Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

Okay, I know blogs about naturally dyed Easter eggs are a dime a dozen these days (and usually before Easter). But these eggs are just so satisfying and beautiful! In truth, I’m writing this my 2013 self as a reminder of what I want to do next year. With the demands of “birthday week” last week, Easter was a Saturday night at 7 pm “Crap! We need to color some eggs!” afterthought.

So I’ve been doing naturally dyed eggs the past few years and have a slip of paper tucked in a cookbook somewhere on which I’ve written which foods/spices make which colors. Fortunately, I didn’t need to dig around for that this year once the inaugural issue of Taproot came along – Ashley English has a fine guide to natural egg dyes in her article “The Good Egg”.

We chose to leave the Aracauna eggs blue and just hard boil them. Blue – check! We mixed nettle and spinach to make a green dye, yellow onion skins and turmeric to make a golden copper dye, and beets to make a pink dye. The spinach + nettle dye surprised me by being darker and more effective than I expected and producing a rich greenish brown color. Last year I used just spinach and it just tinted the eggs. Of course keep in mind we’re dying brown eggs, so getting vibrant colors is a tall order. Yellow onion skin + turmeric rose to the occasion, producing the most gorgeous ochre eggs. The beets did a delicate job tinting the eggs pink, but next year I’ll try purple cabbage instead to make a darker pink dye.

Making the dyes is easy – just add your dye material to 1 quart of water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar, bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes to make the dye, and then hard boil your eggs in the dye mixture.

And the result – rich, earth-toned eggs.

And this is the part I want to tell my 2013 self. A friend decorated her eggs with glitter glue and thread, a la Martha Stewart. A light coating of glitter would be gorgeous on top of the dyed eggs, as would a flourish of thread. This way the kids would have some hands-on decorating after the eggs are hard boiled and dyed.

And now buried at the end of a post on eggs, I will declare to all the world that along with creating beautiful Easter eggs, my 2013 self endeavours to submit an article to Taproot for publication. I have no training as a writer, have never been published (with the exception of an excruciatingly uninspiring poem in my high school arts journal that I pray never sees the light of day again), and have not settled on a specific topic yet. But this is my goal nonetheless. I’ll spend the next few months brainstorming article ideas. I think it’s a great opportunity to pick something I am interested in learning more about and dig in deep, both in terms of researching it and experiencing it as a part of our family life. They say the best way to learn about something is to write a book about it, right?

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