This Easter marked Emmie's first repeat holiday and the first time I've dyed Easter eggs since my fizzy-tablet-color-cup-kit dyeing days as a kid. In an effort to go more natural, be a little creative, and save a few pennies, I hopped (get it?) on the naturally dyed Easter egg bandwagon this year.
After hard boiling a dozen brown eggs (plus a couple white stragglers), I made a batch of red cabbage for blue dye and turmeric for yellow dye, dropped the eggs in to soak, and waited. I initially checked on the eggs after 30 minutes, decided to let them soak a bit more, and then basically forgot about them. When I finally took the eggs out of their dye baths about 6 hours later, I was pleasantly surprised (and a bit proud) at the results of this magical little science experiment. The red cabbage dye produced a rich, earthy blue and the turmeric dye tinted the only white eggs in the lot a faint yellow and gave the remaining brown eggs a slight orangey wash.
We "hid" the eggs around our small backyard for Emmie to hunt. She's currently very into putting things into bags and baskets, so she caught on right away. Also currently a big fan of dropping things on the ground, she made sure every egg was indeed hard boiled.
While the whole thing was rather easy and required more patience (or forgetfulness) than effort, I certainly learned a few things to keep in mind for next year.
A few lessons in dyeing Easter eggs naturally:
- Buy white eggs for color dyeing.
I bought brown eggs without really thinking about it, and while I actually really liked the “jewel-toned” look, I’m curious what color ranges white eggs would produce. Guess there's always next year.
- Don’t cram your leftover boiled cabbage down the garbage disposal.
In an attempt to avoid a smelly trash can, I inadvertently clogged our garbage disposal (and 60 year old pipes) which left us without a working kitchen sink for the weekend. Not what we had in mind for a holiday weekend with family visiting, but we survived and lessons were learned.
- Keep your eggs in the fridge as they sit in their dye baths.
In the fluster of our sink clog and general weekend busyness, I kind of just forgot about the eggs - sitting out on the kitchen counter, right there in front of me. Although I ended up eating a couple, Luke was less adventurous. I'm still convinced they were fine to eat, but to preserve freshness (and peace of mind) I'll keep them in the fridge next time.
- Be willing to sacrifice a few (or all) of your precious eggs.
A little someone had a fantastic time gathering, dropping, and then ultimately smashing (just one, thankfully) Easter eggs - a delightful sensory experience, I'm sure! Despite all their naturally toned beauty, I had to remember that these were in fact eggs intentionally boiled and colored simply to be hunted and eaten, or rather experienced.