Pinterest, with all its pretty pictures, sucks me in every time so I typically avoid the site altogether. But, on occasion, I realize that I just need to know how to turn 50 toilet paper rolls into a chandelier, bake the perfect Paleo wedding cake or sew all of our mismatched socks into a giraffe-shaped pillow for my toddler.
With Easter just around the corner, I figured I had a good
excuse for reason to peruse the latest additions to the site last week. And that’s where I stumbled across the inspiration to go au naturel (with our Easter eggs).
In truth, I tried this experiment a decade ago with my now college-aged sons, but I suppose my memory was a bit hazy. The crisp, clear photo on Pinterest certainly convinced me that our efforts were sure to produce Martha Stewart-worthy Easter eggs this year.
The kids and I rummaged through the pantry and gathered up all of the ingredients we thought would make potent dyes. After collecting red wine, frozen cranberries, coffee, fresh spinach, paprika, mustard, soy sauce and onion skins,
we I set about assembling the ingredients.
Mason jars seemed the ideal size for holding our ingredients and hard boiled eggs (with enough room to spare for little hands).
For the spinach, cranberries, onion skins, spices and soy sauce I added boiling water and about a tablespoon of white vinegar to the jars. The coffee was just a cup of strong brew and the wine got nothing added.
One of the inspiring pictures I found showed a crackled egg design which was achieved by rolling a hard boiled egg just enough to crack the shell well, but not so much as to break off pieces of the shell. Knowing my little boys’ strength and eagerness, I opted to keep that technique limited to only 2 of the eggs.
I wasn’t terribly surprised that the dye took longer to work on the eggs than those store-bought tablets do. However, after about a half an hour I pulled out the blender and gave the spinach and cranberry concoctions each a whirl.
By the time an hour passed, we conceded that our Easter egg experiment was as done as our patience. The onion skins and spice mixture (paprika and mustard) had done a decent job of changing the egg’s hue. Unfortunately, while the cranberries succeeded in staining my countertop and cutting board, they failed to leave any noticeable color on the eggs.
The crackled eggs resulted in some cool designs, but we had to remove the shell completely to appreciate them. A tip for crackling eggs is to break through not only the hard shell but also the membrane underneath it. Otherwise the dye cannot penetrate.
Overall, I’d have to say we Nailed It (which really means we have no clue as to how that Pinterest crafter actually managed to create her vibrantly colored Easter eggs).
Later this week, I’ll go to the store and pick up the box of Paas tablets…