If you were to walk into my childhood home on New Year’s Day, you’d find a dining room table covered in tall, clear glasses that had been filled to the rim with tap water and that held a globulous raw egg at the bottom. The water would grow bubbly as the day went on and there would be strings of congealed egg white floating upwards to the top. I remember thinking how much those gelatinous peaks of egg white looked like the sea monkey habitat ads from the back of my brother’s comic books.
A Colombian custom for the New Year is to have your fortune told by raw eggs in water. My grandmother, who lived with us, had been her small Colombian town’s esteemed medicine woman. A bruja buena, good witch. She was in charge of making the town’s monthly coca water (just what you think it is) as well as possessing the knowledge of reading fortunes; in this case, via egg whites. This is fancily known as the art of oomancy; egg divination through swirly patterns. [Read more...]