By MONICA CANE
It was the night before Easter and I knew that the Easter Bunny would only leave something for me if I was fast asleep, so I made sure to go to bed early. Sure enough the next morning when I opened my eyes, right next to my bed, I found a wonderful basket filled with candies, cookies, toys and treats. I was in kid heaven as I tore through my basket and felt completely amazed by how well the Easter Bunny knew all the things that I liked.
As a child, receiving a basket on Easter was the absolute best, the only thing that topped it was the coloring of the eggs. Every year my mom would let me pick out a Paas egg coloring kit, spread newspaper across our dining room table and fill a dozen cups with vinegar before tossing in one artificial color tablet in each cup. As soon as the tablet hit the vinegar, a bubbling sound would occur, letting me know that the tablet was melting and soon beautiful colors of red, orange, blue, yellow and green would appear. No doubt coloring Easter eggs was magical time.
When I had my own kids, I followed the same tradition. Treat-filled Easter baskets and a Paas egg coloring kit of their choice. And my kids love coloring eggs just as much as I did, and still do.
Recently, I was thinking about how I will color eggs with my grandson again this year and how I would take him to the store to pick out his own Paas kit but then a thought occurred to me. Perhaps because I’ve become more health conscious these days, I started wondering if there was a natural alternative to the artificial color tablets we’ve always used. Something easy, not complicated, that would be just as colorful but much healthier. To my delight I not only found the alternative but discovered that I already had what I needed to make natural egg dye in my kitchen.
While I will forever be grateful to Paas for the egg coloring memories I had as a child and as a mom with my own children, now as a grandma, I’m looking to create new egg coloring memories with my grandson that will be loads of natural fun.
If you are thinking of heading to the store for a Paas egg coloring kit this year, I say go for it! But if like me, you are looking for a natural alternative to your egg coloring adventure then start a new tradition and give the following a try.
Making Natural Easter Eggs:
Fill a large pot with cool water, add eggs (don’t overcrowd the pot). Bring water to a complete boil then immediately turn off the stove. Let eggs remain in the water for 12-minutes. While waiting, prepare your colors.
Chop up 2 beets. In a pot, combine beets with 4 cups of water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain then set the liquid aside for dyeing.
Boil 4 cups of water in a pot, add 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1tablespoon salt. Add 6 tablespoon ground turmeric and
stir well. Simmer 5 minutes or until the turmeric dissolves.
Blue (Red Cabbage) Shred 1 large red cabbage. In pot, combine cabbage with 4 cups of water, 1 tablespoon
vinegar, and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer 30 minutes. Strain then set the liquid aside for dyeing.
Time to color:
Fill coffee mugs (or other containers) half way with the natural colors, soak the eggs in the liquids, (Note: red and yellow colors set quickly but blue needs a bit more time). For the color green, mix yellow and blue together. For the color orange, mix red and yellow together. Set beautifully dyed eggs aside and have colorful, natural fun.