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Eggs in Purgatory

by Aunt Clara –

Aunt Clara has many neighbors on her street but only one named William. Now William whose last name shall remain a mystery (but who readers may know as Bill) is a typical middle aged man who keeps his lawn mowed and his hedges trimmed. That is all one can ask of a neighbor in these trying times.

William will wave to me as he goes off to work in the morning and will typically support the girl scouts by buying their overpriced cookies, so in many ways he is a man of good character. At least that is what Aunt Clara thought until Easter Sunday. Why Aunt Clara, you might ask, whatever happened this past Easter Sunday that brought “Bills” character into question? Read on dear reader and all will be revealed.

Aunt Clara had just finished her breakfast of “Eggs in Purgatory,” which is the only day of the year that these eggs are ingested and which I have had every Easter since 1947. If done right Eggs in Purgatory are an excellent way to begin your Easter festivities.

Warm olive oil in a skillet, then add bits of garlic and cayenne pepper. Some folks just use regular pepper but if you really want your eggs to fry one must use the hottest pepper available. Then pour in fresh tomatoes with plenty of juice (I use a potato masher to squish them just right), add some basil and let the whole mixture simmer for 10 minutes. Take out the eggs that you didn’t color for Easter and crack them ever so gently over the sizzling sauce and let them quietly drop in, being careful not to break them. Make sure the mixture is simmering not boiling, and then spread some cheese onto the sauce being careful not to cover the yolks. Cover the pan and let everything cook until the whites are set but the yolk is runny. If done correctly you have Eggs in Purgatory. The eggs representing “souls” and the fiery tomato sauce surrounding them representing their suspension between Heaven and Hell!

Well, Aunt Clara had just finished eating this traditional Christian breakfast when much to her surprise a big brown truck pulled up next door and delivered a package right to William’s doorstep. Imagine! On Easter Sunday! William then opened the door, still in his red and green bathrobe, grabbed the package, and hurried back inside. Aunt Clara was so dumbstruck that she put on her shoes, threw on a shawl and marched right over to his house. It took a few moments of banging on the door, but finally William came to the door to see what the racket was about. “What exactly did you receive from the postman in the brown truck William?” Well, he stammered and stuttered but finally reached back and brought out a shoe box that housed two shiny black shoes.

“Now William, since you are still in your robe I take it you did not need these shoes to attend this mornings church services, would that be a correct statement?” “Well, no Aunt Clara,” the heathen muttered, “I was not planning on going out today.”

“May I ask what was so important about these particular shoes that you had to receive them today, on Easter Sunday?” He hemmed and hawed some more and would not look me in the eye. “Well, I, well nothing, no, I guess I did not have to get them today, it just happened”, was his weak reply.

“Hmmm, it just happened, did it? Like babies just happen, and fiscal deficits just happen, and littering just happens; is that what Aunt Clara is to believe?” William did not seem to have an answer for that and said things like ‘he did not know that they were arriving on Sunday’ and ‘he wasn’t thinking about it’, but by this time Aunt Clara had made her point and saw no reason to break the poor man into submission so I went back over to clean up the eggs.

Now Aunt Clara is full of charity and charity begins at home, so from this day forward I will be keeping a keen eye on the man for his own sake. Next Easter Sunday Mr. William will not be getting some shoes from Macy’s but some Eggs in Purgatory, compliments of Aunt Clara!

There are many different ways to get out the Easter message and Eggs in Purgatory may just be the best way to deliver that message: Aunt Clara style!


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