Monday, April 13, 2009

Final thoughts on eggs

Barbara wanted to know if our eggs tasted like the foods and spices we used to dye them. The answer is yes and no. Some of the stronger smelling spices like curry and cinnamon left a very strong smell behind on the shell and did slightly flavor the eggs. Some people advise piercing the shell to prevent cracking while boiling and I would think that you could expect to taste more flavor if you did that. I don't do that so the eggs were not affected by flavor except those that I mentioned. Now the color of the egg inside was affected by many of our dyes even though the flavor wasn't. Beets turned the egg white pink (much to Sunshine's delight), red cabbage turned the whites blue and golden turnips turned them yellow.

One thing I also want to mention is that the colors on the shell change as they sit in the fridge after dying. Those mauve colored beet eggs are now more brownish than pinkish. The purple and pink spots on the berry eggs faded to gray. Your best colors are going to be achieved the day you take them out of their dye baths. And as Sue discovered, some of them will have a film that should be allowed to dry without too much handling but also creates a great opportunity for scratching in religious symbols.

I also wanted to share here what I wrote in Barbara's combox:
My kids approach our natural dyes like a science experiment. We go to the grocery store, they pick out weird foods, we bring them home, chop them up and boil them. Then they try to guess what will happen and the next day, they compare results. Now this year, since I had some last minute Alleluia letters to decorate to replace the banner that we lost, Husband came home with a PAAS kit and kept the kids busy while I snuck off and painted. They enjoy both activities but on totally different levels.
I personally love the colors and textures and the surprise factor of naturally dyed eggs and my kids do too, but they also love the fun factor of prepackaged dyes. My husband, who is not a crafty man by nature, even had fun blowing food coloring around a plain white egg and then dipping it in yellow dye to produce an egg that would have made Jackson Pollock proud! (I was popping in and out of the bathroom where I was secretly painting our Alleluia letters so that they could be hidden around the house and hunted for on Easter morning and was very thankful for the distraction.) The two forms of egg decorating that we participated in this weekend are not mutually exclusive. My kids see kit dying as a fun craft and natural egg dying as an experiment. I don't see any reason why both can't have a place in the celebration of Easter.

What to do with all those leftover eggs? Easter Egg Salad, of course!


  1. The eggs were great, as well as the colorful sandwich.

    I love the new blog look, too.

  2. I love the new look Charlotte. I love the idea of hiding the Alleluia letters. That's an idea for next year.

  3. The new blog look is lovely. I love it!

  4. I've been thinking about the natural food dyes. I can't wait to try this here, as I know my son will love it. We had great success with touching eggs over here with no reaction, so THE SKY IS THE LIMIT. ;-)

    As I was trimming the Easter lilies, I was thinking that the (staining) pollen from so many of those lovely flowers might be a great dyeing material to try.

    And I now look at dandelions thinking I should start clipping and saving the flower petals. One of the Ukrainian picture books we have talk about dried marigold petals.

    We're still doing fun things with eggs around here...I love that Easter lasts a long time!

  5. Beautiful! I just came over here from Evlogia. We were given some lovely eggs last week. I need to find the lady who did them and ask exactly how she got the prints on them. I know the color is onion skins, but they had fern and other leaf prints on them, too. I'm going to put picture of them up on my blog soon. . . .

  6. Phyllis, Maria Trapp doesn't give full directions, but she does mention how to attach designs to the egg here: I've also read to use an old stocking to keep the materials in place after you wrapped them around the egg.

  7. Ah, I just came back here and saw the answer to my question. That's exactly how the eggs we were given were done: old stockings.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts and yourself!