Easter Eggs

When I read this post on The Kitchn, I knew I had to try dying our eggs naturally. We've always just used food coloring, but I liked the idea of using things from nature.

And let me just say from the outset, it was a hassle. It required many pots and pans, I had to go to the store especially for some of these ingredients, and it took half the day. Also, this was kind of a one-person job; no one helped me, and honestly no one really could. It didn't have that 'sit around the table and have family time' feel. But my kids are getting older, they didn't really seem into it this year anyway, so I went ahead with this. I'd like to find a way to do this that includes others.

Those are the cons. But I still really enjoyed this project and I'm glad I did it.

Last year, with the Girl Scouts, during a Native American-themed week, I experimented with smashing different fruits and vegetables on a  white muslin cloth with a hammer. We wanted to see what colors they made. Imagine our surprise when red cabbage made dark green marks on the cloth, and onion skin made bright yellow. So in the spirit of that kind of experimentation, I went into this with high hopes.

I used yellow onion skin, red onion skin, turmeric, spinach, broccoli, red cabbage, and hibiscus tea.

First, boil eggs. You can use white or brown; I used a dozen white. (I think it would be fun to see how the brown turns.) Then you put each ingredient in its own pan, cover with water, and boil for 1/2 hour. Strain the produce out and mix some vinegar in to the colored water. Put the eggs in mason jars (or something that won't stain) and pour the colored liquid over the eggs. (The instructions were to wait until the liquid cooled; I didn't do that. I imagine my eggs might be colored/flavored inside, as well.) Then you put them in the refrigerator to soak for a good long time.

After many hours, take the eggs out and let them dry.
Here's the finished result:

From left to right: spinach/broccoli, red cabbage, turmeric, red onion skin, hibiscus tea, yellow onion skin.

I think the tea reacted with the vinegar somehow, because those eggs ended up speckled. My favorite are the blue ones made with red cabbage. I wish I could have found a way to make a spring green.

They look nice in a crate, ready for Easter.