One of my very favourite things to do around this time of year when I was a kid was to colour Easter eggs. You don't need to buy a kit from a shop in order to create some beautiful eggs to display. First, you need to decide whether you want to decorate hard boiled eggs or blown eggs. If your children are very young, hard boiled eggs are best as they are more difficult to break during the colouring process. If you are planning on eating them afterwards, make sure that you boiled them long enough so that the yolk is hard, not soft.
If your kids are older, they may enjoy decorating blown/hollow eggs.
If you've not blown an egg before you will need:
a bowl (the size depends on how many eggs you are blowing)
a pin or a needle
1. First, wash the eggs thoroughly. You are going to be putting your mouth on them and want to make sure they are clean.
2. Take an egg and gently push the pin into the top of the shell. Make sure you don't squeeze the egg too hard when doing this.
3. Next, turn the egg over and push the pin into the bottom of the shell. This hole will need to be bigger than the one on the top, so once you've poked through gently break off tiny bits of the shell with the pin.
4. Now, hold the egg – with the small hole at the top, the big hole at the bottom – over the bowl and blow through the small hole. Sometimes you have to blow very hard in order to get the yolk and white to squeeze through the bottom hole. Just try not to squeeze the egg in your hand too hard. If you've not blown eggs before, you may break a few, so it may be best to do this over the sink or cover the table with a cloth.
5. Blow through the egg several more times to make sure it is empty. One important thing to note though is that you will need to hold the hollowed out eggs under the colouring solution as they float on the top. You may feel that using hardboiled eggs, which sink to the bottom of the solution, is easier.
To colour the eggs you can use a food colouring solution made up of one cup water, one teaspoon white vinegar and as many drops of food colouring as you want. Dip the eggs in the solution until you get the hue you want, then leave them out to dry.
If you don't have food colouring in the house or you just want to dye your eggs in a different or natural way, you can use different foods, fruits, vegetables and spices to get your colour. These may not produce the kinds of vivid colours you get with a store bought egg colouring kit, but I think it is a much more fun way of colouring eggs.
To produce a colour you should boil the food product in water for 15 minutes then add with one teaspoon of white vinegar per cup of water boiled. Getting a deep colour on the egg may take longer using this method, so the eggs may need to sit in the solution for several minutes. Again, if you are using blown/hollow eggs, these will need to be held down so they are completely covered by the solution. If you want a very deep colour, the eggs may need to stay in the solution overnight in the refrigerator. In that case, hard boiled eggs will be the best option.
Some suggestions of food to experiment with:
Red Onion skins (A lot)
Red cabbage leaves
Purple grape juice
Red onion skins (a few)
If you have suggestions for other foodstuffs to use, please let us know!