Traditions and customs are the only constant in an ever-changing world, cemented in our minds to be passed on to next generations. Without them we feel lost.
One beloved tradition of mine is dyeing eggs on Good Friday. Besides Easter baking that includes in my household Lebanese sweets like Maamoul or German Easter bread, colouring eggs on Friday is one of the most fun activities at Easter time.
When my children were small, I had little time on my hand, so I used store-bought Easter egg dye, ignoring the chemicals in it. Although I used to buy organic colouring, it was clear to me that it wasn’t totally chemical free. (Sorry kids!)
In the last few years with lots of time on my hand in a much quieter home, I switched to natural egg dyes. I have used three different dyeing agents so far. Red cabbage, beetroot, and turmeric root, whereas turmeric powder works all the same. I am pretty much fascinated with the charm of the muted colours even though they are not as vivid as chemical dyes.
How to make natural Easter egg dye.
- Bring 2 Liters water to a boil in a large pot. You can adjust water to the amount of dyeing agent you are using.
- Add your dyeing agent, cover and simmer over medium-low for about 45 minutes to one hour.
- Strain liquid into a jar or a bowl while still hot. I usually use 500 ml of the liquids in one bowl. To this bowl I add 2 tablespoons white vinegar. You can also add instead 1 teaspoon of baking soda. See Green dye!
- Boil your eggs separately. Rinse with cold water. Dye while hot.
- Add 2 to 3 hard boiled eggs and let sit for at least 2 hours.
- For a shinier finish rub each egg with little vegetable oil using a cloth or kitchen krepp.
1- Natural Blue color
You will need half a red cabbage, or a small one, shredded. To get the blue color, you add 2 tablespoons vinegar to 500 ml dye.
2- Natural Green Color
You will need red cabbage. This time you add 1 teaspoon baking soda to 500 ml liquid.
3- Natural purple color
You will need 2 big beetroots, sliced. You add 2 tablespoons vinegar to 500 ml liquid.
4- Natural yellow color
You will need about 150 g turmeric roots. Cook in only 1 litre water. Add two tablespoons Vinegar to 500 ml dye.
Results of Today’s Dyeing:
For more shine
Rub each egg with little vegetable oil.