Dying Eggs 101. From The Most Unpinteresty Mom In The World

egg dye -02822.jpegI suck at Pinterest.  Things never seem to turn out like they are supposed to.  It probably doesn’t help much that I’m not a big rule follower.  I’m sort of the queen of substitutions and shortcuts.  The internet is flooded with ideas on how to dye Easter eggs.  I decided to have some fun and find out which methods work best, improvising a little along the way.

I got all of my laundry done last night so I could devote the entire day to dying eggs.  Okay, well, we all know that “done laundry” lasts a total of 17.9 seconds before it’s time to throw in another load, but at least the pile on the couch wasn’t halfway to the ceiling when I woke up today.

After my son and I dropped off the big kids, we hit the grocery store for supplies and ingredients.  Can’t beat 79 cents eggs, right?  We bought 6 dozen eggs, vinegar, whipped topping (Cool Whip), 4 Kool-aid packets, an egg dying kit, and a red cabbage.  I found the rest of the ingredients that we needed in my pantry.

First order of business: boiling the eggs.  I boiled three dozens, and baked the other three.  egg dye -02617.jpegegg dye -02624.jpeg

I don’t have any secrets to boiling eggs, just what my Nana taught me.  Basically, put the eggs in a pan and cover with at least an inch of water.  Allow to boil for about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and cover.  Let sit for 12 minutes.  Transfer eggs to ice water until cold.  I then set them on a towel to dry.

I tried baking my eggs for the first time last year and I thought they turned out just fine!  Put your eggs in muffin tins and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove from tins and place in cold water.  After they are cool, I set them on a towel to dry.  The only “issue” that I’ve noticed when making eggs this way is the brown spots that appeared.  Ain’t no thang, chicken wang!  They pretty much came completely off when I washed them in water afterwards.
egg dye -02631.jpegHere are my washed “baked hard-boiled” eggs.  See?? Brown spots gone!  But, even more interesting, is that egg pictured on top.  He was an abnormally super long little fella, and I felt he needed some recognition for not being afraid to be different.  Great job, little eggster!  I’m sure you would have been one funky chicken.

But, alas! The time has come! I have attempted eight different techniques for dying Easter eggs.  You don’t even have to go on Pinterest, as I’ve already done all the research for you.  As I mentioned earlier, I’m not much of a rule follower, so when certain recipes made me roll my eyes and say, “Pffft. Ain’t nobody got time for that!”, I just took the road less traveled and made up my own rules.  I’ve never claimed to be an over-achiever.  Trust me, if these worked for me, they will work for you.

Here are the eight different methods I tried out today.

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#1 The Red Cabbage 

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I’m not much of a cook, so I was worried that my local small-town grocery store wouldn’t have red cabbage.  But there it was, right along side all the other vegetables, like it’s a “normal” produce.  #MaybeItIs.  Side-note: Everyone is so nice at my local Piggly Wiggly.  The bakery will make me my favorite kind of donut if they are out.  Like on the spot, immediately. (The “Honeymooners” are the Best!)  The cashiers occasionally will help me find coupons if I forgot mine.  And the baggers are always so kind and sweet.  I love my small town!  But I digress…

egg dye -02614.jpegBack to red cabbage.  After chopping the cabbage up, I put it in water and boiled it.  After it started to boil, I simmered that bad boy for about 45 minus.  The water looks very red, which is what you want it to look like.  I drained the red potion into a bowl, placed my eggs in, and let them bathe in it for a while (about 1.5 hours or so).  I, then, removed them from the water and placed them on a towel to dry.

This is what they turned out like:

egg dye -02796.jpegBlue!!  I know!  What the heck??  Who woulda thunk it? They remind me of robins eggs! I love this color blue!

#2 The Classic Dye Kit

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I followed the directions, using the “optional” vinegar addition.  The eggs turned out cheery and bright, just as they have in years past.  Aren’t they colorful little beauties?

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#3 The “Watch Me Whip” Method.  Whipped Topping, That Is.

This was easy.  Just buy a tub of Whipped Topping.  Thaw it out, and put it in a bowl.  (Gulping gigantic spoonfuls is optional, yet strongly encouraged.)egg dye -02689.jpeg

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Add drops of food coloring and swirl it around a little to mix the colors.  Make sure you soak your eggs in vinegar for ten minutes beforehand.  Apparently, it’s supposed to help them absorb the colors.  Dry them off after soaking them.  After they are dry, roll them in your colorful whipped topping and let them sit for about a half hour.  Remove from the rainbow deliciousness, and rinse off.  Allow to dry.

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#4 The Kool-Aid Method

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First of all, speaking of “kool”, let it be known that I used to be cool.11953067_10207351806299157_2516227151752653507_n-3.jpg

This has nothing to do with dying eggs whatsoever, but I just felt it should be pointed out.  Thank you to my friend Katie’s mom who made this for me.  I love it.  (To be honest… I was actually NEVER all that cool.  However, I have ALWAYS been sort of a big dork.)

Ok, back to business.  Kool-Aid.  This one turned out to be one of my favorites.  It was probably the easiest method we tried today.  All we did was fill cups with water, and add a packet of Kool-Aid to each cup.  Stir to dissolve.  No vinegar necessary!  Soak eggs for about ten minutes, remove and let dry.

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^^ Can we just take a moment and say… Go Badgers!?!?   #Sweet16

Checkity-check out the end results of my Kool-Aid eggs:

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I just love the bright colors, and the speckling is amazeballs!

#5 Tea Bag Eggs

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Just boiled some water and steep a bunch of tea bags until water is brown.  Add hardboiled eggs.  I let mine sit in there for about an hour.  Here was the end result:

egg dye -02771.jpegThey turned out darker than I thought they would, but I still like them!  I supposed if you were extra creative you could bling them up somehow or find a way to splash on some color.  That’s just not me, but it’s a free country, so get crazy if you want.

#6 The Shaving Cream Methodegg dye -02665.jpeg

I hate to be a buzz kill about ANYTHING, but this was not my favorite.  Similar to the whipped topping method, you spray the shaving cream in a dish, add food coloring and swirl to mix colors.  After dipping the eggs into the mixture, I removed them and let them sit with the shaving cream on them and set out on a towel to dry out a little (about 30 minutes.)

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Unfortunately, unlike the whipped topping method, the colors did not seem to absorb onto the eggs.  I soaked the eggs in vinegar for 10 minutes ahead of time, so I don’t get what the problem was.  Perhaps I didn’t leave them sit long enough, I’m not sure.

Oh, well, can’t win ’em all, but I was a little sad with the results:

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#7 The “Just Beet It” Method

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There are so many natural ways of dying eggs.  I remembered reading something about using beets.  I figured I’d give it a whirl!  The bad news was I forgot to buy beets at the grocery store when I went earlier today.  The good news was I remembered I had an old can of beets in the back of my pantry.  When I went on this weird smoothie health kick a couple years ago (very short-lived), I bought the canned beets to blend up with my strawberries.  After taking a sip, I decided that smoothies weren’t my thing.  I know, I know… I should have used fresh beets and all that, but I just don’t care anymore.  I’ve moved on, people.  Life’s too short to drink things that taste like dirt.

SO… I drained the liquid from a can of beets, added some water, and brought it to a boil.  I then simmered it for about 45 minutes.  After it cooled a bit, I added some vinegar (maybe a cup or so) and stirred it up.  I added my eggs and let them sit for a couple hours in the red liquid.  Here is the end result:

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These ended up earthy and natural.  Simple.  I like simple.  I think sweet, pastel ribbons tied around these would be darling if you were bringing them to an Easter gathering.

#8 The Neck Tie Method

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This method kept popping up all over Facebook and Pinterest.  It looked too complicated to me, and I wasn’t even going to attempt it, but then added it last minute anyway.  I can be spontaneous like that.  #BornToBeWild

At 6:00a.m. this morning, I was still in bed.  I asked (begged)  my husband, who was getting ready to leave for work, to plllleeeeaaase find me an old tie in his closet.  He grabbed this gold one from his closet and threw it on the bed.  Thank you! That’ll work!egg dye -02700.jpeg

I cut open the tie and wrapped sections of it around an egg, using the “right” side against the egg.  NOTE:  USE REGULAR RAW EGGS.  NO NEED TO HARD-BOIL THEM FIRST FOR THIS ONE.  I secured each egg with a rubber band.

All the tutorials claim they next step is to wrap string around the egg.  Like over and over and over and over and over and until you die.  Um…No.  Not doing it.   I figured the point of all the wrapping of string was to get the tie material as tight to the egg as possible.  I asked my son to find me an old sock.  He brought me a pair of my husband’s white socks.  We secured a layer of sock on top of the material we had already put on the eggs.  We made sure the sock layer was as tight as we could make it.

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We, then, placed the sock covered eggs in a pan, filled it with water, and brought it to a boil.  We allowed it to boil for approximately 12 minutes, removed it from heat, and let sit for about twenty more minutes.  Eggs were set on a towel until completely cool.

Now was the moment we had been waiting for.  The great reveal!  We cut off the rubber bands and unwrapped the material from our eggs.  This was the end result:

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They turned out perfectly! I actually screamed out loud when I saw how beautiful they were!  So easy, so fun, and so shockingly awesome.  I need to hit up Goodwill to score some funky ties to try this again.

I DID get a little fancy-pants at the end and threw on some glitter to my cabbage and tea eggs, just for kicks.  People either love glitter or hate glitter.  I do not love it.  The stuff multiplies like crazy and I hate that a fleck of it somehow always seems to embed itself on my cheek for two weeks.  I sucked it up today and got out the glitter because I thought it would add a little something special, which I totally think it does, right?

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There you have it!  We had an eggcellent (I know…gag, but I couldn’t resist) time trying all of these methods out.   #EggSalad4Ever.  Do you have a favorite egg dying technique?  I’d love to hear about what works best for you!  Happy Easter! 

He is Risen!  -Matthew 28:6

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