It’s that time of year again — time to dye Easter eggs. Most years, we pack dozens of eggs in the car and head to grandma’s house, where we meet up with the cousins for a good old-fashioned egg-dyeing party.
The kids play while we hard-boil all those eggs, each adult offering their own advice for minimizing egg crackage. We’ll plop dye tablets into oval cups, making them fizzy with vinegar. We try different decoration techniques and effects each year — wax stripes, rubber bands, tie dye and the like.
This year, we took an alternate approach by making natural dyes from foods. While the eggs simmered away, we chopped and boiled the vegetables that would lend their color for our egg festivities.
When it was time to start the fun, I tried to introduce a quick lesson on each of the foods used to make the natural dyes. We discussed, examined, smelled and (some) tasted these items.
Here’s what we tried (with water added):
Of course, not knowing how they would work, we had a set of dye tablets on reserve. We also made a set of those. Interestingly, the eggs
colored with natural dyes had more muted and much more beautiful color tones, appropriate for a Martha Stewart magazine.
The carrots, lemon and spinach didn’t release as much color as hoped, so I probably wouldn’t attempt those again. Next time, we’ll need a replacement for the orange and green colors.
Have you made natural dyes? Any successful oranges or greens?
–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog