Finally, after what has seemed like the never-ending winter, in a never-ending pandemic year, spring seems to have sprung in western New York. What a glorious series of sunny, mild days we have had! My backyard is now visible, the crocuses have blossomed, and the temperatures are no longer sub-zero! May I just say WOOHOO!!! Luckily, this year Easter is coming in April (rather than late March), 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 Easter traditions is coloring eggs. It has been an annual event in our family- for as long as I can remember- to color eggs together. Ever since I was a little girl my Dad and would do it, the tradition continued with my sons Todd and Mark, and this year my beautiful granddaughter Blake will be able to start our next generation’s experience! The day before Easter we love to get together (although this year that get together will have to be via Facetime) 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 yellow to dark orange 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 or artificial ingredients, 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 pickiest Easter bunny’s helper!
Another creative 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 very gentle! 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 in small, socially distanced groups of the special people in your lives and share not only a meal and the fellowship that warms our hearts, but some really cool colored eggs, as well!!!
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. 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, overnight if necessary. If you choose to let your eggs soak overnight, remember they must be refrigerated (in the dye)!
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 onion skins, carrots, beets, ground coffee, chopped cabbage, or spices like turmeric or cumin.
To read more of Vicki McGraw’s commentaries on good cooking, fine recipes and perfect party treats, visit www.jamestowngazette.com and click on Join Me in the Kitchen’s own page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.