podster's Journal: natural dyes ~ eggs etc

  • Member: podster
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Initial Notes:

from Lehmans March 23, 2010 newsletter:

For gorgeous Easter eggs, just raid your pantry
Posted March 18th, 2010 by Rachel Hurt
When many of us think of Easter, we think of the Easter bunny, candy, pretty dresses, and the endless varieties of egg dye kits. Every year we go and buy dyes to color our eggs and a few of us actually manage to use it on the eggs. Why not shake things up a bit this year? You have everything you need to dye eggs in your refrigerator, freezer or pantry. Some time and imagination are all you need. Plus, this means extra money in your pocket for other important things like chocolate bunnies or jelly beans. So, go grab the kids and let’s get started.

First, you are going to need to gather all the materials that will be needed to create your dyes. You will need white eggs, saucepan(s), water, vinegar, and some small bowls. Choose your color(s) from the table below and gather the necessary items.

Blue – canned or fresh blueberries
Brown – strong black coffee
Green – ½ cup of minced spinach leaves
Lavender – few tablespoons of purple grape juice or a handful of violet petals with a teaspoon of lemon juice
Orange – yellow onion skins
Pale Green - skins from 3 Granny Smith apples
Pink – cranberries or cranberry juice, fresh or frozen strawberries or red grape juice
Purple – ½ cup of red onion skins
Red – 1 – 1 ½ cups of red onion skins
Yellow & Orange – orange peels, carrots, lemon peels, turmeric or cumin

There are two methods for dying the eggs but they both start the same way. Combine 1 teaspoon of vinegar to 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Then add your natural material. Each color will have to be made separately.

Method #1
The quickest way to color your eggs is to boil them in the dye as you are making it. This will mean using several pans or dying the eggs one color at a time. Add the eggs to the water when you add your dying material. Boil for 10 – 12 minutes. Remove from the dye and refrigerate.

Method #2
Bring the dye to a boil and allow to boil for 5 – 10 minutes. Place your eggs in a single layer in a small bowl. Strain enough dye, through cheesecloth, into the bowl to the fully cover the eggs. Keep the eggs in the dye until you get your desired color. You may need to cover them and refrigerate overnight.

For a deep color, combine both methods. Boil the eggs in the dye for 10 – 12 minutes. Remove the eggs and strain the dye into a bowl. Place the eggs in the bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight or until the eggs reach the desired color.

I have a few tips and warnings before wrapping this project up. Always supervise your children when they are dealing with boiling water and remember to take food allergies into consideration. Wear old clothing because if it can color an egg, it can color you and your clothing. Have fun and don’t be afraid to experiment.

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