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Dyeing Easter eggs naturally

DYEING EASTER EGGS NATURALLY

Instead of coloring your Easter eggs the same color you've seen year after year, do something more unique dating from the medieval kitchen. Naturally dyed eggs are so elegant they can grace the table at an adult dinner party, but it's the kids who most enjoy a project like this. Parents can preboil the eggs and let children experiment with bowls of cold dyes.

DYEING TECHNIQUES

The cold-dipping method creates subtle, translucent shades, but may result in uneven coloring unless the eggs are rotated vigilantly. For the cold-dipping, the eggs and ingredients are boiled separately. After the dye has cooled and been strained, immerse the eggs for 5 to 10 minutes and pat dry with a paper towel.

The boiling technique involves boiling the eggs in the dye; as the egg heats and rolls in the boiling water, a more uniform and intense color is produced. To dye 8 eggs with the boiling technique, use 2 tablespoons of vinegar per quart of water. Place eggs in pot and cover with 1 inch of water. Add natural dye ingredients, bring to a rolling boil, and reduce to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water.

Natural dyes create beautiful effects, but may not be suitable for eating. Use for decoration only.

DYE RECIPES

Sienna Tones
4 packed cups of red onion skins. Boil for 30 minutes to an hour. Adjust the shade of red from light to rich crimson with amount of skins and soaking time.
Golden
Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of turmeric to hot water, or boil for more intense color
Pink
Soak hard-boiled eggs in cranberry or beet juice.
Violet Blue
Add violet blossoms to hot water and soak overnight. Lighten the mixture with lemon juice to create lavender.
Blue
Two heads (16 cups) of chopped red cabbage, 2 additional quarts of water and 6 additional tablespoons of white vinegar. Soak overnight for a deep royal blue
Green
Add ¼ teaspoon baking soda to Violet Blue mixture or boil eggs with spinach.
Lavender
Soak hard-boiled eggs in grape juice
Pastels
For soft pinks and blues, rub eggshells with blueberries and cranberries.
Beige
4 packed cups of yellow onion skins. Boil for 30 minutes to an hour. Adjust the shade of beige with amount of skins and soaking time.
Rich Brown
Boil eggs in 1 quart of coffee
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