Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Eco-crafting natural egg dyes
Decided to invite a few mamas & kids from the neigbourhood over to do some egg decorating, have a spring picnic, and enjoy the backyard...the weather is looking like it will be gorgeous this week, plus, it is almost easter and why not try some alternatives to food colouring dyes for eggs. I experimented earlier to test out some natural dyes I had read about. For brown - strong dark coffee; for blue - elderberries from the freezer; for green - spirulina powder; for yellow - turmeric powder; for pink - chili powder. They are definitely not strong colours, and the eggs needed to "steep" for a good hour, but the results were not bad. You add 1 tsp white vinegar to the boiling water and dye agent, then add the hard boiled eggs. Simple. I tried to dye the lightest brown of our hen's eggs, but really white eggs would probably take up the colour better.
By the way, the spring "easter egg hunt" really does make sense - our hens have been so happy with the warm weather and their chance to free-range around the yard, that they have been laying their eggs in all kinds of surprising hidden locations. We certainly feel like we are hunting for them each day. One unusual place they seem to frequent and like, is a large bucket filled with wood shavings that we keep near our outdoor oven under a covered wood shed roof. There are at least 1-2 eggs in this pail each day! I don't know how the hens manage to sit on the rim of the pail and lay their eggs.
This weekend, there is an easter egg hunt being organized at a park in our neighbourhood - everyone is invited to bring coloured hard-boiled eggs to hide, which kids can trade in for chocolate eggs. I love that spontaneous and free community events like this, the May long weekend neighbourhood potluck-picnic, and Wednesday night kids soccer, all happen in this neighbourhood on a grassroots level.
***** Thanks for everyone's great ideas and suggestions on natural egg dying! For example, one person mentioned she uses raw eggs in the dye and simmers them for 20 minutes, then lets them steep another half hour off the heat. She finds them the perfect edible stage then. Colours suggested were thick grape juice for purple, and swirly colours used by wrapping eggs in onion skins with rubber bands.