April 1st, 2011
Egging You On
You've glued one too many cotton tails to your fingertips to know that Easter arts and crafts are serious business. But instead of cracked eggs and tears, try this Eggs Au Natural activity from upcoming book, Everyday Eden, by Christina Symons and John Gillespie of Roberts Creek, B.C.
Eggs Au Natural
There are many natural dye bases to choose from, including berries, vegetables and spices. Use what you have on hand to experiment.
You can dye your eggs using the boiling method or the cold-dipping method. Cold dipping is best when small children are participating. For either method, first mix and prepare your dyes. For the eggs pictured, use red cabbage, tumeric, coffee, beets and grape juice.
Once you prepare your blend (as noted below), strain out any solids and you are ready to dip! Dip hard-boiled or blown-out eggs into your dyes and allow them to soak for a few minutes or several hours (the longer they soak, the deeper the colour). Try double dipping for cool colour combinations. Affix masking-tape cutouts (flower shapes) or pre-cut stickers before dipping to create a patterned effect.
Alternatively, you can boil raw eggs right in your prepared dyes for ten to eight minutes or longer. The extra heat required to cook the eggs will result in deeper, darker colour.
Red Cabbage Dye Base
Boil 4 cups of chopped red cabbage in 6 cups of water for 30 minutes. Add 1 Tbsp f vinegar and allow to cool.
Turmeric Dye Base
Add 4 Tbsp powered turmeric to 4 cups of boiling water and stir well. Add 1 Tbsp of vinegar and allow to cool.
Coffee Dye Base
Brew 4 cups of very strong coffee. Place in saucepan, add 1 Tbsp of vinegar and allow to cool.
Beet Dye Base
Boil 3 cups of chopped beets in 6 cups of water for 40 minutes. Add 1 Tbsp of vinegar and allow to cool.
Grape Dye Base
Bring 4 cups of grape juice to boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Add 1 Tbsp of vinegar and allow to cool. You can try wild or cultivated blackberries (use up those frozen ones from last summer!).