The smell of vinegar and the way it fizzles when dropping color tablets into clear bowls will always remind me of childhood.
At the first sight of egg dying kits at the grocery store, I’d beg my mom to get the kit so we could go home and immediately dye eggs.
“Not right now,” she’d always tell me. “They’ll go rancid by the time Easter gets here.”
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When Easter egg dying day finally arrives, all it takes is one newspaper-covered kitchen table, a dozen hard-boiled eggs, some food coloring, vinegar, a metal ladle or slotted spoon, and a whole lot of bowls.
This messy, fun tradition extends back thousands of years ago, when civilizations dyed eggs to celebrate spring, Huffington Post reports. For Christians, the eggs and different colors are said to represent Jesus’ resurrection on Easter.
My mom has been using this recipe for dying eggs, passed down by my grandmother, since the eighties:
- Add 2 tsp. vinegar in tea cup.
- Fill with water (hot or cold) and add egg (hard boiled, hot or cold).
- Add food coloring (more drops for more intense, deep burst of color, less for a lighter pastel shade).
There’s no right or wrong way to dye eggs, but I remember we:
- Boil the eggs to desired doneness (even before I was a vegan, I never did this correctly).
- Fill coffee cups or cereal bowls with the vinegar, water and dye. Be sure your table is covered and you are wearing clothes you don’t care much about (it’ll probably get stained).
- Drop the eggs in and let sit for a while, depending on how deep you want the color to be.
- Let the eggs dry on a cooling rack.
- After the dye sets, decorate with permanent markers, glitter and stickers. Trendy patterns are chevrons, flowers, stripes, polka dots and combinations of all of the above.
Eggs can also be dyed naturally using things you probably already have at home — coffee, tea, berries and even onion skins! Check out ideas for natural-dyed Easter eggs at The Elkhart Truth.