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Natural, Creative Easter Eggs
updated: Mar 22, 2010, 4:07 PM

By Edhat Subscribers, photos by Ms. Lemonjelly

Original post:

I got together with some friends recently to dye easter eggs the way my mother taught me, using natural onion skins for dye, and flowers and leaves from the garden to decorate them. Popular plants for the eggs include Oxalis, Osteospermum, jasmine and ferns. The Osteospermum is particularly lovely because the florets usually transfer color to the eggs, while the individual leaflets of the Oxalis look like hearts. Happy easter!

How to do it:

Large pots of water, one to cool and one to boil for each dozen. A lot and I mean a lot of onion skins, enough to cover the eggs which will be in the pot half-way filled with water. Water Stockings cut into 2-3 inch squares Eggs - the more the merrier, one dozen per person is great and make sure they are white, not green or brown (although you may want to experiment) Optional - outdoor camping stove, to keep the kitchen cool and the experience even more naturally inspired.

Boil water with natual material. While water is boiling, take flora, (not fauna) and place, wrap, twist on to egg, using stocking to hold in place. You want to get this tight and tie off with a twist tie. Place eggs in pot of water under the skins, on a medium flame for 8 minutes Remove, cool in cold water, unwrap and enjoy! Explore your garden and have a blast!

Other tips:

Lots of onion skins = a vegetable bag about half filled with dried brown/yellow onion skins. You can either diligently collect them throughout the year, like I do now. Or look like a crazy lady peeling surplus skins off onions at the grocery store, like I used to do. Boil the water with onion skins for an initial 10 minutes at least, for the skins to release the dye. Then add a quarter cup of simple white vinegar. Now you can add the eggs, and keep reusing the dye for each batch that fits in the pot. Less skins make a pale brown, more skins turns the dye a rich red brown.

If you have a small egg piercer, that punctures a small hole in the big end of the egg, do use it. You are adding the eggs to a hot dye and they can easily crack without that hole releasing pressure. On the other hand, the cracks cause a nice dye design once you shell the egg and pop it in your mouth. Either way, it all works out.

About colors:

Boil, crush or mix up these natural color dyes for your eggs! Artichokes (boiled water) = purple, beets = red, turmeric or mustard = yellow, stamen of lilies or carrot juice = orange, grass = green and so forth-- be creative, have fun, and eat the eggs- they will even be better for you!

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