Saturday, April 3, 2010

Veggie Egg-stravaganza

This year's eggs, starting with the deep maroon one in the 12 o'clock position and moving clockwise are: red onion skins, sweet onion skins (which I thought were yellow onions, but aren't actually), red cabbage with baking soda, red boiler onions, red cabbage (no baking soda), wrapped in red cabbage leaves while soaking in red cabbage juice, boiled in beet juice, and wrapped in boiled red cabbage leaves without juice (in the middle).

We have been dying eggs naturally for a few years now all the while still having some fun with food coloring here and there. I'm not THAT green! This year, we kept our dyes simple, but experimented a little with technique. While I am by no means a natural dyed eggspert, I have learned a few things here and there that I can share.

These eggs were cold dyed only. I boiled the eggs in plain water and let them cool. Then I reserved extra liquid from the dye baths and let that cool. When both were completely cool, I placed a pre-boiled white egg in the dye baths and put them in the fridge overnight.

The first thing you must be committed to accepting, if you are going to try to go au naturale with your eggs... nothing is guaranteed. Just like in nature, uniformity and evenness are very hard to find. Most things are random and a little odd.
Everyone loved the markings on this egg. That is not a glare in the center, but rather a white spot that formed where the egg sat on the bottom of the cup, I suspect. I'm not sure what created the streaks of color surrounding the white spot, but I like it!

The other thing you have to embrace is that this is a long process. No instant gratification here! Get the kids to write out their predictions, leave the eggs in their dye baths overnight and see how well everyone predicted in the morning. As I have said before, we view it as part Easter fun, part science experiment.
This one had the best marble effect. It was cold dyed in sweet onion skin juice overnight.

Also, if you want a lot of onion skins, but not a lot of onions, ask the produce manager if you can clean out the onion trays. They just might be happy to oblige! You get all the onion skins you want, they get some free labor. Win win!

If you have questions on specific instructions, please feel free to ask! You can find previous years' pictures and ponderings in these posts below:


  1. They're all so beautiful. I think we tried some last year. You always make me want to do more....

  2. love your eggs Charlotte. I have wanted to do this for years, but this is not the year for natural coloring. Just regular Paas kit is enough to manage with a sweet little baby that always wants to be held by her lucky mama. Beautiful job.

  3. Oh Robina, isn't it wonderful that our Church gives us a whole 50 days to celebrate the Easter season? If you really want to try some, I'd recommend just doing one kind. And maybe you can find some time before Pentecost, but if not, there will always be another season for celebrating! Happy Easter to you and yours!

  4. Wow! Look at those BIG pictures! I LOVE your new blog layout, and your eggs turned out beautifully! I hope you all have a Happy Easter!

  5. We just did Paas. Oh well, they are more into the color than the science. I love the red one with the rays of light -- just like the light Our Lord is coming back on the third day. Happy Easter, darlin'.

  6. GORGEOUS! I wish I had seen this earlier, I totally would have done this.

  7. These are incredibly beautiful!!! I love the one with the rays and the white spot. Who would have thought that something red would yield a blue egg?!?

  8. Those are gorgeous eggs!

    We dyed our chickens' brown eggs for the first time this year. Someone, some crazy guy, suggested we buy white eggs just for Easter. Outrageous, what with us having three dozen fresh eggs coming in every day, so I stuck to my guns. We made them dark. Your eggs remind me of ours - rich, deep, beautiful colors. Except you made yours with natural dyes and I used paste coloring. :-)

    Happy Easter!

  9. Eggs-quisite! Happy Easter, Charlotte!

  10. Wow! So very impressive. Thank you so much for the tips/links on achieving such vibrant colors with natural dyes.

    I like the idea of no instant gratification. It's good for kids (and antsy moms).


  11. Those are so beautiful!!! We've given up on dyeing eggs for right now, and just use wooden eggs and paint. It works best for my brood!

  12. I love these. So beautiful.

    Right now we're all about instant gratification. Sophie couldn't even wait one day to eat her boiled eggs but wanted to raid them while we were dying. But in a few years... then maybe we can have some natural fun.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts and yourself!