23 April 2011

Natural Easter Egg Dye

When I was little, visits to my paternal grandmother were rare so I remember them well. One spring we dyed Easter eggs at her house. I'm not sure where she learned this trick, but I love the way the eggs look when they are finished; all burnished brown and golden splotches.

Photo credit: stachoo from morguefile.com

I put a mess of dry onion skins, a dozen brown eggs, and a chunk of beeswax about an inch long in my biggest pot. Then I cover it with water. (If the only pot you own that is that big is the one you use to make homemade macaroni and cheese, don't worry; the beeswax wipes right off!) Cook the eggs just as you would for hard boiled eggs. After the water comes to a boil, slide the eggs up and down through the beeswax. The more beeswax that adheres to the eggs, the more interesting they will be. Feel free to swirl them around a lot!

Let them sit until they are as dark as you want them to be. Using tongs, take them out and let them dry on a paper towel. After they are completely dry, they can be polished with a cotton cloth.

Put the pot full of water in the refrigerator. As the water in the pot cools, the beeswax will harden. When it is solid, pull it out with your fingers or a slotted spoon. Scrape as much beeswax off the sides as you can. Fill the pot with water again and bring it to a boil. Empty the pot and while it is hot, wipe it out with paper towels.

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