NATURALLY DYED EASTER EGGS

Naturally Dyed Eggs

Growing up, spring had officially arrived whenever the family gathered around my grannie’s enormous table and partook of the ritual of dyeing Easter eggs. The wood of the table was protected by sheets of old American Press newspaper and red solo cups which stood like perfectly painted soldiers, standing at attention patiently as we collected the egg dyeing mise en place.

Grannie gathered the pearly boiled eggs that she carefully nested in a tea towel while boiling to prevent the shells from bumping together and cracking. Gallon-sized jugs of distilled white vinegar made their way to the party, appearing with a loud thud as they smacked onto the table. Finally, tiny, candy-like, multicolored tablets were strewn across the paper-lined surface, and the power that lay inside each one of these capsules released neon-staining abilities.

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

My favorite part of dyeing the eggs was the plopping of the little tablets into the solo cups filled with vinegar and watching the tablets bubble and dissolve, leaving blazingly colored vinegar as its only remnant. Now, as a much older child, I appreciate making these egg dyes with natural ingredients. Turmeric gleams and glows with a sunny yellow hue, blueberries create a tone that mimics the depths of the ocean, and beets blush in beautiful rosy bliss. It’s a wonder to watch pearly eggs resurrect from their bright, watery grave, beaming with such stunning tones from dyes made with natural ingredients.

Naturally Dyed Eggs

P.S.

Instead of tossing any leftover dye, you can use the dye to stain the bottom of white cardstock to create a hand dyed Easter menu. Just dip the bottom part of the cardstock into your choice hue and let dry on a flat surface. After the pigment has dried, handwrite your items onto the prepared menu. Place at each table setting. Here is where my inspiration came from.

Hand Dyed Easter Menu

Hand Dyed Menu

Each Dye Makes 1 ½  cups

Inspired by The Blender by Williams Sonoma

Note: This may seem obvious, but make sure you buy WHITE eggs. I can’t tell you how many times I have bought brown ones just by habit. Also, make sure there are no markings, cracks or stamps on the eggs prior to purchasing the carton.

1 Dozen Eggs, boiled and cooled

Pink: Beets

1 large beet, scrubbed and chopped

1 teaspoon of white vinegar

2 cups of water

 

Yellow: Turmeric

1 tablespoon of turmeric

1 teaspoon of white vinegar

2 cups of water

 

Blue: Blueberries

1 cup of blueberries, slightly smashed

1 teaspoon of white vinegar

2 cups of water

For each individual color, combine all the ingredients in a pan and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium for 20 minutes until reduced. Let cool and strain. If necessary, add cold water until the total volume for each dye is 1 ½ cups (these dyes can be made ahead. I made mine the night before I dyed the eggs and just stashed the dyes in jars on the counter overnight. Before I needed to use the dyes, I just shook the jar and they were ready to go!)

Make sure the surface you are using is well protected with newspaper or an old towel before you start laying out all of your dyes. Fill up 3 plastic cups halfway up with the natural dyes (since I used glass jars to store my dyes in, I just left the dyes in their individual jars.) Carefully place an egg in each one of the vessels (I use a gravy ladle to get each one in and out easily.) Let the eggs sit in the dye for at least 30 minutes. Using the ladle, slowly pull each egg out of the dyes and lay onto a roasting tray lined with paper towels and fitted with a cooling rack. Let dry completely before handling. Continue with the rest of the dozen eggs until you have dyed them all.

White Boiled Eggs

 

 

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4 thoughts on “NATURALLY DYED EASTER EGGS

  1. Love :) it was awesome watching you make the dye and then helping you soak the eggs! Perfect idea

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