Easter egg decorating has always been a tradition in our house, even before we had a munchkin around. Although Jerry swears by good ol' Paas for his decorating traditions, I decided to try something new this year. Of course, Martha has complete instructions (along with color glossary) for dyeing eggs using a variety of natural, homemade dyes. All in all, our dyes resulted in much the same color variations as shown in Martha's glossary:
The one weak link in our dyes was the beet dye, and I think this is probably because I was a bit lazy: I got all of the "ingredients" from Trader Joe's, and the only beets they had were already peeled and packaged in sealed, plastic bags (sometimes going to yet another store for food is just too much!). I'm guessing that some of the potency of the beet color was probably lost in the processing. So, our "lavender" (fourth down on the left) is pretty weak, and our pink (top left) is also extremely pale. However, we were thrilled with the gorgeous colors from the red cabbage (the light and dark blues), the turmeric (yellows), and the onion skin (oranges and russets). The coffee worked well (dark and light brown), but they look like standard brown eggs to me; I guess I'm a bit more impressed with the brighter, more vibrant colors. It was a bit tricky keeping track of which we boil, which are soaked in room temperature dye, and for how long, but I'm very pleased to see such vibrant colors from these very natural dye sources. On the down side, it did seem to be a bit wasteful... I'm not sure anyone wanted to eat cabbage or beets that had been boiled for 30 minutes in vinegar water!