for the last six years i've been dyeing my eggs with vegetables and spices. i continue to love the process and the results. aren't those colors amazing? totally worth the combined stink of boiled cabbage, turmeric and beets looming in my apartment for a day or so. . . and apparently filling the hallways of our building, based on the amount of air freshener that a neighbor sprayed outside my door yesterday. sorry neighbors. i'm just here to spread easter cheer.
there are two ways to dye your eggs. the first is boiling/simmering your eggs in the dye. this generally results in really saturated, even colors for 30 minutes. the second is "cold-dipping" them in strained very warm to room temperature dye, anywhere from 5 seconds to hours depending on the desired color. this results in more translucence and subtlety and also requires regular rotation of the eggs if you want even coloring.
the general ratio for making the dye is 1 cup of vegetable (chopped if necessary) to 1 cup of water. for turmeric, add 3Tbs to every quart of water. bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. add about 2tsp (i never measure) vinegar in the dye after about 20 minutes.
this is what can result- with a billion variations in between.
onion skins. (from left to right) first egg cold-dipped for about 30 minutes. second boiled in dye for 30 minutes. third rubbed with vinegar, wrapped in onion skins (while raw) then wrapped and tied in cheesecloth and boiled for 30 minutes. i love the marbling. the colors that come just from onion skins always surprise me.
red cabbage. first egg cold dipped in warm dye for 20 minutes. royal blue left in dye for an hour or so. marbly egg boiled with the cabbage leaves in the pot for 30 minutes.
turmeric. middle egg boiled for 30 minutes. other two left in warm/hot dye for about 15 minutes. i had some lovely and subtle yellow shades that i had just cold dipped, but ended up dipping them into other colors.
turmeric and cabbage. various combinations, various lengths. since these two dyes are the quickest and most obvious, i played a lot with them last night as i was teaching some ladies at church the glory of natural dyeing.
beets. first cold dipped for about two hours. second boiled in beet dye for about 40 minutes. third cold dipped for about an hour. beets are always a little disappointing, but i like having some sort of pink-ish in the mix.
coffee. first time using coffee and probably my last. i was hoping for a really dark brown but ended up with this after nearly an hour of simmering and another hour sitting in the dye. the lighter was about 40 minutes in the hot dye. perhaps the coffee i made was too weak? it looked really really dark to me but i have no idea what i'm doing with coffee. chip had to ask the editing studio he was working at that day for the stuff i used. . .
so now we have a lot of beautiful colors to look at, some dye i'm considering using for fabric and two dozen hard boiled eggs i'm hoping to find a use for.