For Easter, why not have fun with natural egg dyes instead of food coloring? Tumeric powder produces a bright yellow to deep gold color, red cabbage-blue/teal, yellow onion skins-light peach to gold/orange, grape juice-blue to purple, red beets-magenta red, red cabbage and tumeric-green, red cabbage and beet-purple, and red onion skins-pale celadon green. The natural egg dye recipes, with directions and hints, use items you probably already have in your pantry/fridge and, if not, they'd be worth a trip to the store to purchase them. The recipes are from Lakewinds Natural Foods Co-op with stores in Minnetonka, Anoka, and Chanhassen (Minnesota). I used brown eggs since that's the color my "Red Star" and "Black Star" hens lay. The colors may vary a tad if you use white eggs. Also, how long you leave the eggs in the dye will determine their color. I left mine overnight in the fridge to work their magic.
I had some raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar in my fridge as well as some rice vinegar, but I couldn't resist the "Got eggs?" label I spied on a white vinegar bottle sitting on the grocery store shelf. Egg dye instructions call for white vinegar anyway. Does anyone know why? Why not apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar or rice vinegar? My daughter, Heather, has dyed eggs naturally with her daughters, too, and she suggested wrapping rubber bands of varying widths around the eggs as a quick way to create a pattern. As you can see, it works very well. Notice the egg in the upper right hand corner. It gets its speckles from pieces of chopped red cabbage setting on the egg while it's soaking in its water bath. I purchased the cardboard box with dividers at a huge Renninger's Antique Extravaganza held in Mount Dora, Florida three times a year. It's always the 3rd weekend in November, January, and February.
This closeup gives you a better perspective of the unique beauty of the eggs's speckles and swirls of color. Let your creative spirit flow and try new and different combinations of veggies, fruits, and seasonings. Heather used spinach. I will try that next time.
I conducted an experiment to see if the egg dye bath had enough color left for a second go-round. As the photo above attests, the color comes out just as pretty as the first time. I used nonboiled eggs for the test group. Afterall, how many boiled eggs can one eat?! My bed and breakfast guests may be greeted with boiled eggs on their breakfast menu... in colors of the rainbow! Note: I initially published this post on Saturday, March 22, 2008. After four years, it had gotten buried so deeply within my blog that I decided to dust it off and bring it to the forefront once again.