Easter weekend, 1990-something, my cousin Dustin was taking his first steps, Easter grass was strewn about and I was getting my Easter candy sugar rush waiting for the best part of Easter, the Egg Hunt. The night before we dyed and decorated our eggs, delicately lowering them down into the dye with a fragile little wire egg holder. There was only one way to dye them. You know what I'm thinking. PAAS! Others have come and gone but PAAS has remained the market dominator for 132 years! Created in 1983 by American drug store owner William Townley, he brilliantly concentrated the dye into tablet form, a true apothecary.
Now, I'm going to give you a recipe for natural egg dyes. I found the particular recipe on The Kitchn. If you want to go to the trouble of making your own dyes you can but let's be honest, you'll try it for a year or two but you'll be back. We all come crawling back to PAAS. You just don't uproot 132 years of tradition.
Naturally-Dyed Easter Eggs
Per cup of water use:
- 1 cup chopped purple cabbage — makes blue on white eggs, green on brown eggs
- 1 cup red onion skins — makes lavender or red eggs
- 1 cup yellow onion skins — makes orange on white eggs, rusty red on brown eggs
- 1 cup shredded beets — makes pink on white eggs, maroon on brown eggs
- 2 tablespoons ground turmeric — makes yellow eggs
- 1 bag Red Zinger tea — makes lavender eggs
→ Add 1 tablespoon white vinegar to every cup of strained dye liquid
→ For every dozen eggs, plan on using at least 4 cups of dye liquid
Bring your water to a boil with your compost scraps in individual pots, then lower the temperature to a simmer for about an half hour and cover. (With PAAS all you do is pour boiling water from one pot into individual cups and let the tablets dissolve. Easy!)
Strain the dye into a wide cup and let cool. Submerse your boiled eggs into the dyes with a table spoon of vinegar per cup of liquid and let sit in the refrigerator until the desired color is reached.