This Easter weekend, my family and I decided to start off by heading up to Old Salem for lunch. Yep, drove two hours for a wonderful lunch. We got to sit outside in the cool weather in a colonial setting.
However, to our surprise, it was also a special event day for Easter and at the Vierling’s Barn they were painting eggs. Not using the traditional dyes, but using watercolor paints. We decided, since we came anyway, to join the fun. I painted a seascape with a frigate and a small village. Alright, a very small village – a lighthouse, a church, and two colonial homes. I even added the historic North Carolina coastal plain landscape of longleaf pines and grassy fields (this is what happens when you just finished writing a 36 page paper on North Carolina’s history). I’m not sure how long it will last since its hardboiled, but the museum has some that have lasted 200 years. As long as I don’t crack the shell, maybe one day, my egg will be displayed is a museum somewhere.
The other activity taking place was egg dying in the Vierling’s house. The staff created and displayed colonial based dyes. These used natural coloring from onion skins, cabbage, and turmeric (a root herb). Being inspired by the demonstration, my family headed home with bags of groceries: 30 eggs and assorted vegetables and berries. We decided it was time for a science experiment.
We boiled the vegetables and berries until the hot water absorbed the necessary color (about 15 to 20 minutes). Then, after scooping out the cooked veggies and berries, we added 2 teaspoons of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt (to help the dye stick to the shell). Try to keep the dye warm as well, it helps straighten the dye.
We found that yellow onion skin was great for a golden yellow, red onion skin was great for a olive like green (interestingly enough), cabbage for a soft blue, blueberries for a denim like wash, red beets for a deep pink, coffee for a tan, and shiraz (a red wine) for a gray with a tint of purple. Some of us were even adventurous enough to mix the colors, which made the eggs look like stones. It was so much fun; we stayed up until 10:30 pm dying eggs. And the major benefit was that we had all the vegetables cooked for Sunday night’s dinner. The disadvantage is that I’m going to be eating eggs for the next week (Anyone up for egg salad? LOL).
How was your Easter weekend?