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Article: Eggs 101
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Cooking: Easter Recipes
Feature: Beautiful Easter Eggs!
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In Egypt, dyed eggs were hung in temples as emblems of regenerative life. In some cultures, eggs
wrapped in gold leaf were exchanged in the springtime; peasants, who couldn’t afford the gold leaf,
boiled the eggs in water with petals from certain flowers, thereby coloring them.
Eggs are not only a symbol of new life connected with spring and Easter, they're
also perfect little blank canvases for creating tiny works of art. They've become a fun, creative, and beautiful ways to
give meaning to the holiday and to enjoy it with our children. So let's look at some of the ways we
can create something dramatic, gorgeous, or just really cute this Easter!
General Egg Dying Hints:
- Covering your work area with plenty of newspaper or other paper makes
clean up afterward a snap. Just gather up the mess and
throw it out in one fell swoop.
- An empty egg carton makes a good drying rack (see photo), but liquid
tends to collect at the bottom so use caution when lifting
eggs out of the drying rach and blot the bottoms carefully
with a dry paper towel so the color doesn't run.
- Making sure eggs are completely dry between color coats is probably the
one most important tip for great Easter eggs — absorbent
paper towels, used to carefully blot the eggs, can help
finish the process.
- Wearing rubber gloves will help your fingers avoid getting stained with
food coloring — and they will regardless of how careful you
- If you don't want to color boiled eggs, you can also use hollow egg
shells in which the contents have been "blown" out.
Dying Easter Eggs — The
This Easter, why not color your eggs using nature's very own dyes? It's possible
to come up with a great number of colors using natural ingredients that can
easily be found in almost any kitchen.
Pale Red: Fresh beets or cranberries, frozen raspberries.
Orange: Yellow onion skins.
Light Yellow: Orange or lemon peels, carrot tops, celery seed or ground cumin.
Yellow: Ground turmeric.
Pale Green: Spinach leaves.
Rich Emerald Green: Soak in liquid chlorophyll (buy it at a pet store or a drug store.)
Green-Gold: Yellow Delicious apple peels.
Blue: Canned blueberries or red cabbage leaves.
Violet Blue: Soak your hardboiled eggs overnight in hot water to which you have added violet blossoms.
Lavender: Soak in grape juice, or, add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice to the Violet Blue water to lighten the color.
Beige to Brown: Strong brewed coffee.
To dye the perfect Easter eggs the natural way (unless instructions for color above say differently), here's what to do:
- Put eggs in a single layer in a pan. Pour water in pan until the eggs are
- Add about a teaspoon of vinegar.
- OPTIONAL: Add 1/2 tsp alum to the water — makes the colors a bit brighter.
- Add the natural dye appropriate to the color you want your eggs to be.
(The more eggs you are dying at a time, the more dye you will need to use.)
- Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove the substance you used to color the eggs. Put eggs in a bowl.
If you want your eggs to be a darker shade, cover them with the dye and let them
stand overnight in the refrigerator.
Gold (or Silver) Leaf Eggs
There are lots of products available to add a sophisticated metallic sparkle to your
Use Liquid Leaf paint, metallic ink and paint pens, or actual
silver and gold leaf. To gold- or silver-leaf an egg, first brush the egg with
gold-leaf adhesive size. When the adhesive changes from milky white to clear
(usually 30 to 60 minutes), gently press the leaf in place. Dust away the excess
with a soft brush or cloth.
Crepe Paper Dye
Spritz or dip egg in water (Get it all wet.) Pick up squares of tissue paper one at a time,
and lay around the egg. Feel free to use different colors and to overlap them. Spritz with
water again if the tissue paper didn't get completely wet. Set aside in a bowl to dry.
- Different color crepe/tissue paper (Use BRIGHT colors. 1 1/2 inch squares are about right.)
- Spritzer of water or bowl of water
- small bowls or cups
When the egg dries, the tissue paper will fall off, but the pretty colors will stay behind.
It gives something of a stained glass look to the eggs.
Food Coloring Dye
For each color measure 1/4 tsp. food coloring in small bowl. Add 3/4 cup hot
water and 1 tbsp. white vinegar to each color. Add eggs and allow to sit until
they are the desired color. Remove with slotted spoon. Polish dry eggs with
small amount of cooking oil and soft cloth.
- Food coloring
- hot water
- white vinegar
- small bowls or cups
- slotted spoon
- cooking oil
- soft cloth
To Make Spotted Eggs:
Put about 2 tsp. of cooking oil (Canola works well) in your dye.
(You might want to make two containers of your dye, so you don't mess up all of
your regular dye.) When you dip in your egg, it makes the dye not stick to the
places where the oil is, thus making mysterious spots on your egg!
To Make Striped Eggs:
Wrapping electric tape around an egg won't
make a clear stripe, but it can make a really cool design! Take one or two
pieces and wrap them around or stick them in various places. Then dye your egg.
The dye will seem in along the edges of the tape and make great patterns.
This marbleizing technique is surprisingly easy and results in beautiful eggs!
To marbleize eggs, add 1/2-3/4 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the egg dye bath once you are finished dying
solid-colored eggs. Dip undyed eggs in as normal and let sit until the desired color is reached.
Allow the eggs to dry, and then wipe any oil that remains on the egg off with a paper towel.
Wrap a piece of cheesecloth tightly around a dry egg, bundling the edges together and fastening them at the top with a rubber band
or twist ties. Dip your paint brush or cotton swab and dip it into the egg dye, then dab this onto the cloth covered eggs.
- Hard boiled eggs
- 6" square of cheesecloth for each egg
- Rubber bands or twist ties
- Small paint brushes or cotton swabs
- Basic egg dyes in desired shades
Repeat, painting the eggs with various shades in various places, use your imgaination. Overlap some colors for special effects,
or keep it monchrome. When you're finished painting, set the egg aside to dry.
The more patient you are and the more the egg dries, the better. When you unwrap the egg, you'll be left with a design that resembles
armadillo skin. You can use this technique over plain white eggs, over a base base coat of color or even over marble
Another technique, which will give a subtle textured effect to a solid colored egg is to wrap the egg in cheesecloth, as per the
instructions above, then dip the whole thing in the cup of egg dye. Let it sit until done to desired shade. Let dry (it doesn't
have to be bone dry, but the drier the better) before carefully removing cheesecloth.
Sponge Painted Eggs
Place hard boiled or blown eggs in egg cups. Partially fill paper cups with
different colors of paint. Clip a piece of sponge to a clothes pin and dip into
paper cups, use the clothes pin as a handle. Lightly dab the sponge over the top
half of the egg. Let dry. Turn egg over and repeat procedure. Let the egg dry
completely. If using blown eggs, spray with acrylic spray for a permanent
- Liquid tempra paint
- paper cups (for each color)
- small pieces of foam or sponge
- clothes pins (for each color)
- egg cups
- clear acrylic spray
Draw a heavy crayon pattern on hard boiled egg. Dip egg in egg dye, preferably a
dark color. Leave in dye until desired color is reached. Remove with slotted
spoon and place in 200 degree F oven for a few minutes until wax is melted. Wipe
with paper towel and dip again in lighter dye to fill in pattern where wax was.
Polish finished eggs with cooking oil and soft cloth.
- Wax crayons
- paper towels
- egg dyes in different colors
- slotted spoon
- cooking oil
- soft cloth
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