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Easter Eggs

I learned how older people do them from my aunt, who made just 6 green ones each year.   She added the food coloring to the water in which they were going to boil, so that's what I do.  There's always blue & green left over in the package of mixed food colors.  If you can boil an egg, you can do them----quickly & easily.   When there's just one busy person doing that, it does save time----& mess.    Do leave them in the water while they cool, as this deepens the color.  It does take quite a bit of coloring.  As for vinegar-----follow the package directions on this.   Cooling time-----Well, I remove them when the color is right.   Some people boil them longer than others-----some use a shorter time, but then depend on the cooling process to finish the cooking, & keep the yolks light, without that greenish tinge.  Used to do yellow, teal, & red/pink-----now just some shade of blue/green. 

The other thing I have done for decades is the ones boiled in onion skins.   Since most New England eggs are brown [white eggs are considered suspect, here, by many], that's what I use, saving the white ones which were in the stores a couple of weeks ago for the lighter colors.  Have finally learned that just 2 people do not have the surplus of saved onion skins that a large family has, so the last onion I purchase in the weeks before Easter is put in a bag with whatever skins are floating around the display at the store.  Those are virtually free, of course------get some funny looks at the checkout when the cashier looks for the onion to identify the kind------plain ol' yellow onion, as you can see by the skin coloration.  Haven't tried any others, but that might be fun, espec. the red ones.  However, these are such a beautiful deep bronze color, if you let them cool in the water----the longer, the deeper.  Still pretty warm, tho, when I take them out.  The only thing about cooking them right in the color is that the egg inside will pick up some tinges of it along hairline cracks, etc., so you may have some eggs with colorful whites. 

Yes, we had days when there were as many as 7 of us coloring them-----did about 5 dozen, plus the onion skin dozen.   The tradition in my husband's family was to do all light colors the regular way, then put a bit of oil on top of each cup of color, which was stirred just before the egg was dipped/quickly removed.  Lovely swirly patterns.  This could be done once or twice, for bi- or tri-colors.  We also did stripes & plaids-----these take a steady hand, so you don't get finger smudges in the pattern.  Again, start with the light colors-----like a canvas-----put the light one all over, then dip smaller & smaller parts for the others.  Plaids are just stripes, going the other direction----really tedious, but pleasing results.

Afterwards, we 'polished' them with cooking oil & a soft cloth.  They look wonderful, although refrigeration does cause 'water marks'-------if you're going to eat them, you have to put up with that.  Well, I'm a little late with all this for this year, but you can use these ideas next year, or try them this summer, when extra hard-boiled eggs are needed. 

As for blown eggs, the shells can be blown/washed/saved over a period of time, then decorated later.   As a teen, I used to make people & lambs, using an upside down cupcake paper with a hole in it for the stand.  As an adult, I liked to make paper-mache ones, covered with bits of colorful tissue paper [white glue/water or thin wallpaper paste].  Disremember how I put the loop of thread/ribbon on, but they were wonderful on a few bare branches in a vase or milk bottle [remember those?] as an Easter egg tree.  Even kids can have great results with these. 

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