The ultimate Easter egg

A retired pastry chef in Texas surprised his great-grandchildren on Easter with this intricate 30-inch-tall confection.

James Stage, 83, worked at hotels and restaurants in New Orleans for decades and now lives in Lott, Texas, not far from his 29-year-old grandson, Richard Underwood, and Richard’s wife and three kids, who are nine, seven, and three.

James Stage of Lott, Texas, with the Easter surprise he crafted for his great-grandchildren. Photo by the Waco Tribune.

“I wanted a special Easter for them,” James says.

He crafted the giant eggshell from granulated sugar, egg whites, and water; for the ornaments, he used powdered sugar, cornstarch, gum paste, gelatin, and food coloring.

He says the kids “went nuts” over the surprise, but that he wouldn’t let them eat it, since he wants to wrap it up and bring it out on future Easters.

Instead, they feasted on the candy, cookies, and fruit that he’d packed into baskets for them.

They also hunted for dozens of actual eggs that he’d hidden his backyard.

“He loves those kids, and he would do anything for them,” says their mother, Megan Underwood.

Click here for more photos of James and his handiwork by his hometown newspaper, the Waco Tribune.