Easter Egg Dye, or, How Pho Girl Cleaned Out the Pantry

I’ve always anticipated Easter egg dyes with dread. They’re grout stains just waiting to happen. But I must be mellowing out as the girls (and I) get older, because instead of buying the Paas package at the Walgreens or slapping the Star Wars decals on the eggs like we did three years ago (this was my oldest daughter’s idea, and really, what marks the occasion quite like Darth Vader suctioned to a hard-boiled egg?), I was inspired to use vegetables and teabags to dye our eggs this year. Thank you very much, PCC newsletter!

This couldn’t be simpler and, unlike the Paas dye, doesn’t require a trip to the store. Here’s what we used to achieve certain colors:

Red: boil red onion skins (beets would also work)

Orange: steep lemon-flavored teabags

Green: boil grass clippings

Blue: boil blueberries

I used  approximately 2 cups of water for each ingredient. I don’t have firm measurements for the ingredients. The more you use, the more intense the color. Once you’ve removed the ingredients, add 1-2 tablespoons of white vinegar to the dye. You’re ready to dye the eggs once the liquids have cooled!

Depending on the ingredient, you might notice a filmy residue on the dyed eggs. Gently dab them dry so you don’t remove the residue…and the color. We had to redye the eggs we had immersed in the blueberry water because we wiped the dye away.

Red Onion Skins

I also experimented. As I said, I used this as an opportunity to clean out the pantry and the crisper. I boiled some old peas until almost all the water had evaporated from the pan. Their crisp, optimistic green shade had me convinced that spring will actually arrive to Seattle this year.

Peas

And I got this:

Pea Juice

Which, frankly, looks like a urine sample. But live and learn.

The biggest surprise? The boiled grass clippings, which were so vibrant in their pre-boiled state but turned the water a color only slightly more appetizing than the pea juice, created a soft, mossy, earthy green that we absolutely loved.

My favorite things about this activity? I had a playdate with my daughters on a lovely Friday afternoon. The weather was finally warm and the sun made an appearance!

Eggs Taking a Soak

My girls got a fun example in making use of what we have lying around the house and I was able to compost all the ingredients I used.

The girls can’t wait to do this again next year.

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