Since a few years ago, when I read a very intriguing article, Eastertime has become a time for experimentation – for experimenting with natural dyes! For the eggs, obviously.
Now, tradition has it that you use onion skins – gives a nice warm reddish-brown tone, and if you stick little leaves and shoots and spring flowers around the surface of the egg and wrap it in some extra onion skin and gauze (or old pantyhose), you can get some wonderful imprinting and marbling on your egg, in tones of yellow and green.
My original break with tradition occurred about 5 years ago, when I read about red cabbage – apparently, using boiled red cabbage produces a lovely shade of blue, plus you can also do the usual addition of shoots-and-flowers, and also get marbling effects.
That blue tone at the bottom? If you use red cabbage correctly, it gets even more vivid.
However! In subsequent years I have read about other plant-based materials that can be used as dyes: beets (for raspberry red), turmeric (for deep yellow), blueberries (for dark blue/black), etc. This year I decided to experiment a little again, since I have transferred my knowledge of red cabbage to the immediate family, and it’s time to try something new (the blue colour is no longer original once everyone is doing it).
Meet this year’s subjects:
To review the results:
- I expected more from the turmeric, but this just proves you can’t trust online blog posts raving about the wonderful shades of golden-yellow, even if you follow their instructions word for word;
- Red cabbage is both a stable value and also quite versatile with the patterning, adding an onion skin for colour will not ruin the dye;
- Beets are fakers – I tried beets a few years ago with similar results but was willing to give them a second chance, but alas, if this is raspberry red, then someone needs to review their colour wheel;
- Hibiscus tea is a keeper and shall be repeated because it has a wonderful deep shade of blue-black and also holds up well with patterning for some very interesting colouring;
- Onion skins is old reliable onion skins and to ensure at least a few good-looking eggs should be used every year.
A few close-ups:
So there you have it – low effort and high quality coloured eggs from ordinary things you can find in your kitchen (or get for cheap). If I don’t forget, I might do a tutorial post for next year, because the whole process is ridiculously easy.
(Choir Juventus cover, original here.)