Wednesday, March 27, 2013
eggs and such
Is Easter sneaking up on anyone else this week? I think with a mixture of it still being March, a late spring break week, and the snow that's still lingering on the ground, my seasonal clock is off due to a lack of fresh air and fifty degree weather. We're forcing bits of spring into this house in any way we can, though, and I think mother nature is responding appropriately. The warm temps. out there today? You can thank my red spring coat, summer shandy for dinner, and the three dozen pastel eggs sitting in my fridge.
This weekend, we baked. We filled plastic eggs with chocolate whoppers, jelly beans, and reese's bunnies. We dyed Easter eggs. We congregated around a table of sweets, laughed at babies, ordered pizza and watched the NCAA tournament. I pretended I was Martha Stewart and arranged speckled eggs in my new basket just so and snapped pictures that show off the colors of spring. Pink doesn't make its way into my house very often and when it does, I make sure it's captured.
This year, I had some fun experimenting with naturally dyed Easter eggs. For the past couple of years, I've had fun seeing the brightly colored eggs from my boxed dye kits; however, this year, I was going for a new look. After reading this article from Better Homes and Gardens, I tried a few colors using simple kitchen ingredients and was impressed with the results.
I used a cup of really strong coffee for the brown, tumeric for the bright yellow, paprika for a faint burnt orange, a hunk of red cabbage for the robin's egg blue, and beets for the pink. I let most of them sit overnight, but grew impatient with a few. I love the organic look of the colors and the muted shades of spring. Very Martha!
To do this, I lined up several plastic cups on the counter top. I started with the coffee, pouring a cup of strong, hot coffee into the cup and adding a tbsp. or so of white, distilled vinegar. I plopped a couple of eggs into the cup and let them sit for a couple of hours, turning them every so often for an even coat (or because I couldn't resist a peek).
Next, I boiled one cup of water at a time to mix with my other ingredients. For the bright yellow eggs, I added 2 tbsp. of tumeric and 1 tbsp. of vinegar to a cup of boiling water and stirred to dissolve the spice. I added a couple of eggs and saw color almost immediately. I got the best color from the tumeric and removed the eggs after only a half hour or so.
The robin's egg blue ended up being my favorite shade of egg. These were a little more time consuming. I added a third of a chunk of red cabbage (cut up into pieces) to three cups of boiling water. I turned the heat off and let the cabbage water cool to room temperature before adding three tbsp. vinegar (1 tbsp. for every cup was go-to). Then, with a slotted spoon, I removed the cabbage and added my eggs. I let these babies sit overnight and couldn't believe the results when I woke up!
I did the pink eggs similarly, adding a couple of chopped beets to three cups boiling water, and three tbsp. of vinegar after cooling it to room temperature.
The finished product...
Sunday, we had the family over to play with more egg creations. We used food coloring to get some of the deep shades of blue and green, used yellow and orange acrylic paint and sharpie markers for the baby chick eggs, and speckled a few of my natural dyed eggs with a toothbrush in paint. Just dip your toothbrush in the paint, hold it about four inches from the egg, and run your finger over the bristles to 'spray' the egg. The speckled eggs are my absolute favorite - they look like little robin's eggs in my basket.
For sweets, I baked up these carrot cake cupcake nests from Pinterest, this absolutely addicting bunny bait sweet popcorn mix, and Kelli made these peanut butter cookies that I think Cruz would have liked to eat the entire batch. We topped our spread with my mom's fresh strawberry pie. It sure made for a pretty table.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend. I'm looking forward to visiting the baby chicks in Hampton, getting Cruz dressed up for church on Sunday, and seeing how his egg hunt strategies have changed from last year. Spring is here and we have so much to be thankful for.