When I was a kid my favorite part of Easter was dying eggs. I was not an especially artistic child yet there was something about turning a white egg into a colored egg that made me feel like a budding Monet. But even back then I always felt the colored eggs from the store-bought coloring kit lacked pizzazz. I’d leave them in the liquid for a really long time or try to make them two-toned but eventually I’d give up, slap some stickers on them and call it good. It wasn’t until I got backyard chickens that that I learned an amazing trick to get jewel-toned Easter eggs.
I had always just dyed white eggs that I bought at the store but all of our chickens that first year were breeds that laid brown eggs. We had completely sworn off industrial eggs, so when Easter rolled around I had to use the eggs from our birds. Much to my surprise and delight, the trick to getting richer, more vibrant colored Easter eggs was simple: use brown eggs. Who knew?
If you’re fortunate enough to have backyard chickens like I do then you’ll have plenty of brown shades to choose from and maybe even some green or blue ones. If not, you can buy brown eggs at any grocery store, but you’ll probably have to look for the cage-free variety.
The other secret to getting saturated color on your eggs is to forgo the store-bought dying kits. They’re weak, I tell you, weak! But seriously, you’ll get better results with plain old food coloring. Fill up a plastic cup with enough water to completely cover 2 (hard boiled) eggs (about 1 1/2 cups) then add 30+ drops of food coloring. I put 2 eggs in each cup and had six cups total for one dozen eggs. Leave the eggs in the cups for at least 20 minutes or even longer if you want more color. I wanted eye-popping color so I left some of the eggs in for an hour! Just set it and forget it. I also moved some of the eggs into a different colored cup after a while so every one was a unique shade. Just have fun and experiment. They’ll turn out gorgeous either way and you’ll be the talk of the Easter Egg Hunt.
What’s your favorite part of Easter?