(natural color dyed egg)
I grew up in a tradition of egg hunting at Easter time. I still have great memories of being super excited collecting colorful eggs. I want to have my toddler daughter Arabella, who is now 2.3 years old, to have similar memories from childhood to reflect on later in life. She is super excited when it comes to long eared bunnies already, which she finds hilarious.
A recent visit to the farmers marked with the kid in toe was a highlight. Big eyed she chuckled at brown and white chicken eggs, speckled quail eggs, aquamarine colored emu eggs and an ostrich egg the size of her own head. Later on it occurred to me how she might feel about those eggs being colored just for the fun of it not necessary for Easter time. That’s one reason why I think it does not have to be only once a year to dye eggs. It was a big time disappointment when I was told by my brother that the whole egg hunting and Easter bunny story is staged and happens by a bunch of adults a few minutes before the kids run into the garden to hunt for them. Well what can you do I guess it would be kind of weird being an adult and still believing in the Easter bunny.
(not your usual chicken eggs)
Egg Dying the Michael Pollan Way
I have been reading the fourth book by Michael Pollan, the food writer who takes food sourcing and natural food supply to his heart. You might have heard of his books “The Omnivores Dilemma,” “In Defense of Food,” “Food Rules”, etc. By now I understand what has been happening in the US, he explains it in a relatively clear way to the average Joe such as me. Anyway it seems he has little or no refined or toxic food items in his cupboard, which is totally up my alley. So I was wondering if there is a way to dye eggs in a natural way with vegetable derived colors. I found several recipes and got to work in my home kitchen late at night. My goal was to have some eggs ready to hide them for my little toddler girl at our Easter brunch party.
(I carefully broke the cooked egg shells and soaked them in the natural dye - this makes a marbled pattern - perhaps interesting to bring a fashinoable flair to deviled eggs?)
Working with different vegetable dyes set off a whole spark of ideas for restaurant dishes. For the longest I have had egg dishes on my menus so this could be a very interesting way to present a new egg dish in a cool colorful yet healthy way.
(natural egg dye made out of vegetables)
Basic Natural Egg-dye Recipe
8 cups water
4 tablespoons vinegar such as apple cider, white vinegar
4 tablespoons salt (Kosher or sea salt)
Choose your color & add:
a pale yellow egg – 4 tablespoons turmeric
a brownish very dark red colored egg – 4 cups chopped red onions (including skin)
a dark blue shaded egg – ½ lb sliced red cabbage
a pale pinkish looking (my favorite) egg - 4 cups chopped red beets with skin on
24 white X-large eggs, cooked
1. Combine water, vinegar, salt and the particular vegetable or spice in a pot (1-gallon sized).
2. On high heat setting bring water to boil then cook mixture for 15 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve and discard remains. Chill liquid.
3. Pour dyed cooking liquid over cooked eggs and store in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.
4. Take eggs from colored liquid and dry on kitchen paper towel.
Chef's Tip: If you like a marbled egg design on peeled eggs break the shells of the cooked eggs with the back of a spoon all around before soaking them in the dyed vegetable liquid.
Chef’s Note: This recipe is not really for kinds, but if you want your kids to participate in the egg coloring process arrange the pretty multi-colored eggs in bowls, break out stickers and non toxic markers and have some fun.