff she wants to keep for posterity.
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  #9  
Old 04-27-2011, 01:48 PM
purplehorseshoe purplehorseshoe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salinqmind View Post
... I don't know why, though, some eggs dry up and some eggs putrify. That's all I got, sorry...
I always prick a little hole in eggs before I boil them, but a lot of people don't. Maybe if there's a tiny hole it allows moisture to escape faster? Totally a WAG, sorry.
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Old 04-27-2011, 01:56 PM
Rachellelogram Rachellelogram is offline
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Originally Posted by JerseyFrank View Post
Eat it and move on. The less-little they get, the more crap you accumulate.

I was you for a while, and I got so tired of stressing over broken stuff, ripped artwork, etc. that I just treat it all as disposable. My wife still surreptitiously hoards some of the stuff she wants to keep for posterity.
This is really the best answer. You've got permanent pictures of it, and that's better than most people have for their kids' artwork. The kid-stuff-hoarding starts out small, but can really snowball on you over time. My mom, for instance, still has a paper/glitter wreath I made in second grade. It's falling apart, faded, and I don't want it. I'm not even a Christian. I chucked out all of my elementary school artwork when she handed it down to me a few years back and felt much better for it.

The great memories and adorable pictures should be what you want to take from the egg-coloring event, not the eggs themselves.
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  #11  
Old 04-27-2011, 06:23 PM
salinqmind salinqmind is offline
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How much is a dremel/bonecutter, anyway? Just to try to cut an eggshell in half?

Why don't you just buy some wooden or paper mache eggs, paint them white, and let the kids paint some more, and you can keep the best. So it's a couple days after Easter - so? We used to take pictures of our daughter in the garden, in her new holiday outfit. If it was raining, we'd wait till the sun came out later in the week and go out and take the picture then. Who knew (or cared) if it was after the fact a day or so?
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  #12  
Old 04-28-2011, 02:24 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is online now
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I suggested the dremel thinking the OP might know someone who owned one (or something similar - there are a number of other small hobby drill/cutters out there). It looks like they start at around thirty dollars.

Never heard them called bone cutters before - although they do resemble things I've seen pathologists use on TV and in movies. I'd have thought a Dremel-type hobby drill would be a bit underpowered and delicate for actually cutting bone.
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  #13  
Old 04-28-2011, 05:42 AM
Khendrask Khendrask is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangetout View Post
I suggested the dremel thinking the OP might know someone who owned one (or something similar - there are a number of other small hobby drill/cutters out there). It looks like they start at around thirty dollars.

Never heard them called bone cutters before - although they do resemble things I've seen pathologists use on TV and in movies. I'd have thought a Dremel-type hobby drill would be a bit underpowered and delicate for actually cutting bone.
Off the original topic, but the search probably turned up the Dremel Multi-Max oscillating tool
rather then the more common rotary tools that have been around forever.
The multi-max is a knockoff of the FEIN multimaster tool. The Rockwell Sonicrafter is another knockoff. They are actually very handy, but they resemble a bone-saw as the blades oscillate back and forth very rapidly, but with an extremely short stroke. Because of that, they will cut through hard objects easily, but won't do a whole lot on soft things (like flesh).
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  #14  
Old 04-28-2011, 11:30 AM
dracoi dracoi is offline
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I think the best part of Easter is the egg salad sandwiches, and I'll second the poster who says you'll have plenty of your kid's crap to store as it is.

But if you must preserve them, my recommendation would be to try to dry them. Maybe stick them in an oven on warm (my oven's "warm" setting is 170 F) overnight, or even over a weekend*. Pricking a hole is probably not even necessary - eggshells are relatively porous and moisture can get out. Meanwhile, the moderate heat will be more than bacteria can tolerate, so you'll be delaying decomposition.

* This process will make a 1/4 inch slice of beef into beef jerky in about 8 hours. An egg is much thicker, so you could literally be looking at days to fully dry it.
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  #15  
Old 05-03-2011, 04:56 AM
Orville mogul Orville mogul is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangetout View Post
Never heard them called bone cutters before - although they do resemble things I've seen pathologists use on TV and in movies. I'd have thought a Dremel-type hobby drill would be a bit underpowered and delicate for actually cutting bone.
Actually bonecutter was my own term for the dremel. I think I have seen too many pathologist movies too. But I am impressed how this thread has shifted from easter eggs to dismemberment!

I might just try the oven drying thing. For the eggs that is. Body parts would take too long.
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  #16  
Old 05-03-2011, 08:46 PM
GameHat GameHat is offline
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Cast them in a clear resin? I'm a resin chemist so this was my first thought.

Something like Clear Polyester Casting Resin

Has anyone done this? The resin would completely encase the egg. Once cured, it's pretty much impermeable, so you would never have any rot or spoilage getting through. On the other hand, I'm not sure the egg would remain unspoiled - even fully encased, it might still deteriorate.
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  #17  
Old 05-03-2011, 08:48 PM
mac_bolan00 mac_bolan00 is offline
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is it possible to dessicate the insides into a powdery substance and dribble it out through a small hole?
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  #18  
Old 04-26-2012, 08:45 AM
Reverend Mark Reverend Mark is offline
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Originally Posted by Endemic View Post
Wow, great suggestion. Sounds like it might work. I guess it just depends on how much effort I want to put into this.

I had to look up what a dremel was. It's a bone cutter!
Actually although Dremel is the company that makes the best surgical bone cutters, I think the reference was for the commercially available Dremel rotary tool you can get at any good hardware store. They have wheels you can but for cutting everything from glass to steel or stone. I prefer the Black and Decker rotary tool myself, it's cheaper, more powerful, and the wheels and discs are less expensive , not to mention it's a relatively generic mandrel size so other company's discs can be used in a pinch. More a working man's tool than for a hobbyist Dremel MIGHT be the way to go with eggshell, but I've cut a light bulb with my Black and Decker, so I know it's possible, but as was stated earlier, practice on some eggs you're not especially fond of first.
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  #19  
Old 04-26-2012, 10:45 AM
Kimballkid Kimballkid is offline
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Does it cut zombie bones?
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