Easter is only a short while away and Johanna at The Passionate Cook invites us to blog about Easter, Easter baskets, Spring, Passover and all the other ways that we celebrate the end of winter and the coming of new life. Well, that's the theme of Waiter There is Something in My...Easter Basket, but the focus is food. My basket holds brightly colored hard cooked eggs.
In my house, it wouldn't be Easter without Easter eggs. I love the chance to play with color and the egg is such a beautiful shape. After my recent fun with red food dye, I really thought that it would be a while before I ventured into food dye territory again, but I just had to make these eggs. So, with slightly blue and green splotches of dye on my fingers, I bring you the recipe for Easter Eggs, with comments and a series of photos to help you along the way. Hope you have fun with it!
You can also make a bread that looks like colored Easter eggs...perfect for someone who doesn't like real eggs...or sweet Easter treats. Check it out HERE.
Bring to a boil in cold water as many dozens of eggs as you wish to color. Once water has come to a boil, simmer the eggs for ten minutes. Turn off heat and cool, or turn into a colander and run cold water over until the eggs are cool. My Dad used to add a little Borax, about a ½ teaspoon) to the water before boiling. I think it was to keep the eggs from cracking.
Bring a tea kettle full of water to a boil. Set out one heat proof small cup…we used custard cups…for each dye color. Place 1 tablespoon cider or white vinegar into each custard cup. Add 3-4 (or more if you are daring) drops food color to a cup for one color. Do the same for the next color in another cup. Repeat until you have different dyes in each cup. Fill custard cups half way up with boiling water.
To dye the eggs, place gently in the cup which has the color you want to dye the egg. You can also use a spoon to lower the egg into and lift the egg out of the dye. You can also use the spoon to swirl some the the dye bath on the part of the egg that sticks out of the dye, or turn the egg while it is dying for a more even color. You can dye the egg lightly in one dye, then slip it into another dye to make things like spring green, gold, or purple.
My Mom notes that my Dad used to love to do the Easter eggs, just as he loved to prepare for Christmas. Even when the children grew up, she says, he would make colored hard boiled eggs with names on them for those who would be visiting at Easter.
You can write or draw on dry eggs with crayons or plain wax right before you put them into the dye bath. The wax will resist the dye where you wrote or drew.
Store the eggs in the refrigerator in the cartons the eggs came in. Figure out (after the Easter egg hunt) how to use soooo many hard boiled eggs!
For Easter we would have an Easter egg hunt every year, either inside or out in the yard depending on the weather. When we were little, my Dad would hide them in the house late at night so we could find them first thing in the morning, sort of like coming down on Christmas morning to presents. My Dad always kept in touch with his inner child. After church and breakfast, he would hide them in the yard. Some would be easy to find, like on a car bumper, others would be well hidden. When some of us were older, we would do some of the egg hiding for him. It was always fun to see the expressions on the faces of the children as they found an egg…pure delight. When I had my own kids, I kept up with the tradition. We dyed eggs together, decorated them, at times, to within an inch of their life, and hid them for an egg hunt on Easter. If you have little ones around the house, give it a try. It’s sort of messy, so put down newspaper to catch the drips and wear aprons or old clothes, but have fun with it. You’ll never smell vinegar again without thinking ‘Easter eggs’.