Lone cascarón

Once upon a time, I was a Girl Scout leader. During the eight years I was privileged to warp shape the minds of little Daisies and Brownies, my troops and I engaged in awesome — and some not-so-awesome — activities. One that I remember each year around Easter is the creating of the cascarones. It was one of the most successful crafts of my tenure.

Cascarones, as I enlightened my followers, are confetti-filled eggshells (cáscaras) broken over the heads of others to bring good luck. It's a popular tradition of the Hispanic culture, often seen at weddings and especially at Easter time.

Cascarones are pretty simple to make. Here are the steps and some photos:

1. To hollow out an egg, gently whack the smaller end of a raw egg with a knife to create a wedge for prying off the end.

2. Gently remove the end of the shell, creating a hole about the size of a 50-cent piece.

3. Gently remove the raw egg inside by letting it drop into a container.

4. Gently (yes, "gently" is the key to most of these steps!) rinse out the egg, using your finger (gently) to remove any egg white sticking to the shell. Set aside to dry.

5. Once the egg is completely dry, decorate the outside as desired. Gently, of course. A simple method with children is to use markers, as I did (hastily) with this example. Some traditionalists color the egg with commercial egg dyes typically used to color Easter eggs. Don't decorate with stickers as they prevent the shell from breaking during the fun.

6. Fill the decorated egg with confetti. Packaged glitter confetti from a craft store is best because it's most gleefully messy festive. Or use a hole punch or paper shredder (the "cross-cut" ones work great!) to make your own from colored paper.

7. Using a glue stick, carefully line the edge of the hole and glue a square of tissue paper over the hole. Allow glue to dry completely. Store egg in a safe place until the festivities.

The year of the Girl Scout cascarones, my family stepped out onto the front lawn Easter afternoon to crack wishes of good luck upon one another's noggins. We laughed and loved and left layers of confetti in the grass. Tidbits of good tidings were visible through the blades of green grass for months. Years after, a glint of gold or green confetti would often catch my eye as I sat on the porch swing, swaying and smiling as I remembered the multiple cascarones we cracked that festive Easter.

This year, I have one lone cascarón. Made for this post. With only a single egg to crack upon the head of a loved one, I'm considering which of those I'll be spending Easter Day with most needs a smack upside the head dose of good luck. Jim, Brianna, and Andrea best beware.

Unless, that is, a little Googling reveals the cascarones tradition has no rules discouraging the cracking of the goodies upon one's own head. Because these days, I'll take good luck any darn way I can get it!

Today's question:

What special memories do you have of decorating Easter eggs?