Tea Eggs

Beautiful tea eggs: Courtesy  The Steamy Kitchen
Beautiful tea eggs: Courtesy The Steamy Kitchen

Sometimes I have to do different things to loosen my mind when I’m stuck with my writing. Cooking helps, twanging the guitar too (I’m a hopeless guitarist BTW) or  experimenting with something curious and fun.

Boiling the egg with a tea bag and garam masala!
Boiling the egg with a tea bag and garam masala!

Today I am making a tea egg. I first heard about this Chinese  snack from my niece, who is a doctor: and no, she’s not Chinese. So I boil an egg with a tea bag, crack it lightly all around with a wooden spoon and boil it some more, then let it steep for a bit. They recommend keeping the egg in the tea juices overnight but I was too impatient and peeled it while it was still hot. Here is what I got. Not as pretty as the ones above but that’s what happens when you rush a tea boiled egg, right?

The shelled egg (I peeled it too soon)
The shelled egg (I peeled it too soon). The crack marks are very faint.

Then to add to the silliness I threw in some garam masala (instead of the Chinese 5 Spice) and it was an odd tasting egg indeed. So the garam masala tea egg together with a slice of toast and tea was my little breakfast this morning. Ho!

Some people may not know this but I used to be an Egg Artist once. So the tea and egg experiment is right up my alley. Below are some samples of the egg art I used to dabble in. They were exhibited in galleries and museums and I even got a bunch of awards for them. The eggs are porcelain shells (extreeeemly delicate) made from molds of real eggs. My art guru and mentor Anitra Watley Allen taught me to make egg molds out of plaster. I even made a  humongous Godzilla egg mold which was so big and unwieldy, my engineering hubby had to fashion a winch to tip it over to drain out the liquid clay. Sadly I can’t find the photos of the Godzilla egg mold – this was back in the late 90’s.

Sgraffito egg art.JPG
My porcelain egg art with sgraffito etched decorations
More porcelain egg art from my award-winning Coral Collection
More porcelain egg art from my award-winning Coral Collection

There is a funny story I must share. The Godzilla egg mold was made out of a man made clay prototype (about 3.5 ft tall) fashioned by a potter on a wheel. Using this prototype, I built a giant plaster mold which was used to make multiple Godzilla eggs. The day I went to pick it up the giant clay egg from the potter’s studio (he was not  home at the time and had left the back door unlocked for me) I realized I had not bought a box to bring the egg home in. Since I could not have it rolling around in the trunk, I decided to strap it down to the passenger seat with the seat belt. Rather ingenious I thought, little realizing I looked like a wacko driving down the freeway with Humpty Dumpty strapped beside me. And guess what – an eighteen wheeler  pulled up alongside and the driver glanced down and he must have got the shock of his life because swerved off his lane and got tooted at by a bunch of angry drivers! Bwahahah! Anyway I made it  home with the Godzilla egg in one piece. The next day I called up the Kohler Company (the same guys who make sinks and toilets – very art-friendly people BTW, check out their terrific Kohler Art Program) and got the lab guy to walk me through making a giant plaster mold for the Godzilla egg. My Godzilla Art Eggs won me the Best of Show at the AZ Clay Ceramics show. So it all ended well.

Have an egggggcellent day dear friends. Stay curious, have fun. Cheers!


14 thoughts on “Tea Eggs

  1. OMG so you are an artist as well as an amazing writer? Shona..what else are you keeping from us? Your eggs are gorgeous! wow


    1. Thanks for your kind thoughts. Oh the different things I have done in my life- oh my! I did these eggs very seriously back then, but have since moved on…


  2. You are a woman of many talents! I love the egg art, what a wonderful idea. Your story of the giant passenger egg in your car makes me wonder what else you could strap into the car to surprise people with. Certainly a giant egg is pretty unusual and it would make me do a double take. I’ve tried making those tea eggs and they came out much like yours, but then I didn’t let them sit overnight either, perhaps that’s the key thing. I’m sure that taking time out to do little creative things like the tea eggs helps your writing.


    1. People strap all sorts of things to their passenger seat, but mostly to fool cops and drive in the fast lane. You can buy people dummies for the same purpose. I plan to give those tea eggs another shot, with a darker brew this time (2 tea bags) and let them sit longer. Just for the fun of it. Not sure I would eat the eggs but I love silly experiments like that.


  3. Mamlu, I made so many kind of eggs – I don’t even remember the one you are talking about. Now when I look at the photos, I wonder what the hell was I doing making all these eggs. I was a prolific egg hatcher. Heh!


  4. The beautiful egg you gave us on our wedding was one of the nicest gifts that we got ! Was also impressed with the wrapping !


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