Thursday, April 21, 2011

Natural Alternatives to Easter Egg Coloring y mas rambling.

Bored with the little tablets, caught with no dye or food color in the house, or are you just trying to avoid chemicals and artificial colors?  Here's a little something something that I learned a few Easters ago from my tree hugging, non meat eating, environmentally conscious, 1970's flower child Auntie:  "Natural" Easter egg coloring.  Far out.
 Due note that the colors take longer to sink in than commercial dyes.  With this in mind, let them soak for at least 20 minutes.

Dip eggs in 3/4 cup hot water mixed with 1 teaspoon turmeric or curry powder and a splash of vinegar.
Add 1tsp vinegar to 1 cup canned beet juice & soak eggs in the mixture.  Or try cranberry juice, instead of water, with  3 cans of beets.  This will produce a dark reddish hue. Boiling red onions may not smell to good, but it produces a pretty pinkish purple color.
Orange Red
Boil 3/4 cup water with 1 tablespoon chili powder or paprika  for about a minute.  Add 1 teaspoon vinegar.  Dip eggs in the solution  while it's still hot.
Boil a chopped up head of red cabbage.  Dipping eggs in this will produce a beautiful blue color.

Red wine will give you a nice violet blue.  Strong coffee or instant coffee results in a  mocha to chocolate brown color and for a golden brown hue, soak eggs in a boiled dill seed brew.

Decorate eggs as usual with stickers and crayons if you'd like. Naturally colored eggs will not be glossy,  but if you want a shiny appearance you can rub a bit of cooking oil onto the eggs once they are dry.  

I remember as a kid coloring Easter eggs with Kool-aid and the making of cascarones the week prior to Easter.  Cascarones are hollowed out egg shells filled with confetti  which are thrown or crushed over peoples heads on Easter Sunday.  Yeah, the Latino culture and traditions are pretty hardcore.  Beginning early each year, instead of cracking an egg open,  mi Abuelita would carefully puncture a small hole at one end of each egg when preparing any meals that included eggs.  She must have made a whole lot of dishes that involved eggs because the week before Easter she'd have a least 2 dozen hollowed out egg shells lined up neatly in their cartons  for each grandchild to transform into cascarones.  I vividly recall us sitting under her large orange tree as we dipped, colored, shredded up magazines & newspaper for confetti, and tissue glued shut  the end of each egg with excited anticipation knowing we would be able to ambush and slam an egg over anybody's head with out consequence.  One Easter my cousin's cascarones were confiscated because the wise guy thought it would be cute to fill his with flour. No one was amused.


Frances via il*mostro said...

omg, i havent made cascarones in years and years! Of course I've noticed now u can pretty much just pick some up at walmart but its just not the same unless u make em yourself :0) Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Ripleigh said...

Cascarones are everywhere in Texas! You can buy them at the super markets. My friend makes them for here family since we're stationed so far away. I thought the flour idea was hilarious but I could see how people wouldn't be amused by it!