June 18, 2020

World War I Era Pickled Eggs Recipe from Chester, PA

The Kitchen Guide (Chester, PA) 1913

When all of this started, everyone looked at their pantries and came to me and said “Now we need some of those ration recipes!” I struggled to recommend anything. This is unprecedented. Some people couldn’t find bread, others yeast. Some people had plenty of fresh fruit and others nothing.
While I did find ration recipes that helped me, it was impossible to help everyone.

This isn’t like WWII, when you knew a lot of the variables. Hindsight is 20/20 and we know most people would appreciate recipes that contained less of rationed ingredients and more of substitutes. I haven’t been posting much. It seems silly and dangerous to make special food and grocery trips right now.

This is a recipe that you can make with stuff already likely in your house. The beets are not necessary and you can stretch this a lot further if you use the picked eggs to make egg salad sandwiches. Historically, pickling eggs was a way to preserve them for future use before refrigeration. Kept in a cold place, pickled eggs can last up to 4 months! I added a little bit of water to the vinegar to remove the sharpness. They had no way of knowing the acidity of their homemade vinegars and they were likely not as acidic as ours is today.

Pickled Eggs


- 6 Eggs, Hard boiled and peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
- 24 Cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon Mustard
- 2 Cups Vinegar (2/3 Cups Water, 1 1/3 Cups Vinegar)
- Boiled Beet Slices, if wanted


Press 4 cloves into each egg, place in sterilized jar. In a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat, bring vinegar (and beets) to a boil and add the salt, pepper and boil for one minute. Carefully pour the vinegar mixture over the eggs and let cool. Cover and store in the fridge for at least two days before eating. 

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