April 1, 2014

Easter Eggs~

On the Menu Today~
Easter Eggs

Moms and Dads have been delighting their children with
festively dyed and decorated eggs for years.
To create these fun and easy Easter eggs..
try using natural dyes made from fresh fruits,
vegetables, herbs, spices and seeds.

Hard Boiling Eggs for Dyeing~

  1. To prepare the eggs for dyeing, dip each egg into a mild dish soap/water solution.
  2. Scrub eggs gently with a soft brush to remove the oil coating. ( the dye will adhere better) Rinse the eggs well.
  3. Place the eggs in a stainless steel saucepan. (don't use aluminum or the dye won't hold on the eggs)
  4. Pour cold water over the eggs until the water is 1 inch over the top of the eggs. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook just below simmering for 15 minutes.
  5. Drain; cover the warm eggs with cold water. Let them stand in the water until cool enough to handle. Refrigerate until you are ready to dye the eggs.

Natural Dyes~

Fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs and seeds provide a multitude of delightful natural colors for dyeing Easter eggs. You can experiment with different fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices and seeds. The richness of color you obtain depends upon the concentration of the dyeing liquid, the length of time you leave the egg in the dye and the surface of the egg itself.

To get started, here is a short list of colors that can be obtained from natural materials.
Remember to use chemical and pesticide free dyeing materials.

Pinks and Reds~ For a variety of light pinkish reds, use 2 cups cranberries, sliced beets, or red raspberries.

Orange~ For a wide range of orange shades, use the skins from 4 large yellow onions.

Yellow~ For delicate yellows, use 2 teaspoons ground cumin or for a more lively yellow, try 2 teaspoons ground turmeric.

Blue~ For blues that range from pale to deep teal, use about 4 cups red cabbage leaves.
For shades of medium to deep blue, try 2 cups bottled blueberry juice.

Dyeing Easter Eggs~

  1. Brew dyeing liquid from fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices or seeds; First rinse the fruits, vegetables or herbs. Pat dry with paper towels. (go to step 3 if you are using bottled fruit juice as dyeing liquid) Place the fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices or seeds in a stainless steel saucepan. ( Don't use aluminum or the dye won't hold on the eggs) Add 2 cups cold water. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Cool to room temperature.
  2. To strain the dyeing liquid; set a colander in a medium bowl and pour the cooked mixture through the colander. Discard fruit, vegetables, herbs, spices or seeds. Store the strained dyeing liquid in a sealed and labeled jar in the refrigerator until you're ready to color Easter eggs. You can brew and strain the dyeing liquid up to 2 weeks before using.
  3. Pour the brewed dyeing liquid or fruit juice into a small stainless steel saucepan. (Don't use aluminum or dye won't hold on the eggs) Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon white vinegar. Carefully lower 2 to 4 eggs into the hot dyeing liquid. Let stand until the eggs reach the desired color. Natural dyes do not "take" as quickly as commercial dyes. It may take only a few minutes or up to several hours for the eggs to dye to the color you want.
  4. Remove eggs from dyeing liquid and pat dry. Chill.
  5. Dyed hard-boiled eggs will keep for 10 days in the refrigerator.

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