When I was in college, my mom sent me care packages. Now she sends me care envelopes...clippings, articles, pictures, whatever reminds her of me, I guess. I love getting them.
Yesterday's envelope contained a little slip of paper from the local, farm fresh eggs my mother buys. Each carton of eggs comes with a short newsletter. This was such a great issue I thought I would share it with you. It's called The Country Hen Farm News. (Visit their website by clicking here.)
Dear Egg Buyer,
WE ASK...WHY SHOULD THE WHITE EGGS HAVE ALL THE EASTER FUN? You would not dream of making your favorite breakfast or baked good without the benefit of The Country Hen eggs. We want you to rest assured that they will be the perfect Easter egg choice as well. Their strong, brown shells actually make a great coloring option. If you are not looking for pastel colored Easter eggs, brown eggs will actually dye to a richer, more complex tone than white eggs. It does require a different type of dye than the typical Easter egg coloring kit, but we have listed two very simple methods. One utilizes food coloring and the other is a natural dye method. (Warning: Adult supervision is recommended for both)
FOOD COLORING METHOD
1 cup hot water
2 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp food coloring (adjust to reach desired shade)
Mix the 3 ingredients for each food coloring you want (red, blue, green). Don't forget about using your base colors to create other colors. For example, mix red and yellow for orange, or red and blue for purple or blue and green for teal, etc. Dip cool, hard boiled eggs into the food coloring dyes until desired color is achieved. Let eggs dry on a rack or in an egg carton.
Natural Egg Dyes
Blue - Red Cabbage Leaves
Orange - Paprika
Red - Lots of Red Onion Skins
Pink - Beets
Purple - Small amount of Red Onion Skins
Bring 1 cup of water and dye ingredients to a boil and then reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes to 1 hour until desired color is obtained. Strain dye liquid and add 2 TB of white vinegar. Dip cool, hard boiled eggs into hot liquid and let it sit until desired color is achieved. Take eggs out of the dye and put on a rack or in an egg carton to dry. (Careful: color can easily be removed until egg is dry.) Eggs colored this way have a dull finish but when they are dry, use cooking oil to add a gloss to them.
All eggs colored with food coloring came out spectacular! Although all the egss with the natural dyes did color, the most vibrant colors were created with the beets, saffron and red cabbage.
My thanks to the folks at The Country Hen for sharing such good information. I must admit, I have only dyed white eggs and usually with one of those little kits. But I am going to try brown eggs this year. My hens aren't old enough to lay yet so I will have to pick some up from Good Foods Co-op.
If you need some inspiration, here are some of my images from Easter egg hunts...