Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I will go to any lengths to...

Sometimes, I get something in my head and I just can't let it go. (Please friends and family, do not fill my inbox with e-mails about what an understatement that is.)

egg dye

Twenty years ago, when I lived in Costa Rica, I desperately wanted a Christmas tree to celebrate my first Christmas there. It wasn't customary then to have a Christmas tree in most Costa Rican homes. Instead, Ticos decorated their homes with large nativity scenes--usually set up in their living rooms and decorated with live greens, flowers, moss, stones and other natural things.

I remember feeling quite desperate about needing a Christmas tree.

My wonderful neighbors chopped down a very fresh and very large cypress branch which we promptly nailed to the wall in the living room of the family I lived with. I decorated my "tree" with paper snowflakes, popcorn and curled wood shavings and I was able to celebrate Christmas (as if it wouldn't come without a tree)!

This time, I've become possessed about coloring Easter eggs.

eggs in bowl

I started working on it a few weeks ago.  I asked some Finns how they color eggs.

Boiling onion skins.  (But I wanted more than just one color egg.)

onion skins

I asked store clerks if they had any kits for coloring Easter eggs.  They directed me to the childrens paints. (But I didn't want to blow the insides out of our eggs.  Hard boiled thank you very much.)

I looked for food colors in the grocery stores.  (But I didn't want to pay $4 a bottle.)

I asked my sister to send us a Pass kit from home.  (But I asked her less than a week before Easter.)

I finally decided I was going to have to do it the old fashioned way.  Fruits, vegetables and spices.


I spent 4 hours preparing my dye baths.  And I'm pretty sure I took all of the fun out of coloring Easter eggs with my kids! 

egg dyes

But in the end, we had a dozen beautifully colored eggs.

Let's welcome them one by one. 


green cabbage and turmeric

and here is...


yellow turmeric

Here are the cousins...


orange onion skins


brown red onion skins

let's welcome MS. RED BEET

pink beets

and finally, winning the coveted crown


purple blueberries

Friends, when you dye eggs with your children this Easter, don't take those little McCormick food colors or Pass tablets for granted.  Think of me and make a nice dark red one just for me! 

It's worth mentioning, that in the two days that they have sat in a bowl in the fridge, they have all sort of morphed to the same blah, nondescript color light brown color!


  1. I'm the same way! When I get something in my head I become obsessed with it and end up taking the fun out of it! I have it in my head that I want to make my own chocolate easter eggs with a surprise inside and have been looking everywhere for candy egg molds. They are surprisingly hard to find. Today, I went out at lunch and found some! Bingo! Maybe it will be fun after all:-) By the way, a Massachusetts High School Chorus will be performing at the Temppeliaukio Church (the Rock Church) in Helsinki on April 14th at 7 p.m.

  2. You could try this Looks like a fun activity.

    When I was a kid we used have an Easter egg hunt. Trail for each egg. Either follow the string (for younger kids) or follow the notes. The house was like a spider's web on Easter morning. My kids love the tradition too. In Scotland they have the outside egg hunt, which I do not get..there is a difference in between a random egg in the bush and one in the end of a string specially meant for me!

  3. I am SO going to try tumeric and blueberry next year! These are awesome colours!!


  4. Incredible colors!! And great tips to entertain the kids!!