Saturday, April 19, 2014

Red Orthodox Eggs for Pascha

Orthodox Christians call Easter Pascha. We dye all our hard boiled eggs red. Last year (our first in Orthodoxy) I helped dye the 700 eggs we made for the parish celebration. I was appalled when I saw that Rit dye was used! It makes a great red for the eggs but theoretically also makes them inedible as the Rit is toxic. I created a bit of a stir between the older women who have used Rit forever and the younger ones who are in the know, so to speak, regarding healthy, natural eating.

My dye changing campaign didn't change things this year, but did get the idea out and talked about. Change takes time.

In an effort to find a good alternative The Big Guy researched Orthodox dye for Pascha eggs and a friend from church got some powdered dye from an Orthodox store in Sacramento. My Latvian friend at church said she always uses the skin from yellow onions and TBG found a recipe for onion skin dye on the net.

I only had six white eggs and didn't think the brown ones would turn red, so I used the white ones and the skin from two very large yellow onions. I put the eggs in raw.

The eggs first turned a lovely shade of yellow! Not the result I was looking for but good reference for possible future fabric dying!

Then they turned the brown of the fresh eggs I had in the fridge! Maybe I'll use brown eggs next time.

Then they got even more brown.......hmmm. So I splashed in some rice vinegar like the ladies at church do. The poor eggs had cooked about twenty minutes by this time. Not being the most patient person I cheated and put a little of the store-bought, natural dye, in.

Pretty messy stuff but a great color - at least on my hands! BTW - it doesn't wash off. Gloves would have been a good idea.

I've turned off the pot and am letting them sit. Final picture coming up soon!


As you can see from the peeled egg, the shell is porous. One should not eat Rit dyed eggs. The color I got with onion skin and natural dye is very good. I did not oil my eggs like we do at church. Perhaps if I had the color would be the same as Rit.

1 comment:

Jaye said...

I am sure there are books about natural dyeing with vegetable skins & peels that you could get from the Library.