She wanted to try something new this year. She gingerly placed a dozen eggs in the old silver pot and covered them with tap water while talking of Easters past. Recalling that NaNa would always be the one to do this part of the Easter ritual, she decided since we now live 400 miles away from her grandparents we would dye the eggs a little differently. She was hoping the newness would soothe the sadness.
So we scrounged around the kitchen gathering what we thought might be fun natural dye material. In the end, we were shockingly pleased with our results.
The red tea leaves turned the eggs a grayish purple and the yellow onion skins made a beautiful pumpkin orange color. The spinach was my favorite, with a beautiful Old World charm to the patina left behind where we had to peel off remnants of spinach.
To dye the eggs, we first boiled the eggs and let them cool to room temperature. Then we boiled each ingredient separately in water and vinegar (no vinegar needed with the tea leaves). The eggs soaked in glasses for many hours, covered by each dyeing solution. The longer they soaked, the more intense the color. For a little fun, we first drew on some of the eggs with a white crayon before dyeing them.
We wanted one peach- and one pumpkin-colored egg, so we soaked one in onion skin overnight.
We had fun playing around with the length of soaking time and amount of dyeing ingredients, but here are our general recipes:
Spinach: 1/2 cup chopped spinach, 1 tsp. vinegar, 2-3 cups of water
Red Tea Leaves: 2 tablespoons of red tea leaves, 2-3 cups of water
Yellow Onions: skins off of 6 small onions, 1 tsp. vinegar, 2-3 cups of water
We still wish we could spend time with grandparents this Easter weekend, but we were thankful for a new twist to a timeless, treasured tradition. The egg is a perfect reminder of the miracle of our new life in Christ, something to be oh so thankful for every day.
She and I talked about how Christ’s sacrifice is something very unnatural and so undeserved but how very beautifully new life is portrayed in something so simple as an egg and some natural dyes.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. I Peter 1:3