This is a re-post from a 2011 “How-To” that’s a good fit for Find it Local Friday this week. The kitchen partner and I will be using local eggs (see “Find it Local Friday: Eggs” for sources) and spices to dye our eggs this year. Most of the spices came from Frontier Co-op in Norway, Iowa available online or in bulk at many Twin Cities co-ops.
I saw an article on coloring Easter eggs without the traditional dye tablets, instead using spices from your kitchen cabinet. I had to give it a go. It’s remarkably easy and the results were beautiful; Mother Earth never ceases to surprise me.
Natural Easter Egg Dyeing
hard-boiled eggs (select white eggs for the best results)
a ceramic cup/mug for each color you’d like to brew
1 Tbsp. each of variety of spices, I used:
a pomegranate green tea bag (dark blue)
ground turmeric (yellow-orange)
dill seed (pale brown)
hibiscus petals (light blue)
chili powder (orange-tan)
1. Place 1 Tbsp. of vinegar in each cup. Mix in the tablespoon of spice/herb into the vinegar to form a thick paste. Add boiling water to each cup (fill about 2/3 leaving room for each egg). Place the hard-boiled egg in the cup and let stand until the desired color is reached. Remove egg from dye and gently rinse off any sediment. Refrigerate until eating.
-There are a number of spices that will create a dye solution; experiment, experiment, experiment. I tossed in the teabag to see what happened and it ended up being the darkest blue.
-The timing can vary. The first batch was about 1 hour and the colors were much lighter. I left the others in the dye solution in the refrigerator overnight and the results were much deeper shades.
It’s hard to believe, but this will be my last Dark Days Challenge post for the winter. How quickly did that go? For our last meal, all participants were asked to seek out a SOLE (sustainable, organic, local, ethical) breakfast. Easy pea-sy lemon squeezy. We’ve been doing local breakfast around this place for quite some time.
Lately I’ve been into combining all of my favorite breakfast foods into a sandwich. The kitchen partner makes two of his special Whole Grain Milling pancakes between which I slam a local fried egg, a slice of cheese, and either breakfast sausage or bacon. Then I lightly drizzle it in maple syrup. Just because I can.
It represents what’s best about most of the Dark Days meals I made this winter: they may be simple, but they are filled with the best. We don’t have access to a ton of fresh ingredients in Minnesota outside of June, July and August. It takes careful planning to preserve and extend as much of that season into the colder months so complicated dishes don’t always make the cut. But because our meals are made up of quality ingredients with as few additives and preservatives as possible, the flavors and tastes make up for it. Dark Days has taught me that there are at least 100 different combinations to make a local taco, it’s all in how you mix up the choices. Dark Days has taught me the power of a good bowl of soup, even if there’s only 4 ingredients. It even introduced me to my crock pot and let me cook in a few others’ kitchens. Most of all, it’s made me excited for all the good things to eat during Minnesota summers. They really don’t call it the Dark Days of Winter for nothing!!
In case you missed any of the Dark Days Challenge meals, here’s a list of all the dishes since November 27th:
2 slices sharp cheddar cheese
2 slices crisp bacon or 1 pork sausage link sliced lengthwise
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1. Cook eggs over-easy until they reach preferred doneness. Prepare pancakes according to package direction or favorite recipe.
2. Stack egg and cheese on first pancake. Top with meat and second pancake. Drizzle with maple syrup and serve warm.
One year ago today, this little blog began. Oh, what a year it has been. Lots of learning and lots of good food. I started out this month planning big celebrations, giveaways, and hoopla in honor of a year of sharing the locavore life with all of you. But earlier this week I had a change of heart and decided to celebrate in a different way.
Every year we mark the start of spring on March 20. It’s a regular, predictable anniversary. Yet when it comes to connecting us with the Earth and another season of growing and eating local food, the date is really arbitrary. We know it’s a new year when we crack open the first packet of seeds and shake them in the dirt. When the tulips pop up a few inches of fresh green leaves. When the first lettuce lines the rows at the farmers’ market. Some years it happens before we expect it, other years we wait with trowels and garden galoshes in hand for all the snow to disappear. In the end, it’s not the calendar that tells us when. Spring happens when our senses wake up and say it’s time to start another season of local food.
So although there’s a blog-a-versary happening today, it’s not the date or festivities that matter much. Today was quietly spent like many of my other locavore days: sharing good food with the people I care about, planning for the future, and above all being grateful for what I have been given. For weeks leading up to today I’ve already been celebrating the small signs that point to the start of another great year. Each day I see the ways many of you are sharing ideas, starting new adventures in the kitchen and the garden, and supporting local food. I read comments and emails and think about how fantastic it is to live in a place where others value the environment, the economy, and their communities enough to buy local. Today the calendar may say “March 25: Blog-a-versary”. But all along I’ve seen the signs of a growing community and collective change in the way we think about food.
Thanks locavore friends. Now, let’s get started on another great season.
Sprouting, springtime, and seeds have been on our minds this week. In a 10 day’s time, our seed starting table has gone from this:
If you’re looking for a taste of spring yourself, here’s three videos to inspire you to get your grow on. First is a recap of how some New York City gardeners are utilizing unique spaces to grow food. Recognize anyone from Truck Farm? Second is a time-lapse of sprouting wheat grass from seed. Love it. And the third is a fantastic wedding idea that I think every couple should add in their plans!