56 minutes ago
Friday, February 26
Every place I've moved, I've tried to adopt some of the local customs. The U.S. is a huge country; things common in one area are nowhere to be found in another. Some things are so charming that I wish they were nationwide!
One fun tradition out in West and Central Texas is "cascarones." It's pronounced "Cass-cuh-ROAN-ess."
Cascarones are chicken eggs, emptied, washed, dried, dyed, dried again, and filled with tiny confetti, usually tissue-paper confetti instead of thicker paper. The hole where the confetti went in is covered with a piece of tissue matching the egg's color.
Most grocery stores carry the tiny tissue paper confetti on their party aisle, for homemade cascarones and for piñatas.
I've had great luck in introducing cascarones to newcomers to the area. The point of them is to crack them on top of someone's head. Confetti falls everywhere (especially on the target's head), and for some reason, it's quite satisfying. The victim is also armed with some eggs, and chases after the person who put the egg on their head, and smushes an egg in retaliation.
Well, it doesn't sound as fun when I type it out, but it's actually fun, IF the people are good-natured. You know how there are always those with extreme egos, who have to make everything into something unpleasant and competitive -- avoid playing with them. Just crack some eggs with willing and happy people.
Before our big dogs passed, we would crack cascarones on their backs. They loved it! They felt very pretty, with all that confetti! We were very gentle when cracking the eggs on them.
Some areas have the cascarones glued onto the ends of dowels, and the people have a much greater reach in smacking a head with a cascarone. But I don't think that's particularly appealing, and sticks and screaming people and kids are a bad mix.
A "slow motion" cracking of an egg is also a great use of the cascarones. It feels just like a regular egg. Crack by pushing gently on their head, then shake the confetti out and down around the ears. Dee-light-ful, as Teddy Roosevelt used to proclaim.
A place like San Antonio has a lot of cooks cracking the bottoms of eggs off, using the contents, and saving those specially broken shells for the people who make cascarones.