Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dyeing Easter Eggs with Onion Skins, Estonian style

This was originally posted in 2011. You'll find all my Easter recipes here

Easter eggs / Lihavõttemunad

We don't really 'do' chocolate eggs for Easter here in Estonia, but real, chicken eggs. Dyeing eggs for Easter is very popular, and using onion skins is probably the most popular method. Using onion peels gives you most beautiful dyed eggs, each one unique and special. Here are some photos of the process that I took few years ago.

Pille, onion skins

Here's what you need to do:

* Few weeks before Easter start collecting onion peels. Yellow ones are better than red onion skins, as they give a nice colour.

* You need white eggs for doing this (this gives the shops a chance to sell specially packaged white eggs for a much higher price before the festivities).

Dyeing Easter eggs

* Take an egg and neatly put few onion peels around it:

Dyeing Easter eggs

* Take a piece of mesh/muslin/kitchen foil or even an old nylon stocking and wrap it around the egg to keep the onion peels on place. I used foil here:

Dyeing Easter eggs

* Boil as usual. Cool, then unwrap and unpeel.

Here's the result - each egg is unique and gorgeous:

Easter eggs / Lihavõttemunad

Natasha describes a similar, though less complicated way of dyeing eggs with onion peels that's popular in Russia and Ukraine: Russian Easter Eggs. My 91-year old grandmother uses the same method - she says she's too old to "play around" with the onion peels too much :)

18 comments:

Natashaskitchen.com said...

I love grandmas! I miss mine :-(... I love your idea for the eggs! I think I will adopt your tradition. That's cute what your Grandma said :-)

Grammy T. said...

This is such a wonderful post. Thank you so much for sharing your culture.

ilse said...

Järgmisel aastal võtan selle fooliumitriki kasutusse. Kuidas ma ise selle peale pole tulnud:) Palju lihtsam kui igasugu marli või muu kangaga mässamine. Aitäh!

Gitte said...

I love this post. I have never heard of this method of dying eggs, it is brilliant! I am bookmarking this post and will be trying this for sure. Thank you so much for sharing.

pam said...

I am just catching up on my blog reader and i just had to let you know that I think these eggs are beautiful! I've bookmarked the post for next year. I must give this a try. Thank you for sharing the technique.

Pille said...

Natasha - it was you who gave me the idea to post about this 'method' in the first place - I saw your onion skin post, you see :)

Grammy - thank you for reading :)

Ilse - võta heaks! Ma olen siiralt üllatunud, et mujal maailmas sellisest imelihtsast ja -ilusast munade värvimisest kuuldud pole :O

Gitte - it's a great and natural way to dye Easter eggs, hope you'll do it next year!

Pam - you're welcome!

Annika B. R. said...

here we just paint the shells x

Anonymous said...

Eriti ilus jääb, kui need veel õrnalt võiga üle poleerida!

Joanna said...

We used to do the same in the north of England. Wonder how many other places did the same then? :)

Kia said...

We use the same method of dying eggs in Italy. :) But we are very fond of chocolate eggs too. :D

Lyndsey said...

These are beautiful...I remember seeing Martha Stewart doing this years ago. The way you showed us seems easier! Thanks!

Alice said...

Ahh this is easter for me! We've done this as a family for as long as I can remember. We always pick flowers from the garden and stick one or two on each egg under the onion skins... when they are boiled you are left with beautiful flower marks on the eggs! We wrap them in cut up pieces of old sheets and tie them up with string but I will suggest trying foil this time.. saves a lot of hassle!

Mika said...

Great! Am going to do it with Misato :-D

Robert Richards said...

What a neat idea - I'll have to give it a try for my nieces and nephews.

Saee Koranne-Khandekar said...

This is such a better alternative to using food coloring and other dyes. I LOVE the texture and color of the dyed eggs! Bookmarking for a craft project with the daughter 2 years from now :D

Katrin said...

Exactly how my vanaema and mom make it. I really do have to try one day. Next year, hopefully!

Kaia said...

My grandmother and mother made eggs this way too - they are what I remember most from my childhood at Easter time. Very beautiful and elegant. Thanks for posting!

Spencer @ Moo-Lolly-Bar said...

I still think I would prefer chocolate Easter eggs more but the creativity and attention to detail you have conveyed is outstanding.