Growing up, we dyed a lot of Easter eggs (at least, what seemed like a lot for a family of four in which only two people eat them). There would be the regular white batch, boiling on one burner, & on a smaller burner there would be the onion eggs.
A few months before Easter, Mom would start a little collection under the kitchen sink. With each onion that was peeled, the crisp brown outer layers were added to the collection. At egg-dyeing time, the skins were added to a smaller pot of water. The eggs boiled with the onion peals turned a golden, rustic brown–the dye traced each line & imperfection of the egg, creating an almost leather-like design.
I wanted to expand the color collection this Easter. While I haven’t had time to dye eggs yet, I’m hoping that before Sunday I’ll have a bouquet of naturally dyed eggs to share with you. For now, I at least wanted to give you the best recipes I found before you start dyeing your own eggs. Try these out for earthy, pale to vibrant eggs.
- purple cabbage (makes blue on white eggs, green on brown eggs)
- red onion skins (makes lavender or red)
- yellow onion skins (makes orange on white eggs, rusty red on brown eggs)
- ground turmeric (makes yellow)
- beets (makes pink on white eggs, maroon on brown eggs)
But wow, the process. I’m sure it would be worth it, but I just don’t have the time. The joy of the onion eggs is not only their color, but that they dye while they’re boiling. theKitchn says you can use these dyes while they’re boiling, but to create the dyes & refrigerate (eggs boiled separately) in the dye for best results. Talk about a process. (I’m also not keen on the oil polishing bit; I think the natural colors are lovely.)
I also love that I have most of these things on hand. Yes, I have beets. I don’t know why. I bought them a week ago, telling myself I’d make juices. Fail. So, rather than sending food bits to the compost this week, I’ll be dyeing some eggs.
If you have time for the full process, (1) I’m really, really happy for you–your eggs will be stunning. (2) Check out these for even more colors: CSMonitor suggests spinach for green & coffee for brown; Care2 has loads of color options & methods, so you’re sure to find something that works for just what you have on hand.
As you know by now based on my cleaning methods, I’m up for anything that relies on random odds & ends I have on hand. No added chemicals. No extra, specialized products to store for years. No overpriced supplies. With Egg dyeing, I want it to be no different. Just some things from the crisper that I haven’t yet eaten.
I hope you’re able to look through the cupboards & crisper to find some gorgeous colors for your eggs. I’m looking forward to sharing my results with you later in the week. Now, I just have to remember to buy eggs today, so they can age for a while!