Sunday, April 8, 2012

Boiling vs. Baking

Some words on dying Easter eggs.
So of course I can never *just* dye Easter eggs the normal way.  Why?  I have no idea.  I love a good experiment.  Perhaps you will remember my mixed-results last year with natural egg-dyes (cabbage, beets, etc.)  I did a bunch of research looking for interesting ways to dye eggs that didn't involve the traditional PAAS kit.  I landed on the kool-aid method.  The idea is that you can use kool-aid packets to dye eggs and you don't even need to add vinegar because the packets are full of citric acid.  Sounds easy, right?  Enter the search for kool-aid packets.  I'm not sure if it's just the region that I live in or the time of year but kool-aid doesn't seem to be a hit around here.  All I could find at about 6 different stores (including WalMart which I drove quite a ways to!) were various colors of red and purple.  I knew the boys wouldn't be satisfied if there was no blue or green dye.  After going to about 6 or 7 stores, I gave up and bought a PAAS kit. 
Did the experimentation stop there?  Of course not!  I looked around and decided I would try out a method of tie-dying eggs.  I also decided to try what was supposedly a much easier way to hard-boil eggs: by baking them in the oven.  Let me just say I do NOT recommend this method.  1/3 of my 18 eggs came out cracked beyond use.  Two of those eggs exploded in the oven.  Awesome.  The shells also lose a little bit of their white lustre in the oven.  I boiled a few on the stove to sub in for the broken ones and they came out pristine and perfect.  Lesson learned.
The tie-dying was the one part of the experiment that turned out fabulous.  It is easy and fun.  You just wrap an egg in a piece of old cloth (I used an old t-shirt) and rubber-band it off on the ends and wherever else you want to, just like how you would tie-dye a shirt.  Then just thoroughly soak the wrapped eggs in dye and let them dry still wrapped up for about 24 hours in the fridge.  And voila!  Fun eggs!  The more wrinkled the fabric and the tighter the rubberbands, the more patterns will show up.

Oh...and my son accidentally landed on another interesting thing related to the traditional dye-kits.  When I was setting up all the little cups of vinegar for the tablets, my older son dropped two tablets into one cup (yellow and blue).  He referred to the resulting color as: asparagus-green.  That's an accurate description.  I think it would be fun to try mixing more colors to see what happens.  I think mixing a purple and pink tablet and mixing red and orange would probably create great colors.  Here are our eggs.  You will notice the asparagus-green egg one to the far-right.
Who knows what I will dream up to further complicate my life next year...

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