Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy (almost) Easter

This week has been quite the holy week, hasn't it? First Passover for all my Jewish friends, and now Easter.

Being the family heathen, to me the holidays have always been more about getting together with family than anything else. But I still do love certain rituals that go along with these days. Like decorating Easter eggs. And apparently I REALLY like to decorate eggs, because this is my 3rd Easter egg post on Foodology (!!)

Although I feel like I'm cheating a bit, because this year I just repeated the same technique that I've used the past two years (here and here). But my mom wanted to do it with me this year, and the results always manage to shock me at how beautiful the eggs turn out, so I figured why not blog about it again??

Just check out a few closeups. One of my favorite things is the texture that appears when you use certain leaves and petals. In the past I knew hydrangeas gave good results, here are a few more...

Leaf veins

A random weed my mom found growing outside. Probably my favorite egg.

Two small carnation leaves (ripped from the inside of a carnation flower)

The other great thing is that you don't even have to use real flowers either! This egg was made using fake flowers my mom had around the house. The color seeps in under fake flowers more than real ones, but it's still a cool effect.
Marbled look

And don't feel like every egg you make has to be meticulously planned. Sure, laying out petals in a specific orientation can give you awesome results, like this:

A flower pattern made from individual teeny flower petals. Trippy.

But scatter those exact same petals on the egg randomly, and you'll end up with this Jackson-Pollack inspired egg:

My mom's least favorite egg was one of my favorites. 
More proof that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

And for those of you worried that my heathen self has completely taken the religious significance out of this Easter holiday, here's an egg just for you!

Four leaves cleverly arranged.

Yours in non-religiously celebrating religious holidays,

FYI, if this is something you'd like to follow at home, you can read the directions from my original post here. But I'll share a few more tips with you today since my mom said she had some issues when she attempted it on her own last year. 

1. For really dark eggs, use a crap ton of onion peels. Bring the pot to a boil and let them simmah for a while. If you've got more onion peels, toss the first bunch and add more to your already reddish water. Trust me, the darker the liquid the better your final result will be.

2. Lay your egg in front of you and use a dab of water to adhere the flowers/leaves/etc to the top of your egg (i.e. the part of the egg facing up). Then...

3.  ... grab a square piece of nylon (~4" across), stretch it as much as you can, and quickly lay it over the surface of the egg. Without letting go (and keeping the nylon taught), use your thumbs and forefinger to stretch the nylon to the back of the egg and gather the nylon into a single bunch. Use a small rubber band to secure the nylon. Basically, this ensures that the flowers/leaves/etc will lay flat on the egg surface to prevent any color seeping underneath.

4. The objects that work best are relatively flat leaves and flowers, particularly those that have "texture" to them.

5. EXPERIMENT with different things! We used a few flowers my mom bought along with stuff from our fridge and outside. (Teeny leaves from a bunch of broccoli, weeds growing outside, cilantro/parsley leaves, etc) That's the whole fun of it. Do a test batch with a handful of eggs to see what works, what doesn't, and what you like best. Then continue with the rest of your eggs.


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