Finally, after what has seemed like the never-ending winter, spring has sprung in western New York! My deck and backyard are now visable, the crocuses have blossomed, and the temperatures are no longer sub-zero. May I just say YEAH!!! Luckily, this year Easter is coming quite late, so we may actually luck out and be able to wear our pretty dresses and Easter bonnets without having to find parkas and barn boots to match!
One of my favorite traditions of Easter is coloring eggs. It has been an annual event in our family- for as long as I can remember- to color eggs together. When I was a little girl my Dad and I did it, and the tradition continued with Todd and Mark, and my Dad is still an active participant! The day before Easter we get together and dip a couple of dozen hard boiled eggs in dye to create the Easter Bunnies’ pride and joy!
Coloring eggs has been done by families for years, since long before the creation of commercial egg dye. Natural colors can be created by using vegetables and other natural items found in the produce department. Yellow onions create beige to yellow color, red beets turn pink to red, red skin onions turn pale purple, red cabbage makes blue (strange, but true!), spinach makes green, coffee- brown, and grape juice turns eggs lavender. For those who dislike the use of anything with preservatives, this is perfect. It will take patience, and perhaps some extra time, but the colors will range from pale to vibrant, and are sure to please even the most picky Easter bunny’s helper!
Another fun thing to try when coloring eggs is to color hollowed shells, rather than fresh uncooked or boiled eggs. By carefully piercing a small hole in either end of an uncooked egg, with a bit of care you can simply blow the egg out through the other end and be left with a hollow shell that can be kept longer than a day or two! The key to this is being gentle, mind you! It is very important to remember that uncooked eggs are more fragile than their cooked counterparts!
This Easter, I hope that you all will be able to gather with the special people in your lives and share not only a meal, but the fellowship that warms our hearts, and some really cool colored eggs!!!
Homemade Egg Dye
4 cups chopped or mashed fruits or veggies*
4 Cups of water
2 Tablespoons of white vinegar
Mix your choice of veggie with the water and vinegar; Let simmer for at least 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature then strain to remove the bits of fruits or veggies. The remaining liquid is your dye. Let eggs soak in the dye until desired shade has been achieved, refrigerated overnight if necessary.
Many other things you have may create dye; if it colors your hands or cutting board, chances are it will color an egg shell!
*Try red or yellow onion skins, carrots, purple or golden beets, ground coffee, chopped purple cabbage, concord grape skins (or grape juice), cranberries, or spices like turmeric or dark chili powder.