Before I begin, I must admit that I enjoyed this project even more than the kids. Actually, during one of my many exclamations of delight at such wonders as the vibrancy of blue attainable from a pointedly purple cabbage, or the mottling effect that vinegar has when mixed with beet juice, Taos – with her new pre-teenagerish look of disgust proclaimed, “Wow Mom, you are like totally dorking out on this whole Easter egg deal. You’re kinda scaring me.”
Okay, so I’m a total dork (as is apparently evident anytime natural foods meet science meets practical family project) but it really was fascinating! Who’d have thought that hibiscus flowers would leave a royal purple stain after 10 minutes, but a muted, matte gray when left overnight? Who’d have guessed that the deepest green spinach or freshly unearthed carrots would prove about worthless as egg dye?
Needless to say, when I mentioned my intentions for the dye-extracted, boiled veggies (soup, what else?), my bright idea was met with gagging noises, puking gestures and a whole day of laughs at my expense.
So my pleasure was all the greater when – enticed back to the kitchen by the aromatic coupling of root vegetables and savory spices – they were begging for a bowl, apologizing for their crude critiques and singing my praises for their dinner of Easter Egg Dye Soup. I may be a total dork, but my kids are growing up to appreciate the wonders of natural foods, and that’s one compromise I’m willing to make.
As inexact as the dye-making process, creamed soups are forgiving and simple to make. Here was this year’s version…
6-10 cups boiled veggies from the Easter egg dying process
6-8 cups vegetable or chicken broth or 3 cubes of bullion dissolved in 6-8 cups boiling water
2 onions, chopped
8 cloves of garlic (or more, but then I love garlic), diced
4 T butter
thumb-sized chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 T apple cider vinegar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp curry powder
pinch cayenne (optional)
1 c heavy cream (optional)
salty, crumby cheese such as cotija, (optional)
Saute onions in butter over medium heat until transparent. Reduce heat. Add garlic and spices except bay leaf. Squeeze juice from grated ginger and add, discarding the pulp. Saute 2 minutes more. Add vegetables. Stir and remove from heat. In several batches, blend broth and vegetables together in a blender until all vegetables are smooth. Add broth/vegetable mixture back to the pot. Depending upon the consistency, you may want to add a little more water or broth at this point. Add bay leaf. On low heat, allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes, adding heavy cream toward the end if desired. Serve hot and top with crumbled cheese.
I love it! The cabbage are gorgeous, but the dark hibiscus are the stand-outs for me!
So will you actually eat the eggs eventually?
Thanks, Kirsten! Yes, we’ve already started eating them, but will hide the rest for an Easter egg hunt with friends tomorrow. I think egg salad sandwiches are in order for Thursday! They won’t last until Easter Sunday at this rate.
I want to grow up at your house~
Keep makin’ those memories! Love you much!
Thaks for the great post….looking forward to trying this with Anani.
love the photos! and your handwriting, as you know. have you converted into a font yet? 🙂 glad it was a fun project.
What a great project. I love it! I bet the soup was good too.
ONION SKINS. Traditional egg dye of eastern europe. Give beautiful golden orangey brown color, strong and uniform. Gotta boil onion skins, just the dry orange ones in water, many of them, kinda thick. Put eggs into the boiling liquid for not too long. i suppose you can put raw eggs in for longer just cook them in it til they are hard boild but then they may be too dark. To decorate: scratch designs on the shell with sharp object.
another intersting dye, although not edible is.. that purple skin medication “violet somthg” or “gentian”? they come out purple with gold shine.
you’re awesome, i just love you and thanks for sharing, totally doing this!!
I have fallen in love with the colors and textures that this gives the eggs. These are truly remarkable eggs! I have shared this on my blog and have a link for you blog also. Keep up the great work!
So very beautiful!
Beautiful! I’ve been in love with making natural dyes since I read this blog: http://www.jennydean.co.uk/index.php/category/general-dye-information/
Also, I usually dye my eggs after blowing them out (poking holes at the top and bottom). You do have to press them under the liquid, but then I can keep the eggs and have made garlands of some.
red onion skin makes beautiful dye for handmade paper and would *probably* work for eggs.
These eggs are beautiful….great job!
Does it affect the flavor of the eggs?
Do the coffee and tea ones add caffeine to the eggs?
I can say with some certainty that it does not affect flavor, and I can’t imagine caffeine being transferred, but then, I have limited experience in this area as of yet. 😉