Numerous stories and traditions exist about the symbolic nature of dying eggs in the spring, most having to do with the spirit of rebirth or renewal. But anyone who raises chickens can attest to the real reason: chickens lay so many darn eggs in the springtime that people from around the globe have needed to figure out something to do with them all! And dying and decorating these nearly perfect foods (6 grams of protein, 70 calories, vitamins B12 and B6, vitamin D, some iron, and lots of good cholesterol) is just so fun! PAAS has claimed the market on egg dyes for years now, but dying eggs using real foods, herbs, teas, and coffee only requires a little extra work yet results in a lot of extra bang. So get ready to embark on the task of decorating this simple, nutritious, and beautiful symbol of spring.
"Dying eggs using real foods, herbs, teas, and coffee is just so much more fun and looks great too!"
FIRST, YOU NEED TO HARD-BOIL THE EGGS. Your eggs need not all be white; in fact, a selection of white, brown, blue, etc. creates a variety of different hues. There are many tried and true methods for hard-boiling eggs, so use your own method if you have one that works. If not, try this method: Carefully place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Place pan on stove, and bring to a boil. When water begins to boil, lower heat so that the water will boil gently and not thrash the eggs about and crack them. Boil for 15 minutes, and then plunge eggs into ice-cold water to stop them from cooking further. For each dye you make, you need ONE CUP OF WATER AND ONE TABLESPOON OF WHITE VINEGAR. Then you can make your own hues using the ingredients below. BOIL EACH INGREDIENT IN ONE CUP OF WATER FOR 20 TO 30 MINUTES.
The coffee doesn’t need extra water added—just make sure it’s strong. When the dye is as dark as you like, remove from the pan, and let cool to room temperature. Then, pour the cooled dye through a strainer and into a small bowl—a bowl that is big enough to fit an egg into but small enough so that the egg can be fully submerged. At this point, stir the tablespoon of vinegar into the dye. If it’s easier, you can store the dye for 24 hours and dye the eggs the next day.
Depending on whether you have chosen white or brown eggs or a combination of different colors will, of course, dictate the final color. Also, the strength of the dye will vary, but this
is part of the fun. There are definitely some unknowns here. Your own mix of ingredients could produce a splendid color. Even more, a certain dye may look completely different on
"be open-minded and let your inner child emerge to enjoy the wonder of this task.
different-colored eggs. For example, the coffee dye on a brown egg may be a deep, velvety brown, but on a white egg the chocolate brown color might not be as rich. You can also use a crayon to draw designs on the egg before you submerge your egg to give some of the eggs a little extra pizzazz. When you finish dying, allow the eggs to dry thoroughly. Transfer the dyed beauties to the refrigerator until you are ready to hide them or eat them. They will last at least 7-10 days in the refrigerator. Though you will want to show them off, try not to leave them out of the fridge for more than a few hours at a time to prevent spoilage. Enjoy this spring festivity with your friends and family. It’s such a nice way to connect with our more primitive side and spend time with those we love.
And, by all means, don’t be afraid to experiment."
1 cup blueberries makes lavender eggs
1 cup yellow onion skins makes reddish-orange eggs
1 cup strong coffee makes chocolate brown eggs
1 cup beets makes pink eggs
2 tablespoons turmeric make yellow eggs
2 tablespoons paprika make reddish-brown eggs
1 cup purple cabbage makes bluish-green eggs
2 red zinger tea bags make purplish eggs
EGG DECORATING AROUND THE WORLD
spring cleaning isn't just for your home
UKRAINE—Eggs are decorated using the pysanka method, where elaborate designs are drawn using wax. The process is completed over and over on a single egg using different-colored dyes, resulting in gorgeous colors and patterns. JAPAN—is love of origami transfers to its love of paper-covered eggs using washi. Washi is the paper used in origami. Triangular shapes are cut from this paper and then carefully and precisely glued to the egg before being beautifully varnished. GERMANY—Hollowed out eggs are dyed and hung from trees and shrubs during the week leading up to Easter. SOUTH AFRICA—The oldest decorated egg was found here and dates back 60,000 years. Ostrich eggs were colored and etched with geometric designs and used as water flasks.