Friday, March 8, 2013

E- Eggs for Ostara

I colored eggs with lots of different natural dyes last year, some worked well, some did not.

This year I gave up on spinach, carrot and turmeric and made eggs colored with the things that worked best last year.

Black tea.

Black walnut hulls.

Onion Skins.

And my favorite:

Red cabbage!

This makes a beautiful dark purple blue that becomes bluer as it sits overnight. The high ph of the eggshell turns it a gorgeous shade of blue. Here is how I did it:

Chop up half a red cabbage from the grocery. put it in enough water to cover. boil one hour, adding water to keep it covered. 
Magic floating egg cartons!
Strain the pale purple chopped cabbage from the dark water. I served my cooked cabbage for dinner with vinegar and sugar and black pepper. 

The water looks really dark but it takes a long time to color the eggs.

Cool the liquid and add raw white eggs and 1/2 tsp salt. Boil the eggs the same way you make hard boiled eggs. remove the pot from the heat, add 1 tbsp vinegar and leave in the water overnight. If you plan to eat the eggs, do this overnight int he fridge.
When you remove the eggs from the vinegar water they will be purplish but  in the air they will become bluer.
Eggs in cabbage vinegar water.
I love the reflection .

Voila! Gorgeous eggs.  The lighter blue ones were cooked in the same water the next day. I bet I could have made another batch in that water, but I needed the pot.

Really big beets. No dice.

Beets were disappointing. They stained me, the counter, spoon and cutting board red but the eggs came out beige! I tried twice, because I am stubborn. I recolored those eggs with more onion skins.

Dilute onion skin water- maybe yellow?

The four red and gold ones at the top of the egg box and all of the ones in the box to the right were colored with the skins from one bag of yellow onions. Boiled in the colored water and then soaked overnight, they are almost red, especially if you begin with brown eggs!

The pale greenish ones are calendula flower petals- unimpresive to me. I overdyed two of those in cabbage water- they are army green.

Another way to decorate eggs is the PA Deutsche traditional scratched design. It is an art that began in Europe and came here in the 18th Century, but has nearly died out now.

You can see one I began working on in the bowl of really dark colored eggs I made just for scratching. Black tea or walnut hulls for browns, cabbage for the navy blue-black ones, the red are onion skin.

Scratched eggs will be for another post, but that is why I made the very dark colored eggs.
It's snowing right now, but I am going camping tomorrow and bringing these to the 18th C farm we are staying on. I will scratch them with traditional 18th C patterns representing power and blessings of the returning Spring. There are a few extant examples and a few reports of the work, but several  19th C newspaper photographs and reports of family eggs handed down 3 generations. The ones thought to bestow power or blessings were traditionally not kept but broken and buried when the work was done. 

1 comment:

  1. I am glad you said the beets didn't work. I never want to use beets or blueberries, because of course I would much rather eat them.


Of course I want to hear what you think!