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April 17, 2014

Easter Eggs

One childhood memory I have of Easter is making Easter Eggs. Mom would let us make the eggs on Black Saturday. She would boil eggs and prepare food coloring for us to use to decorate the eggs.

The whole activity is enjoyable and messy. It’s all in good fun, so be prepared for the mess. We would usually lay out newspaper to cover the table where we work. It’s a good idea to wear old clothes and an apron so you won’t feel bad when you stain them.

Reggie did mention to me that her childhood neighbors would use jobos, the colloquial term for textile dye, to color their Easter Eggs. It’s fine to use as long as you don’t eat the eggs. Jobos isn’t food-safe. Use a food safe dye or food coloring. You can also use natural food coloring such as red beets, annatto, and turmeric.

The number of eggs you boil is dependent on a few things such as:

•   How many people will be coloring the eggs

•   How many eggs you want to use for the Easter Egg Hunt

We usually make at least 12 eggs, but you can make more or less.

 Surprisingly, old eggs are easier to peel than fresh eggs. If you can, use eggs at least one week old. Another way to make it easier to peel the eggs is to add baking soda to the water before boiling. This changes the water from a neutral pH, to a higher pH, which is known as alkalinity. This change from neutral to alkaline makes it easier to peel.

EasterEggs

Egg Preparation Ingredients

  • cold water for boiling

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • 12 white chicken eggs

Egg Preparation Procedure

  1. Get a medium sauce pot and add cold water until you have about 1” of water in the pan.

  2. Add baking soda and stir to dissolve.

  3. Add eggs. Make sure there is enough space at the bottom. The eggs should all touch the bottom of the pan and have enough space to move a little. Overcrowding the pot will lead to broken eggs and uneven cooking.

  4. Add more cold water until it is 2” over the top of the egg. You can use your fingers to measure the water level. One knuckle-length is about 1”.

  5. Place sauce pot over medium heat. Allow water to come to a boil. When water is boiling, bring heat down to low setting.

  6. Allow eggs to simmer for 1 minute.

  7. Remove the pot from the heat. Cover the pot and allow it to sit for 12 minutes.

  8. While allowing the eggs to sit, prepare an ice bath. Get a bowl and fill with ice and water. Set it near the pot with eggs.

  9. Using a slotted spoon, remove the eggs from the hot water and transfer to ice bath. This will stop the eggs from overcooking.

  10. Allow the eggs to cool.

  11. Remove the eggs from the ice bath. Gently pat dry and transfer them to an egg carton to store until you dye them. If you prepared the eggs ahead of time, store the entire egg carton in the refrigerator. A boiled egg has a refrigerated shelf life of about 5 days.

Dyeing Materials

  • newspaper or drop cloths to cover work area

  • food safe dye

  • containers for dye

  • spoons

  • white vinegar (optional, dependent on dye used)

  • paper towels or clean rags

  • rubber bands

  • wax crayons or candle stumps

 Dyeing Procedure

Prepare the work area by covering with newspaper or a drop cloth. For each color, prepare one container. Each type of dye has instructions for use, so please read carefully. Some dyes can use vinegar to make them colorfast. Check the label if this is possible with the dye you use. If there are no instructions, test with an egg by adding a few drops of vinegar to the diluted dye. Dip the egg in, then remove it, dry it with a paper towel. Once dry, rub a white paper towel on the egg, if the paper towel remains white, you were able to make the dye colorfast.

For Single Color Eggs

  1. Dip egg into dye with a spoon.

  2. Wait at least 30 seconds before removing the egg from the dye.

  3. Check the color. Dip the egg again if you want it darker.

  4. Wipe excess moisture from egg using a paper towel.

For Multiple Color Eggs

  1. Dip part of egg into first dye color with a spoon.

  2. Wait at least 30 seconds before removing the egg from the dye.

  3. Check the color. Dip the egg again if you want it darker.

  4. Wipe excess moisture from egg using a paper towel.

  5. Dip another portion of egg into next dye color with a spoon.

  6. Wait at least 30 seconds before removing the egg from the dye.

  7. Check the color. Dip the egg again if you want it darker.

  8. Wipe excess moisture from egg using a paper towel.

  9. Repeat Steps 5-8 until the egg is completely dyed to your liking.

For Eggs with Designs

  1. Draw a design using a wax crayon or candle onto the egg. You can also use rubber bands to cover portions of the egg you want uncolored.

  2. Dye in single or multiple colors using the steps listed above.

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