Growing up, Barbara Felty and her Ukrainian mother (and her grandmother and her children) would make pysanky, wax resist Easter eggs using very simple tools–a straight pin stuck in a pencil eraser for a stylus, and a tablespoon with beeswax set on a stove burner for the wax–and create gorgeously patterned eggs. These are the eggs made by “country people, by farmers,” Barb claims. For her, this is an important part of her heritage, which she wishes to share. Learn more about Barbara and her tradition in this work produced by Amy Skillman for the Susquehanna Folk Music Society: https://www.sfmsfolk.org/folkarts/artist.html?a=barbara_felty.
Chocolate-covered Easter eggs are also a regular part of the local Easter celebration. Palm sized and hand made from butter cream, coconut cream, peanut butter cream, or mint cream, they are dipped in chocolate coating. Many people still make these at home, but recently, church groups, like Mary Lou Leisey’s, are making them in bulk during Lent, and selling them to raise money for church-related projects.
Read moderators Mira Johnson and David Puglia’s article on Pennsylvania’s chocolate easter eggs:
- David Puglia and Mira Johnson. 2018–2019. “The Chocolate Egg in South Central Pennsylvania: Cracking a Seasonal Tradition,” Digest: A Journal of Foodways & Culture 7 (1): 31–55. https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/digest/article/view/30218/34793
With generous support from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Creative Catalyst Program, we are pleased to present this first event in a series of local sessions featuring conversations with artists and practitioners from central and southern Pennsylvania about the resilience and sustainability of traditions in their communities.