Victoria's Vegetarian Victuals

Easter is observed on the Sunday following the first full moon between March 22 and April 25.  That's why it is not on the same date each year.

Best known as a holiday of the resurrection of Jesus, like many other originally religious holidays, Easter has also come to be known for a number of other symbols and traditions.

The most popular item is probably the egg, which represents the origins of life.  European folk tradition offers us the intricately decorated egg.  In this country, on Easter Monday, an Easter egg hunt is held on the White House lawn.  Even the last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, had a passion for the beauty of decorated Easter eggs, and commissioned Carl Faberge to design and construct amazingly beautiful eggs of precious metals, jewels and enamels, to be presented to members of the Imperial Family as gifts.  Currently, twelve of these works of art are owned by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.. But the individual household has an annual tradition of preparing these colorful eggs, too, and this month I am offering you a step by step method of preparing your own wonderful Easter eggs.

How to Prepare and Dye Easter Eggs

  • Hard Boiled eggs, as many as you want to decorate
  • 1/4 teaspoon of each food color
  • 3/4 cup of boiling water for each color
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar for each color
  • Vegetable oil
  • Saucepan, large enough to hold the eggs
  • Slotted spoon
  • Large bowl
  • empty egg cartons, saved from the eggs that you are about to boil
  • teakettle
  • Small glass bowls or cups, one for each color
  • Measuring cups
  • Teaspoons
  • Cooling racks or paper towels

    Fill a saucepan half full with warm water.  Lower the eggs into the water with a slotted spoon, being careful not to break or crack the shells.  Bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down to simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the eggs from the bowl with the slotted spoon and place them in a bowl filled with cold water.  When the eggs are cooled, place them in the egg carton and refigerate until you are ready to color them.

    For each color, mix food coloring, hot water and vinegar in a small glass container, in the amounts given above.  Mix well with a spoon.  It is best to have a spoon for each bowl, so as not to accidentally mix the colors. 

    Gently place an egg in a bowl of dye, turning with a spoon for even coloring. When the egg is dyed to the color that you want, use a teaspoon to lift the egg to a cooling rack to dry.  If you are using paper towels, carefully pat the egg dry so that it is not resting in a puddle of dye as it dries.

    For a 'marbled' effect, try adding a teaspoon of vegetable oil to one of the colors, and dip the egg briefly.

    You can write names on the eggs with ordinary wax crayons, or draw designs. You can mix the colors to make new colors.  You can have a wonderful time. Everybody should do this at least once.

    • Yields: As many eggs as you have chosen to dye.
    • Preparation Time: Take your time.  It's up to you.