Saturday, April 11, 2009
Easter Preparation at the Homestead
Purple Cabbage, Water, and Vinegar, for Making Blue Dye
Putting Onion Skins Around the Egg
Wrapping the Egg
Tying the Cloth Wrapper
Unwrapping the Onion-Skin Dyed Egg
Onion-Skin, and Onion-Skin-Nettle Dyed Eggs
The Whole Dozen (Minus Two for Snacks) All Made With Natural Dye
A Delighted Ella
What a perfect follow up to my post about chickens!
Easter in Petrolia is kind of an institution. There is an egg hunt for the kids every year, at a neighbors house. We bustle about and make our eggs for delivery the day before, and a crew of diligent and creative people hide them the morning of the hunt, in the crooks of trees, next to rocks, along fences and porches, and inside random pieces of rural trash (i.e. dead cars). After the hunt, the older kids participate in a scavenger hunt, at the end of which is an easter basket for each child, complete with a stuffed animal and some candy. Ella sort of got it last year, but THIS year, well, she is really excited for tomorrow. All day, she has been begging me to go to the hunt. I tell her it's not happening until tomorrow, and she then asks, "But WHYYYYY, momma?"
This morning, we dyed our eggs. I sent Drew for supplies last week, and he balked at buying those silly little commercial kits. He came home instead with beet powder, and suggestions of using turmeric for yellow dye. Hmmm. Not what I was thinking, but I began researching online, and found several recipes for natural dye using such materials. So this morning after breakfast, we started cooking up homemade dye. Water, beet powder (available at our natural food store, who knew?!), and vinegar for red; Water, turmeric, and vinegar for yellow; water, red cabbage, and vinegar for blue. I boiled each of the concoctions for a while, and then strained the turmeric potion (through a coffee filter), and the cabbage, through a strainer. And we did a few in Drew's mom's traditional way, using yellow onion skins held on tight to the egg with a piece of fabric. You just hard-boil them in that little cloth package. We laid a stinging nettle leaf on one of those, and wow, did it come out a beautiful, natural shade of green.
If you are interested in exploring these websites and recipes yourself, check out these two: one with lots of natural dye recipes for various colors, and another for making Chinese "Tea Eggs", where you crack the outer shell of the hard-boiled egg before you dye it, leaving the shell-crack impression on the finished egg. They look like china ware in psychedelic colors, so cool.
Who knew natural eggs could come out so beautifully? Who needs Paz? Not ME, anymore!