Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dying Easter Eggs, the Old-fashioned Way

Today at the grocery, I got side-tracked in the produce aisle.  Years ago, my sister dyed Easter eggs using onion skins, and those beautiful red onions were calling to me.  I bought one, and picked up a lot of loose, papery skins from the bin.  

Once I got home, I did a quick google search and discovered that Spanish onion skins create a nice, red color, but since I had a red onion and a few yellow onions at home, I decided to see what color they would produce.  

In addition to the onion skins and eggs, I gathered rubber bands and some muslin I cut into squares.  

I added a little water to each bowl to soak the onion skins and added the eggs to moisten them, too.

Next, I wrapped each egg in onion skins, trying to cover it completely.  

Then I wrapped the egg tightly in a muslin square and secured the ends with a rubber band. 
Into the pan and onto the stove!

For the perfect hard-boiled egg, fill a non-aluminum pan with warm water and the eggs.  Put the pan on the stove on medium-high and bring it to a boil.  Turn the temperature to 'low' and set a timer for 15 minutes, letting the eggs barely simmer.  When the timer goes off, run cold water over the eggs to cool them.  (If you want to eat them in a day or two, peel them immediately under running water and store in a ziploc bag in the refrigerator.)  Store dyed eggs in the refrigerator.  

After the eggs were cool enough to handle, I snipped of the rubber bands and opened the muslin bundle.

Wait for it....

Ta-da!!  I was surprised -- the red onion skins tie-dyed the eggs shades of green, red-brown and orange.  The yellow onion skins colored the eggs a beautiful shade of burnt orange.  To finish them off, I rubbed a little vegetable oil on each egg and wiped the excess off with a paper towel.  

Best thing about this method of egg-dying:  it didn't cost any more than an onion I will use, and it's non-chemical and non-toxic.  I think I'll be doing this for many years to come!

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