Natural Easter Eggs – Muddy, Muddier, Muddiest

My house smelled terrible this morning. I decided to hard boil eggs, which smells bad enough without adding to the miasma, and then I added to it anyway.

This is something I did years ago, and it seems like when I did it before I had much more vibrant results. In several different kettles and pots, I turned my kitchen into a steam room what with the sun and wet outside. It rained all morning in my North Valleys and now the sun is kind of out – only kind of. It doesn’t seem to want to commit. But the day is beautiful and I might actually get to hike in the foothills this afternoon. (Note: No, I didn’t. It rained, then the wind blew like crazy, and then the weather went all out and just started snowing again. Hours later, it still is.)

Theoretically these eggs should be sunny yellow, gold, rust, pink and robin’s egg blue. My kitchen stinks and the upstairs smells worse and the eggs are muddy, darker muddy, slightly more dark muddy and a pink that requires significant imagination to actually see it as pink. I call it Hallucinatory Pink – just imagine the color, no muss, no fuss. It’s pale enough I just used those hardboiled eggs for the fifth brew – soaking them in pickled beet juice for the robin’s egg blue.  In the beet juice, where they’ve been all day, they’re turning a speckled, unenthusiastic pink.


Seriously, chickens produce more brightly colored eggs.


Here’s what I did, which resulted in 10 hardboiled eggs that look used, somehow. Last time I had better results. Despite that, this won’t be the last time I try it.

For the lightest, which were supposed to be gold, the eggs were boiled with a single onion skin.  I used yellow onions, which made sense to me, and wherever I originally found this idea (a book I’ve since lost or mislaid) there was no specification for what kind of onion.

For the next up in the mud spectrum, what should be rust is supposed to be caused by a handful of onion skins. In both instances, the skins and eggs are boiled together like normal hardboiled eggs. Only muddier looking.

The darkest of the mud colors is supposed to be a bright sunny yellow. It’s brown, speckled and kind of ominous, and was caused by half a teaspoon of turmeric in the water in which the eggs were boiled.

 The only-pink-if-you-imagine-the-are eggs were done with water, vinegar and red cabbage leaves, which smell exactly like you might imagine. The eggs were unimpressed, so they’re turning “robin’s egg blue” … maybe … in pickled beet juice, which also doesn’t smell terrific.

Naturally dyed eggs are often baked into Easter breads. I think I’ll just let these sit and get eaten.  The Finnish Easter Bread I made today doesn’t need the ornament of muddy looking eggs – it’s fabulous on its own.

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