Monday, April 25, 2011

A Yellow and Orange-ish Easter

This weekend it hit me, Easter baskets = lots of candy/junk. Sounds ridiculous that it took this long for me to realize it. Don't get me wrong, I remember Easter baskets filled with candy as a kid but it wasn't until this year, when I was shopping for stuff to fill baskets for the boys that I noticed the Easter aisles were about 80% candy.

I know there is no rule that says the basket has to be filled with candy (or is there?) but again, 80% of the merchandise was candy of some sort. I felt a little like a square because I only bought a chocolate bunny, Dove Chocolate Eggs and Hershey's Kisses and stayed away from the gummy and other multi-colored stuff. As I mentioned previously, I'm not a fan of all the food coloring and whatever else makes up those kind of candies. And speaking of food coloring, we successfully dyed eggs without it!

First, I know it's obvious from my photos, I don't have a nice camera. The images I post are from my iPhone. Our point and shoot camera crapped out a while back so I don't even have that anymore to help with better images. So bear with me and the poor image quality, the hubby and I are saving for a decent camera. Okay, not being certain of how the colors look from screen to screen, we ended up with two colors, yellow and orange. I planned to make more colors but for one reason or another, it didn't work out. I had to improvise with curry instead of tumeric for yellow because the store was out of it. Then, although I remembered the cranberry juice, I forgot the beets so no red or pink. And I just completely forgot the blueberries and spinach. Not one of my best days!

I followed the formula of three tablespoons of spice to one quart of water. I boiled the ingredients for about 10 minutes then let them cool. I chose to use the cold method of adding cooked eggs to the cooled liquid. The boys had fun playing with the eggs while they were in the bowls of "dye" and seeing them slowly get darker. The curry made a beautiful yellow and the chili powder made a mild orange as well as a brownish orange. Even though we only made two colors, the boys, which included my four year old's best friend, loved the eggs. And that is all that matters!

Yes, the process of making natural coloring is involved and takes much more prep time than a kit does but not giving into convenience for convenience sake is rewarding in so many ways. It also provides another teaching opportunity. Although, the kids can't get too close to a hot pot, they can help prepare the mixtures prior to boiling and learn about the foods and spices going in to them. We'll be doing the same method next year. The only difference, hopefully, is that I'll be better prepared and have all the ingredients needed to create a wider range of colors. :)

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