Saturday, March 30, 2013

Green Eggs & Brown Eggs & White Eggs: Experimenting with Natural Dyes for Easter

The results
The colors, before dyeing
Green eggs and brown eggs and white eggs, oh my! 

This year, to add a new twist to our usual naturally dyed Easter Eggs, we opted to experiment with several colors of eggs. Our local cookbook store, Omnivore Books, sells farm fresh, colorful eggs. I buy a dozen often. Two of our cats, Willow and Oolong, were even featured in their newsletter, checking out a new batch.

Are these cat food?
To add to these colors we picked up a dozen at 4505 Meats, because we wanted to include a few white eggs for comparison. We then hard boiled a dozen: 4 white, 4 green and 4 brown.
Our dyes were made with:
Blackberries (previously frozen, from our backyard patch)
Beets (One large red beet, roughly chopped)
Onion skins (mainly yellow, but with a few red mixed in as well, gathered from our vegetable drawer, about 1 cup in total)
Red cabbage (1/2 of a head, roughly chopped)

Place each dyeing material in a in separate pot and cover with water. After they reach a boil, lower your heat and simmer until you are happy with the color. In our case, that was about 30 minutes. Strain the liquid into 4 large canning jars (or bowls) and allow to cool.

We added our brown eggs plain, but for each white and green egg, wrapped a rubber band around the egg so we could tell them apart. 

Checking them out
Labeled, because as you can tell, they look alike
The results:
Cabbage after three hours. Note, from K: "I like that blue. I don't want them in any longer. You need to take them out. Now!  . . . The brown is weird looking."
Brown, white, green
We waited until the next morning to check the other three.

Onion: As you can see, one of the rubber bands fell off. K says "Very dark, but pretty."
White, green, brown
 Blackberry: Again, a missing rubber band. The most delicate color.
White, green brown
Beet:We were hoping they would be a bit pinker. 
White, green, brown

All of the eggs

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