Sunday, April 12, 2009

a new way to dye eggs

crackled eggs

i didn't know there were multiple ways of dyeing eggs outside of the variety of boxed sets available. i just assumed that either you used straight food coloring on the shells or you bought a box of paas. white crayons for personalizing was about as creative as it got. then i browsed the interwebs pre-easter and my eyes were opened...wide. tea, ties, spices, over shell, under shell...there's a whole world of natural, toxic and/or weird ways to color eggs. in browsing tastespotting, i saw a beautiful picture of tea eggs (crackled and dyed a lovely brown from tea leaves) from the barefoot kitchen witch. upon visiting her site, i saw the colored version and fell head over heels for these eggs.

we started with the traditional egg dyeing. 6 hard boiled eggs dunked in cups of color for varying times. husband was most proud of his christmas egg, pictured in the middle. mom got ahead of herself when she dropped her rainbow egg onto the table, where it rolled onto the floor and was briefly chased by two small dogsons (blurry picture on right).

so we took this as our cue to crack the last 6 of the dozen. ever so carefully, i rolled my two back and forth, creating tiny cracks in the shell. husband not so carefully smashed his around and i believe mom fell somewhere in the middle (without dropping any more on the floor). we each dropped our eggs into the six dye cups and i put them in the fridge for about seven hours.

rainbow easter tradition

the eggs seemed dark and vibrant on the outside...but we still had no idea if this cracking business was going to work on the inside.

husband and mom carefully peeled the eggs while i snapped pictures. it's not like when you've already dyed them and you're peeling just to eat. this dye job relies on a cleanly peeled, whole and intact egg. and as the peels came off, the designs were revealed. while not as strong as those i've seen on other sites, the crackling was visible from most of the colors. the shells were just as cool.

green (husband smashed egg and #1 dye choice) was by far the best, followed closely by yellow and orange, then blue. red beat out purple, which barely showed a crackling (and this my carefully cracked egg!). they weren't nearly as vibrant as i had hoped, probably because 1) they didn't sit in the dye long enough and 2) they weren't well cracked.

i wanted to try this again next year and then i came across this real tie-dyed egg tutorial and now i want to do that, too. can i do both? it seems you can't eat the tie-dyed ones, so it's not like there would be 2 or three dozen eggs to maybe i will. either way, i've learned that there's more ways than the paas box to make eggs special.


Thomas said...

In addition to tea, I saw on ZapRoot that you can use beets! And then you'd get to eat beets, too. Sounds like the best of both worlds for you, darling.

Anonymous said...

So pretty!

alauna said...

this makes me want to make/eat pickled eggs...peeled hard boiled eggs, onions and beets/juice. i'd guess other stuff, too. but i love me some purple pickled eggs!

Joelen said...

What beautiful eggs and thanks for sharing this great technique!

Kelly said...

Love the eggs! I'm going to try this crackle technique next year. Thanks for sharing!