Friday, March 30, 2012

Easter Eggs

I have to stop and make myself get ready for Holidays.  It is so easy to get over whelmed by all the business.  Last week was Dragon's 10th birthday and soccer is in full swing, and I got to go away and ski, and Tae Kwon Do and ballet and... I know all you other mommies can relate.

These eggs are great because they are "slow movement" style - you know "slow food" and all that?  Slow down, take a breath, enjoy the process...

I was introduced to dyeing Easter eggs with onion skins by a wonderful preschool teacher, Mrs. Axtell.  She has since retired but she was the queen of old school, do it right, hands on creativity.  And she taught it to three years olds, and she did it with joy.

So here you are,
you need:
onion skins,
old panty hose,
boiled eggs,
an assortment of leaves, weeds, and flowers (Mrs. Axtell usually brought in a magnificent collections of pressed leaves and flowers but we pick ours fresh and we do not get the same results, but we have fun)
vinegar and water

I actually wrote about this in April of 2009 and the pictures are pretty good, check here
and I wrote a brief piece for Yahoo Voices (when it was Associated Content) with full directions here

Onion Skin Egg Dye, what you need

assorted ingredients gathered


 MLyon's favorite egg, you may be able to see the clover leaf?

 onion skin dyed eggs, eggs dyed with onion skin method,

and here is a small collection of eggs. The grey one was an experiment. I found some cranberries probably from Christmas, in the back of the fridge, so we tried cranberry eggs and got the grey. Not what we were hoping for, but I do enjoy experimenting! We are decorating in small batches this year as we are fitting it all in around the many activities, so I have another batch on the stove waiting to come out.

Mrs. Axtell says if you don't crack them and do not store them in air tight containers then they can last for years.  Unfortunately I have never been successful in keeping small hands form holding them and playing with them and so I do not have first hand experience with long lasting eggs ;)

Mrs. Axtell's Directions:
Start with room temperature eggs, cover in water and bring to a gentle simmer. Be sure to choose the smoothest white eggs you can find and hardboil them for ease of handling (and to weed out any with hairline cracks).
Look for small wildflowers (primroses, violets, violas, grass flowers, vetch) ferns, ivy, myrtle - nothing too thick or fleshy - and float in water or layer between damp paper towels.
Dampen the surface of an egg with water and place flowers face down in a pleasing pattern.
Carefully lay a cut square of nylon stocking over flowers or leaves and gather tightly at the back; secure with a twist tie.
Prepare a pot with several handfuls of yellow onion skins (clean out the bin at the grocery store), water to cover and ½ cup of vinegar.
Gently lower wrapped eggs into pot, making sure eggs are covered, and bring to a low boil. Simmer gently for 2 hours or more.
Remove from stove.
With a slotted spoon dunk eggs one at a time into a bowl of cool water. Untwist tie and using the stocking and water gently wipe off the flower to reveal its imprint. (Flowers will cook onto egg if not quickly removed!)
Oil eggs light with cooking oil when dry and cooled.

I am linking to the "Show off Your Stuff" Party:
and "Show and Share" at Southern Lovely

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