Recipe: Coloring Easter Eggs

Every year, people hard-boil eggs and dye them brilliant colors in time for Easter.  Where did this tradition come from?

Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13 century, according to some sources.  One explanation is that eggs were a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration.  Another report states that early Christians in Mesopotamia dyed eggs red to mimic the blood that Christ shed during his crucifixion.  Or maybe it was because King Edward I of England ordered 450 eggs to be colored and decorated with a gold-leaf, then presented as Easter gifts to the rest of the royal household.  While the particulars may vary, most cultures around the world use the egg as a symbol of new life and rebirth.

Daidria Eckels and her daughter share a simple recipe for coloring eggs this Easter season!

To prepare your eggs:
Gently place eggs in a single layer in a large saucepan.  Add enough cold water to cover eggs by 1 inch.  Cover.  Bring just to a boil on high heat.  Remove from heat and let stand 12 minutes (adjust time up or down by 3 minutes for each size larger or smaller).  Pour off hot water and rapidly cool eggs by running them under cold water (or place in ice water) until completely cooled.
 
To color your eggs:
10 drops food coloring
1 teaspoon white vinegar
½ cup boiling water
 
For each dye bath combine ½ cup boiling water with 1 teaspoon vinegar and 10 drops of food coloring in a bowl.  To make orange, use 5 drops red and 5 drops yellow food coloring.  For turquoise, use 6 drops blue and 4 drops green.

Dip hard-cooked eggs in dye bath for about 5 minutes, extend time for a richer color.  Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove eggs and place on wax paper to dry.  Blot any excess with a paper towel.
 
If you plan to eat your eggs, never leave them unrefrigerated at any point for more than two hours!

For some great ideas on decorating your eggs, visit:
Better Homes & Gardens

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