Dying Easter Eggs Traditionally
If you celebrate Easter, you have probably dyed eggs at some point. Growing up, we usually used wax crayons, food colouring, or paint to decorate our eggs. It was a lot of fun and I have a lot of fond memories. However, now that I've grown older I like more subdued tones and I really like knowing where ingredients come from. So here are two ways to dye Easter eggs. One way is simple with many colour options, the other is from my cultural heritage and takes a little more finesse. I hope you enjoy!
METHOD 1: SIMPLE SINGLE COLOUR DYE
There are many ingredients you can find in your kitchen or at the supermarket that will make wonderful egg dyes in a variety of colours. The eggs in the photo were dyed with beets. If you look here you can find a other colours and natural ingredients to dye your eggs with.
4 cups beets
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 liter of water
Combine all ingredients and bring the water to a boil.
Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove the beets and set the liquid aside.
Using the liquid you set aside, add the desired amount of raw eggs and bring the water back to a boil.
Cook for 12 minutes so the eggs are hard boiled. Then turn off heat and let the eggs sit for another 20 minutes. Stir occasionally for more consistent colour.
METHOD 2: LATVIAN EASTER EGGS
Growing up as a Latvian-Canadian, I occasionally was given the opportunity to make eggs in a more traditional way. It's a little more complicated, but it's a lot of fun and bit unpredictable. (Which for me is part of the fun!) It uses all natural materials and ingredients, but it may also involve a trip to your local pharmacy.
Yellow onion skins
1 liter of water
Flowers, flower petals, grass, leaves
Collect as many onion skins as you can, the browner the better. Place them all in a pot with the water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Strain onion skins and set liquid aside.
Collect your items of nature and raw eggs. Make each egg damp and lay your natural items on the egg. Wrap the egg with gauze to hold them in place. Then wrap the egg with string and secure. (You can also use wax to add details or add onion skins next to the egg to intensify colour.)
Place your eggs in the liquid and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Then rinse in cold water, or place in a bowl of cool water for 5 minutes.
Remove the string, gauze, and plant materials and admire your handiwork.
Want to learn more about the Latvian Easter egg tradition? Click here to learn about how we battle with Easter eggs.