Thursday, April 1, 2010

Dye day

The very most special thing about Easter when I was a kid was Bunny Eggs. The Easter Bunny always brought me these wonderful hard-boiled eggs that were a deep reddish-brown color. He would hide them around the house and leave me a note telling me how many to find. It was the coolest thing. I thought these eggs were so magical. Never ever had I seen eggs that color, other than the ones the Bunny brought every year.

Years later, I found out that my dad made them by boiling the eggs with yellow onion skins. I've never tried to make them myself, but one day I will.

I decided this year to try doing some naturally-dyed Easter eggs. I found several sources on the internet, and learned that not only can you use onion skins, but also many other things to make colored eggs, such as turmeric, blueberries, beets, Red Zinger tea, purple cabbage and more.

I got some frozen blueberries and some turmeric, and I had some pickled beets at home that stained my fingers really badly whenever I ate them, so I figured the juice out of the beet jar would work just fine.

The simple ingredients

I boiled and crushed the blueberries, burning my thumb and spilling the dark purple syrup all over the counter. I gagged as I boiled a couple tablespoons of turmeric in water, because that stuff STINKS! I drained the juice out of the beet jar and then boiled and crushed and strained a few more of the beets to make more. I added a tablespoon of white vinegar to all the dyes, cooked the eggs, let them cool and it was time to dye. My kitchen was an unholy mess!

(I also read somewhere that spinach leaves will dye the eggs green. I boiled and crushed some spinach and it just looked like nasty pee water, so I just ate the spinach and dumped the water out.)

I took the dyes and eggs outside

I caged the baby, which he DID NOT like.

The idea was that Logan and I would be dyeing the eggs together, but he had just come home from preschool and had dyed eggs there, and he was much more interested in bothering the neighbor who was out working in the yard. (Something I ALWAYS did when I was a kid, about his age. Too funny! Same neighbors, too!)

So, I was on my own.

I put one of the eggs in the blueberry dye for a while and it came out a beautiful indigo blue, but it had sticky stuff on it, so I dunked it in some clear water really quickly and the color changed a bit and then wherever I touched it, I kind of left finger marks. It came out neat-looking, though. Sort of camouflage looking.

I dyed the rest of the eggs, and to be honest, the beet and turmeric dyes didn't work that great. I basically just had to let the stickiness dry on them instead of rinsing it off, or the colors would have been VERY VERY pale. Maybe fresh grated beet would have worked better. Not sure about the turmeric. I know onions work, so maybe next year I'll do that. I had some Red Zinger tea and didn't bother with that since I had the beets.

Anyway, the blueberry worked really well, so most of my eggs are purple! I also used some knee-high stockings and tried putting some leaves in there with a couple of the eggs in an attempt to put a leaf pattern on them. A couple of them just came out sort of feathery like this one

But I did pinch off a baby columbine sprig and that one came out really pretty. Too bad Logan dropped it. (He dropped the above one, too)

But anyway, the eggs got dyed

As did my fingers

And now I'm wondering after all that if I can even eat the eggs, because I had them outside for about an hour.


Here's another dye-related thing from yesterday, and this is kind of a rant:


Seriously, the amoxicillin is day-glo pink

and the ibuprofen and acetaminophem are both red.

Therefore, I found myself with the old bar of Fels Naptha trying to scrub the pink stains off Jordan's BRAND NEW ADORABLE shirt the neighbors brought him from Disney.

Attention medicine companies... Medicine isn't supposed to be fun or exciting. No color is just fine and even preferable. I know one of the companies makes a dye-free pain reliever/fever reducer but I can never seem to find it. Why is there a dye-free option when it would just be easier to make them all dye-free. It's one less ingredient. Wouldn't it be cheaper to produce since you wouldn't have to buy or add the dye?

I'll let you in on a little secret, medicine makers. We give our kids medicine when they're sick. That means often, they throw it up or spit it out. That's what kids do. It sucks when you just KNOW they have ruined their shirt or jammies (or yours) by spewing sticky, sweet, syrupy pink, purple, red or orange medicine all over the place.


I don't know any mom who, when she's dealing with a sick child, also wants to deal with stain removal procedures.

Plus, that's PROBABLY why my cloth diapers all of a sudden have horrid stains from the amoxicillin poops. My diapers almost never get stains but the last few days I've been left with nasty orange marks on them. Thank goodness for the sun!

Anyway, really, if someone can give me one good reason as to why there needs to be stupid FD&C Red No. Whatever in my kid's medicine, please, let me know.

Rant over.

For now, anyway.


Tina said...

Oh I agree with the dye in medicines! Why is it there? We normally do get the dye free one, I believe its Motrin. That is weird they don't have it available for you.

The eggs look really pretty!

Krista said...

Those eggs are cute, very creative!

I can't believe you haven't found any dye-free OTC meds. Would you like me to ship you some?

Melinda said...

We do natural dyed eggs. I love the look!