Saturday, April 16, 2011

Things The Balabusta Is Highly Unlikely to Do For Easter

Top of the list is

1. Dye Easter eggs with natural dyes made out of regular stuff you can find at home!!!

Now, you may be saying, why not? The Balabusta has been known to aspire to be craftsy. She may, someday, want her children to experience an Easter egg hunt. Why not dye beautiful eggs with natural products found in the back of the kitchen cabinets?


a. As Storm Jameson wrote, 'life is too short to stuff a mushroom'.

b. Because you end up with eggs that look damn weird.

c And, because God intended for eggs to be colored with food coloring, or those little Pas dye packs, and dipped into the boiling water with those little wire egg-holders.

Why is the Balabusta ranting about this? No particular reason, except I happened to see this link to a Reader's Digest article about natural egg dyes, and for some reason, the idea of carefully using red cabbage (boil, then soak eggs overnight) to dye eggs 'robin's egg blue', when you can get the same result with BLUE FOOD COLORING offended me to the depths of my soul. Especially since that whole rigmarole will only get you blue eggs, so to get green, you have boil spinach or grass--I swear to God, they say grass--and turmeric for green-yellow, and red wine for purple, and 'beet juice' for pink, and every damn dye has to be boiled or soaked in a different manner. The end result of all this, mind you, is not a tapestry, it's a bowl of hard-boiled eggs which will be hidden in your shrubbery and then eaten by small children so they get some protein into them in between giant amounts of jelly bean and marshmallow.

Maybe if it were part of a home-schooling project about natural dyes or something, otherwise, I'm sorry, HECK NO.

Apparently those who have tried this experiment haven't been all that happy with it. Rebecca over at Green Baby Guide tried. She even posted the photograph at the top of this post, with the note I dyed these eggs using blueberries, chili flakes, and a leaf . . . in my imagination. Despite her best intentions--she writes--wouldn’t it be great to tint eggs without frightening chemicals and excess packaging?--apparently beets, wine, black beans, spinach and the aforementioned red cabbage all let her down. Turmeric, apparently, works great. So does coffee. Which will turn your white eggs into brown eggs.

Look, I have nothing against natural food dyes, but Easter calls for little bottles of food coloring, and a simple, child-friendly approach. Don't tell me about boiling cabbage overnight.

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