It all started because my team told me I should do another live Instagram video. These live videos are still a new game to me, and I’m not afraid to admit that I find the whole thing slightly intimidating. When I take photos, I can go in and edit before I share. Instagram posts are carefully chosen,; stories are filmed and cropped … but live IG videos are a whole new animal to me.
So for the sake of my visual comfort, I love to team up with a friend and cohost a live Instavideo. Today I was extremely happy to welcome Elise Dumas, @thepineapplechef, an extremely talented French photographer and stylist who has already contributed to My French Country Home Magazine.
We wanted to create something for an Easter table knowing that in these strange times, so many people are unable to get out and shop normally, or purchase fresh flowers or other decorations for their table.
Elise and I both took up the challenge of creating a floral design and some coloured eggs using only ingredients that we already had at home, or that could be easily foraged.
We each set about to dye eggs with natural ingredients. Using red cabbage, turmeric, onion skins and vinegar, we managed to put together some ideas for you. I also experimented with using leaves pressed against the egg and held in place with a short length of pantyhose knotted above and below the egg … yes I know, it is kind of gross but it works.
At the end of this piece, you’ll find the ingredients and methods that we used. For the flowers it was the same. Only foliage and flowers that could be foraged or found in the garden.
So here is what I have learnt about dying eggs with natural colours:
1 . it’s not a quick fix! dying eggs requires time and space! I had all available pans and bowls in full use as eggs were boiled in colour made from cabbage, onions and much more.
2. Vinegar is an important ingredient, it can change the effect of the colour and make it more permanent. Eggs placed in red cabbage colour turn blue, but if vinegar is added they turn a pretty teal.
3. If you have access to white eggs that’s great! White eggs give you a clean palette to work with. Here in France our eggs are generally brown to begin with, so obtaining an interesting colour effect is difficult.
4. Red fruit will not turn brown eggs pink …. but white! Strangely enough, if you boil brow eggs in a red fruit mixture, they will emerge very nearly white.
Onion skins –
Simply drop some onion skins into a pan and cover with water. Add the eggs and bring to the boil then simmer for ten minutes before turning off the heat. Leave the eggs for different times: remove some after two hours and others after six or twelve hours. The colour nuance is interesting. Onion skins give the most amazing results , be they yellow or red onions. Remove some eggs sooner than others, as the colour continues to intensify for as long as the eggs are left in the colour.
Red cabbage –
It’s interesting to note that red cabbage makes a deep blue colour, and if you add some vinegar the colour turns to teal. Create the colour by grating or chopping the cabbage into a pan, covering in water and bringing to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, strain and let the eggs macerate in the colour for up to twelve hours.
The colour obtained from one cabbage can be shared between two bowls. Add vinegar to one of the bowls to obtain an interesting shade of teal.
If used with white eggs then turmeric is a great ingredient! Mix it with white vinegar and bring to the boil. Let the eggs soak in the colour for two to twelve hours, for a gradient colour effect. If you are using brown eggs the result is less spectacular.
Boil brown eggs for thirty minutes in coffee for a beautiful deep grey brown colour
Doing the live video with Elise today, we each tried out different ingredients for the egg colour. Elise made a surprising discovery. In France there is a strong green liquor called Get 27. It is mint based, and if you boil your eggs in a pan of this alcohol you will obtain green eggs! Add a little turmeric for a brighter green.
Voila! Hope you enjoy getting creative with some of these ideas. I’d love to hear how it goes!