I imagine the supermarket sales of white eggs soars this time of year. Soar may be a strong word, but I can’t imagine the increase is insignificant in any way. I’ve known even those with their own backyard chicken flocks to lament the need for supporting the corporate, commercial egg giants around Easter. I’ve overheard regular local shoppers, small farm subscribers even, who routinely add a dozen supermarket eggs to their shopping ritual just before the spring holiday, in fact.
Why? Because you can’t dye brown eggs.
Our Grandmothers would be rolling over that last statement. Absolutely rolling with laughter.
Of course you can dye brown eggs. Not only can you, you can do so with all natural dyes. And the result is stunning. Simply stunning. But somewhere, at some time, in the past fifty years or so that fact has been lost on America’s masses. Somewhere, at some time, in the past fifty years or so we’ve been conditioned to believe only the brightest, whitest, factory washed eggs are suitable for the spring-time ritual of dying eggs. And because of it, we’ve been missing out.
So gather your local farm fresh eggs, brown shells and all, boil them up, stack them in a bowl in the center of the table and summons the children — and children at heart. You’re about to make the most beautiful Easter eggs you’ve ever seen.
All you need is a couple of small stock pots, a little water, a splash of vinegar and whatever dying materials you can muster up. Beets make a striking red dye, while blueberries and their juice make the most vibrant blue I’ve ever seen and turmeric — such as the organic ground you can buy on Etsy, pictured above — makes an amazing deep, golden rod yellow.
Tip: Remember, keep it simple. From just the three primary colors your dying options are endless. No need to make countless dyes. Get creative and layer colors instead.
But you needn’t stop there. Onion skins, wine, coffee and tea grounds, and so much more can make excellent dyes. Use your imagination and what you have on hand.
Once you’ve chosen the items you’ll use to make dye. Add each to a small stock pot all its own, one at a time. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Maintain at a boil until dye reaches your desired depth and vibrancy. Strain into a coffee cup and add a splash of vinegar to help the dye adhere to the egg shell.
The dye will be, literally, boiling hot so if children are helping it’s best to let it cool slightly before using. Otherwise, you’re ready to begin.
Tip: Be patient. Natural dyes take a little longer than store-bought kits. The longer you leave the egg in the dye bath, the more intense the final color will be.