You gotta have eggs for Easter, right? Chocolate or hard boiled ones, in beautiful colours. I’m used to Easter eggs being painted red and smashed together, two at a time, with the winner being the one whose egg remained intact. We always spent the Easter holidays in the mountains and the eggs to be dyed were white, fresh from our neighbour’s chickens, left on our front porch first thing in the morning. The dye was store-bought and mixed with water and vinegar would produce this intense crimson colour, which was beautiful and smelly and all around artificial. The most beautiful eggs were always the ones made by our neighbour: they were perfectly red and shiny, with the most gorgeous imprints from flowers and leaves.
I haven’t dyed eggs in a very long time, but this year I decided to give it another go, using ingredients from my kitchen instead of those nasty powders. For the colours, I strayed from the traditional red, inspired by the beautiful mini chocolate eggs I’ve been buying all week by the dozen. I complemented their pretty, vibrant colours with pastel shades (light blue, pale yellow and soft brown) and used both flower leaves and herbs for the imprints.
The process does take longer, but it is so worth it, I promise you! You’re not only using fresh ingredients and no weird additives, you can also customise them with different leaves, flowers and colour shades. And if you’re wondering what on earth you’re gonna do with a dozen painted eggs, check back in on Monday for some devilishly good deviled eggs. Happy Easter!
a dozen hard boiled white eggs
1 tablespoon white vinegar (for each dye mater)
2 cups water ((for each dye mater)
pieces of stocking
fresh flowers and/ or leaves
1 cup purple cabbage, roughly chopped (for blue eggs)
1 cup beets, roughly chopped (for light brown eggs)
1 tablespoon turmeric (for yellow eggs)
Place a leaf or flower on each egg and tighten securely with a piece of stocking; set aside.
Add one dye mater and 2 cups of water into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil; reduce the heat to very low and simmer for 30’. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Strain the content of the pan in a bowl, add 1 tablespoon vinegar and stir well. Place the eggs in a bowl and pour the dye over them (make sure the liquid covers them completely). Leave for a couple of hours or overnight (kept in the fridge), until the desired colour is obtained (for a lighter hue you will need less time, etc).
Repeat with the other two dye maters, using 2 cups water and 1 tablespoon vinegar each time.
When the eggs are dyed, remove from the bowl, remove the stocking and leaves and let dry on kitchen paper. You may leave the like so, or very gently rub with a little olive oil for a shiny finish.