Friday, March 30, 2012

Eggs for the Easter Basket

I'm putting together a family recipe book and one of the recipes I've included is how to hard boil and color eggs for the Easter basket.

My Dad was a kid at heart and loved holidays like Easter and Christmas. He was a religious man, too, so we went to church before having the fun of hunting for Easter eggs or opening Christmas presents but I like to think that his ability to embrace the things a child loves was partly due to his faith which stressed love as well as duty.I think he loved marshmallow chicks just as much as any of his children!

 This recipe is an easy one to do if you have food colors in your pantry. I used the liquid food colors, so I'm not sure if gel or paste or powdered ones would work for this recipe. I like the fact that you are using traditional food dyes that have been used for a long time rather than some fizzy tablets with who-knows-what chemicals in them. You can also boil onion skins and/or red onion skins, strain the liquid and add that to some vinegar for an even more natural dye.


Dad's Easter Eggs 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 for ten minutes. Turn off heat and cool, or turn into a colander and run cold water over until eggs are cool. (Dad used to add a little Borax -- ½ t. probably -- to the water before boiling. It takes some coating off the eggs for better coloring.)

Bring a tea kettle full of water to a boil. Set out one custard cup for each dye color. Place 1 T. cider vinegar into each custard cup. Add 3-4 drops food color to a cup for each color. Fill custard cups half way up with boiling water, and dye eggs. Spoon can be used to lift eggs out of dye bath. We used to write and draw on dry eggs with crayons or plain wax right before we put them into the dye bath.

Store in refrigerator in the cartons the eggs came in. Figure out how to use so-o-o-o many hard boiled eggs!

MOM’S NOTES: Dad loved to do the Easter eggs, just as he loved to prepare for Christmas. Sometimes he would use the fizzy tablets instead of food colors. Even when the children grew up, he would make colored hard boiled eggs with names on them for those who would be visiting at Easter.

If you prefer to have scrambled eggs and egg shells to dye, you can pierce a hole at either end of fresh eggs, blow the contents into a bowl, run some water through the empty shells to rinse them, then dye them in the dye bath like the eggs below. The eggs in the bowl can be turned into fine scrambled eggs.

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