Posted on 03/14/16
Raw Eggs in as many colors as you can find from your favorite chickens and their farmers: white, brown, and those yummy Araucana blues and greens.
Muslin or white t-shirt (from your scrap bin) cut into 6" or so squares. Cotton string. Pots to boil water and eggs and vegetation in. Table with newspaper spread out. Kids especially. Bags for collecting!
Best stuff for good colors:
Paper onion skins, marigolds (save these year-to-year in your freezer), blueberries (frozen is fine, just set out to thaw a bit), red cabbage (especially on those blue eggs) greens of any and all kinds (include grass, pine needles, juniper, kale). I've done a lot of experimenting, and though I encourage you to do the same, the stuff above works for sure!
This is a messy but very fun time! The goal is to fully nest your egg with lots of good veg stuff right next to the shell, built right on the square of material. Adults may need to help the little ones with their wrapping. Best colors and patterns come from direct contact with the egg shell. Wrap the cloth snugly around the egg and tie it up real good with string.
I usually use a pot for each person so everyone knows whose eggs are whose. Put the wrapped eggs, one layer thick, in their respective cold water pots. Turn on the heat and bring to a boil. Watch because you need to start timing as soon as they start to boil. 10 minutes is usually good (9 for tiny eggs and 11 for big ones). Then pour off the hot water and put the eggs in cold water with a few tablespoons of vinegar. When they're cool enough to unwrap, cut the strings and lay out on newspaper for each person to see what they've got. Carefully remove the wet vegetation so as not to disturb the colors on the eggs. Rinse under running water and set back in the cartons to dry. Wow!
One year my 17 year old son made The Earth on a gentle blue egg: Blueberries became oceans and marigolds and onion skins became the deserts and mountains, while greens became the forests. Needless to say it was awe-in-spring!