If you have small children (or grandchildren) it may be time to think about dyeing some eggs for an Easter egg hunt. Here are some tips for preparing those eggs.
Older Eggs peel more easily: Eggs stored in the refrigerator about 10 days will peel more easily after cooking than very fresh eggs. Sometimes eggs that have been stored for a few weeks will float. There is no need to be concerned. This tells us the egg is not real fresh, but there is no safety problem with it. In fact, it should peel easily.
Hard cooking eggs: Put eggs in single layer in a saucepan; add cold water to cover with 1 inch of water. Cover the pan. Bring just to boil and turn off heat, leave on burner, for 15-17 minutes for large eggs. Adjust the time up or down by about 3 minutes for each size larger or smaller. Cool in ice water or cold running water and then store in the refrigerator.
Keep those eggs safe: As with other foods, eggs should not be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours at any point in time. If you will need to leave the eggs out of refrigeration for more than 2 hours for use as a centerpiece or for hiding, it would be a good idea to dye 2 batches. Keep 1 batch in the refrigerator to be eaten and leave the other out for decoration only, to be discarded later.
Make sure the eggs you color aren’t cracked. If any crack during dyeing or while on display, discard them along with any eggs that have been out of refrigeration for more than 2 hours. Keep eggs in the shell for only one week in the refrigerator.
If you want to try some fun experimentation with the kids, use some natural dyes this year. Experiment with some new colors.
Simmer eggs in water to cover for 20 minutes with 1 tsp. of vinegar and one of the following:
Apple peels, yellow delicious apples give a green-gold colored egg
Fresh beets, cranberries, radishes give a pinkish red egg
Fresh oregano or mint leaves give a beige egg
Red cabbage leaves make a blue egg
Blueberries also make a blue egg
Strong coffee will turn eggs brown
Walnut shells make a buff colored egg
Spinach leaves will turn eggs a grayish gold/pink color
Carrot tops will turn eggs greenish yellow
Onion skins make yellow/orange eggs
Orange peels will provide a delicate yellow color to your egg
Celery seed or ground cumin will also turn eggs a delicate yellow
Turmeric, (ground) provides a stronger yellow color on eggs
Strong brewed coffee turns eggs into light beige to brown color
Dill seeds brown-gold
Chili powder makes eggs turn brown-orange
Grape juice makes a gray colored egg
Older children might enjoy using this as a science experiment. They can make predictions about what things affect the strength of the colors on the eggs.