Monday, April 9, 2012

Palm Sunday and some eggs

Though most of you probably celebrated Easter yesterday, we've got another week to go.  So we spent the weekend dyeing Easter eggs and marking Palm Sunday.  We cut out all artificial colors and flavors from our diet not long ago, and thus, we decided to make our own natural dyes for the eggs this year. We dyed brown eggs, white eggs, and a carton's worth of quail eggs that I picked up on impulse at the supermarket last weekend.  For our natural dyes, we tried: red cabbage, beets, red onion skins, red wine, turmeric, and simmered spinach.

Natasha and Zoia helped fill the pots with the natural dye stuffs.

Zoia didn't quite understand what was going on; she thought we were making soup.

Natasha enjoyed a rare opportunity to stand at the stove.  Just looking at this photograph makes me nervous.

Zoia also wanted to dip eggs in the dye.  Here she is dipping a brown egg into a bowl of hot beet juice. 

Here's Natasha, dipping some raw white eggs into a pot of onion-skin-dyed water.  We tried two methods - immersing already cooked eggs into hot dye, and boiling raw eggs along with the dye stuff.  I had red that the boiling method worked better, but I messed up my experiment by only boiling brown eggs ahead of time, so the only eggs that boiled along with the dyestuff were the white ones.  Kind of hard to compare.

Here's a cool trick.  So, when you boil red cabbage, it turns the water a lovely Smurfy blue (the jar on the left).  But if you add a glug of vinegar, the cabbage juice instantly turns bright fuschia (the jar on the right).  I didn't try to dye any eggs in the fuschia (another experimental fail; I didn't plan ahead at all!), but the blue dye actually took quite nicely.

After we'd immersed all our eggs, we had dinner and Z entertained us with tricks.

Then we checked on our eggs.   I only put quail eggs in my red wine.  The wine did dye the outside of the eggshell a deep brown, but it also actually ate away at the outer, brown speckly part completely.

This is what a red-wine-dyed quail egg looks like when you remove the brown peel.  That is still shell there - just the inner layer of the shell.

And here is the finished product.  The quail eggs took the dye the best.  The brown ones on the edges were dyed in the onion skins.  The yellow ones in the middle were dyed in turmeric.  The blues were all cabbage juice, although I think a couple of them were in the beet juice first (which did nothing).  The funky white-and-black ones are red wine.  

These are all onion skin and cabbage.  The chicken eggs that hung out in the beet juice and the turrmeric water, and the spinach juice, didn't take on much color at all, so I overdyed them all in the red onion mixture.  I think next year we will have far more red onion peels, and we'll leave the eggs in that mixture and in the cabbage juice longer.

Palm Sunday morning.  Again - it is still quite cold here - 30ish on Sunday.  I was just an irresponsible mom and let them hang out outside to get these pictures of them in their green dresses.

1 comment:

  1. Love the green dresses! Reminds me of the dresses my mom made for my sis and I as kids. I still have mine for Ani, but she's not big enough just yet. :)



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