Easter spells out beauty…
Just in time for Easter celebrations, colored jewels in various soft, delicate hues are gathered from le palais de poulet! Since the gems are so lovely, we haven’t dyed Easter eggs at Rose Cottage for over 15 years. It is another great way to be a “creative frugalist”…something we have been doing a long time at Rose Cottage.
Each egg is so magnificently colored that every time my Very Best Sweetie comes down the north slope from the hen house we “ooh” and “aahhh” over the wide array of eggs collected! Maybe, you will be inspired by the eggs’ extraordinary beauty, too?
The Rose Cottage favorites are the turquoise jewels from the Araucana hens. We continually marvel at how beautiful the eggs are created and the color palate the eggs demonstrate–ranging in color from light sky blue to robin’s egg blue to olive and khaki. Some are softly speckled; others subtly mottled. There is variation in size, too. We pause to reflect on the loveliness of these precious jewels, and consider how often we can overlook the exquisiteness of the ordinary in the rush of the day.
The simple, ordinary breakfast egg becomes the extraordinary during the minute or two of truly looking and seeing it! It is almost as if we are seeing the delicate eggs offered to us by the girls for the first time. We are so thankful for each spring gift we receive from the aging hens.
How have you found a new “gem” by looking at something you once thought ordinary?
The Araucana production is significantly down this year. The girls are getting “a bit on in years.” Soon, we need to add some young, spring chicks to the small flock. Fortunately, we were able to find a local farmer to help provide additional Easter jewels for this year’s spring gatherings with dear family and friends.
I take a photo of a couple of the jewels with the hand painted forget-me-not luncheon tea set. As if it were just yesterday, I remember my Grandmother’s sweet, unassuming forget-me-nots that grew with wild abandon in her lawn along Swan Lake, and the little flower bouquets I picked every day for her when I was young. Grandmother always exclaimed with utter joy and graciousness when I would proudly present her with the blue delicacies clutched–sometimes crushed and wilted– in my small, warm hand. I still remember how her eyes would well up with tender tears…ahh, another jewel to add to my treasure chest!
gathered brown eggs and some vintage egg cups
Soon My Darling Girl and her sweet hubby will arrive at Rose Cottage from the lush Pacific NW. The Amazing Boy will take a break from his studies, and arrive home from college, too. It is with great expectation and eagerness we await all their arrivals!
Farm fresh eggs will find their way to the breakfast table while they all are at Rose Cottage. One morning, soft- and hard-boiled eggs will be on the menu–served in one of the vintage egg cups. The pick of the egg cups will be theirs. Which is yours? I will have it ready for you, too. There are more egg cups in the cupboard, if you like something a bit different.
natural Easter egg dyes
There are some ways of creating simple, beautiful Easter eggs if you don’t have a ready-supply of turquoise or golden butterscotch gems. Coloring beautiful Easter eggs au naturale can be done by using dyes made from herbs, produce, juice or spices–many things may already be in your pantry.
How have your experimented with making your own Easter egg dyes?
Here are just a few ideas to get started with creating beautiful, naturally-colored Easter eggs:
RED: red onions skins (takes a lot of boiled skins to get deep color), canned cherries with juice, pomegranate juice, frozen raspberries or cherries
PINK: red beets or pickled beet juice, cranberries or cranberry juice, frozen raspberries, frozen or canned red grape juice
ORANGE: chili powder, paprika, saffron (this is a good way to “re-purpose” those out-dated spices in the pantry!)
YELLOW: chamomile or green tea, celery seed, ground cumin or ground tumeric (2-3 teaspoons of the spice is boiled in water first)
GREEN: green spinach leaves (boiled)
BLUE: canned blueberries, red cabbage leaves (boiled), purple grape juice
VIOLET: Small amount of purple grape juice, violet blossoms plus 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, Red Zinger tea
Place 1 to 3 handfuls of the dye material into a saucepan. Use 1-3 teaspoons for spices.
Add water to 1-inch above the dye material. The ratio is about 1 cup of water to one handful of the dye material.
Bring the water to the point where it is just begins to boil. Then turn down the heat to low.
Simmer the dye material and water about 15 minutes or up to an hour depending on the dye color desired. Eggs will dye lighter than the color in the saucepan.
Remove the pan from the heat.
Strain the dye liquid using a mesh strainer or cheese cloth-lined colander. Pour the strained liquid dye into a measuring cup.
Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of vinegar for each cup of dye liquid. Pour the dye mixture into a cup, mug, bowl or jar that is deep enough to completly cover the eggs.
Use a slotted spoon to lower the egg into the dye mixture. Leave the eggs in the water until you like the color-this can take awhile. Remove the egg from the liquid and dry in an egg carton or drying rack.
- To get a bolder or darker color add two or three teaspoons of vinegar to one cup of the “dye.”
- Allow eggs to soak overnight in the refrigerator if you are coloring with teas.
- The eggs will become darker the longer they are left in the dye. Let the eggs soak in the refrigerator if you are wanting a darker color and if you will be eating the eggs after they are dyed.
- Be careful to handle the eggs gently and minimally as some of the colors can easily be rubbed off before the egg has dried.
- Naturally-colored eggs will not be glossy. After the colored egg is dry, rub the shell with some cooking oil or mineral oil to give the shell a soft sheen.