Easter, au Naturel: III.


You may remember my first year dyeing eggs naturally (with tutorials!). You might well recall my second year, too. This is the third year, and I still love making my “grown-up eggs” so much!

Yellow onion skins will be my staple each year. Since I no longer work in a restaurant, it took me about two months to collect enough onion skins on my own. Next year, I’ll start even earlier, I think, as I’d like to have more than the dozen or so that I had this time. I also had decided to try for a nice, deep blue using blueberry juice… only after looking in all the stores we could for over a week, we still couldn’t find any! (And I refused to make my own with the current price of blueberries.) I pouted, but then I decided to go with red cabbage instead – it was rumored to create a lovely teal shade, and I thought that would look nice with my tans.

I bought a bouquet of flowers for botanicals, as well as a bunch of both parsley and cilantro. I set out working with the red cabbage first, and I was dubious of how something such a dark purple would turn teal… but then I found this in my pot!

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Traditional Easter eggs.

Jack's ready to dye eggs.
Jack’s ready to dye eggs.

And so, it has happened. A.J. is now “too old” for many things, and one of them is dyeing Easter eggs. Even with both me and Jack pleading, we couldn’t convince him to join us for the color-explosion.

And what COLORS they were! See, Philip and I had looked for egg dyeing kits in the BX and commissary for a week or so, but we hadn’t found anything. The next time we headed into town, we picked up a simple PAAS kit for a buck or so, thinking we were set.

On the day of coloring, Jack covered the table in a leftover yellow vinyl my neighbor had given me for just that purpose. He grabbed two undershirts from Philip’s drawers, and he donned his. I read the instructions on the back of the kit and carefully measured the correct amount of vinegar into each of our twelve glasses. Both boys carried the glasses to the table, and then I opened the box to give them the tablets.

Only to find the kit completely EMPTY inside. No stickers, no egg holder tool, no dyeing tablets – nothing! Oh noes!

(This is where A.J. lost interest, I should add, then citing that he was “too old.” Stupid egg kit, you cost me a memory!)

I had Philip pull the tub of Easter decorations from the shed to see if there were any old kits in there. He “didn’t see any.”** He looked up the BX and called before heading out, just to ask if they had any kits in stock then. They didn’t. While he was doing this, I was frantically searching online to see what I could use for makeshift dyes. I only had a tiny amount of both yellow and blue food coloring – not enough to really make anything.

Every website I could find mentioned regular food coloring. Didn’t they understand that not only did I not have the four traditional colors, but that I didn’t even have enough?! I wasn’t having any luck trying to find a method using gel decorating colors (of which I had nine colors in my baking supplies), but I decided to wing it. I individually boiled a cup of water for each color, and then Jack stirred in the gel coloring until it dissolved/melted. Then we poured the new dye into the measured vinegar and crossed our fingers…

I had ten colors of gel, but I refused to make black. I also didn’t make red because I didn’t want to open it just for the eggs. The yellow and the orange didn’t dissolve well, so we had more of a peach, and we added the yellow (which was basically clear) to some leftover ‘rose pink.’ Once Jack added the eggs into each glass, the liquid was too high, so I carefully spooned out some dye into a clean, large glass. He chose to then use the “mixture glass,” and it produced his favorite eggs!

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I’m Nicole, and I’m glad you’ve stopped by my little corner of the web! I’m a former Air Force wife whose passions are baking, cookie-making, and photo-taking… all to the benefit of my loves – my family! C’mon in to…read more.


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