This year I picked up a box of Easter Egg dye to use with the grandchildren. We’re into My Little Pony on Netflix and the box had tablets to dye the eggs as well as My Little Pony stickers and holders. We dyed them and put little stickers all over them without incident. The kids were thrilled. I had missed dying eggs. We dyed them every year when our two kids were young.
Then my P.S. remarked that eggs were on sale so low that we should buy a couple dozen extras. He said we could boil them and make egg salad sandwiches. We rarely do that and both were in the mood for them. He bought the eggs the day before Easter and it wasn’t until almost midnight I remembered them (ok I was fridge surfing for a midnight snack). I thought it would be fun to dye the eggs and surprise my P.S. when he opened the fridge in the morning.
I had read several ways to dye eggs, including tossing them with food coloring mixed with rice, but I wanted to do it fast. It was midnight after all, and I was still craving that snack. I found many sites used one basic recipe and decided to try it.
I put the dozen eggs into a large saucepan and covered them with cold water until there was about 2″ of water over the top of the eggs. I put them on medium high and let them come to a boil. That takes about 15 minutes. Once they were at a hard boil I set the timer for 5 minutes.
At 5 minutes I removed the saucepan from the burner and let the eggs set for 10 minutes. Then I removed the eggs to another saucepan and saved the boiling water for the cups of dye rather than boil more water for them. I ran cold water over the eggs and let them sit for another 10 minutes then removed them from the water and let them dry on a rack.
I’d used a large sheet pan and lined it with plastic wrap then paper toweling. I placed the rack on top and would place the eggs back on it as they came out of the cups of dye all pretty and colorful.
I poured a glug that I translated to 2 teaspoons of vinegar in each of 4 coffee cups. I poured in about a cup of the boiling water into each coffee cup next. Finally I added food coloring to the cups. I ended up using 40 to 50 drops of dye to get them dark enough. So I was pretty much doubling the directions the sites had given me. I didn’t think just 1/2 cup of water, 1 teaspoon of vinegar was deep enough to dye the eggs. The eggs weren’t even covered with those measurements!
So with my doubling the recipe the cups were nice and full and I didn’t have to constantly roll the eggs in the dye. I discovered some colors dye dark easily (blue and red). I was more disappointed with the green and yellow. No matter how many drops I added to the cups the final coloring was fairly light. So I added drops of other colors to experiment and mess around and ended up giggling over my odd colors. The brown egg was nice and chocolate covered, actually!
As the eggs were done I used a slotted spoon and my fingers to place the eggs on the rack to dry. When the eggs were all colored and dried I placed them in a basket I’d lined with fresh paper towelling. I set the eggs right in the front of the fridge for my P.S. to discover. The whole experiment took about an hour from start to finish. Next year I plan to start earlier. Dying eggs at midnight is kind of weird.
Oh and I forgot to mention that I’d drawn designs and names on a few eggs with crayons, just to test that out. We’d also done that years ago with the kids. They were ok, I could use some practice on that. But they did work well. I had thought the hot water might melt the crayons off, but it didn’t.
Egg Dye (original recipe- I doubled it)
1/2 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon vinegar
20 drops or more of food coloring (I used liquid and gel, I haven’t tested paste coloring)
Place water, vinegar and food coloring in coffee cups and use a large spoon to lower a boiled and cooled egg into the cup. Turn occasionally.