Each year I used Ukrainian egg dyes and traditional patterns to make lovely dyed eggs to share with my friends and family. I was proud of the way they looked. I even taught other people to dye eggs. But this year I thought I’d try something new. I wanted to try dying eggs using natural dyes.
This morning I went shopping for ingredients. I bought two kinds of onions, beets, purple cabbage, cranberries, carrots with tops, and turmeric. I had already cooked four little eggs last night, one for each grandchild.
I boiled up the ingredients, each dye lot in its own pot, then transferred the dye to a stainless steel bowl when enough time had passed for them to have a good colour.
I drew the first initial of each grandchild’s name on the eggs, then, when the dye was dry, I covered the letter with wax from a birthday candle. (This was something my older sister and I had done as kids – written our names in invisible wax before we dyed our eggs). So after that I dipped the eggs in the appropriate dye bath and presto! Easter eggs.
The biggest surprise was the red cabbage, which gave me a lovely blue colour (T) but turned sort of violet (J) when I added vinegar. The pink egg (S) was made with two dyes, cranberries and beets. And the one I thought worked best (B) is yellow from turmeric. The onion skins and carrot tops dye didn’t look festive to me so I didn’t use it. I shone the eggs up with olive oil and here they are.
They certainly aren’t Pysanky eggs. They aren’t even anything special, really. But they are made with love and it was fun trying something new.