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:
2008 ~ Eggsellent Creativitea
2007 ~ Egg-cellent Fun!