April 5th, 2012
Decorating eggs was always one of my favorite Easter traditions as a kid. I was never a huge fan of Easter baskets because they invariably had a huge chocolate bunny and lots of other chocolate-covered or filled concoctions, those mediocre colored marshmallow eggs, and a couple marshmallow Peeps. The only part I liked were the Peeps. In later years, a Reese’s egg was added which I liked because they have more peanut butter than chocolate.
But the egg decorating, oh that was fun. What with those tricksey plastic wrappers, the paper stands that never stayed together, the vinegar-scented dyes, and don’t get me started on the flimsy wire dippers with hard-boiled eggs precariously balanced on top. Egg decorating was serious business! I enjoyed it, but even as a kid my little hippie-brain I wondered about natural dyes, created from food and plant materials. I never got to try it until last year, however.
I never got around to posting about it, but those colored eggs up there? The Sprout and I made them last year. This year we experimented with wrapping the egg shells (I blew out the eggs beforehand) in onion skins, then boiling them for 15 minutes. It created that lovely marbling. I have to say, I am completely enamored of these earthy eggs.
Why dye/color eggs with food rather than coloring kits or food coloring? Well one reason is to avoid the chemicals. This appeals to me because I try to keep as few chemicals as possible in our home. Another reason, and my main attraction is to do things as they’ve been done for hundreds of years. Why use chemicals when you don’t have to? I like to create the things I use, and egg decorating is no exception! I guess you could say I just find it fun!
The instructions for dying eggs with onion skins can be found over at Instructables, along with instructions for other naturally-dyed eggs. Boulder Locavore also has a great tutorial on naturally-dying eggs. Wikihow taught me how to blow out eggs.
Now tell me: have you already decorated your Easter eggs this year? If not, are you going to, and how do you plan to do it?