Holiday traditions are a curious thing. Do you know how the Easter egg came to be associated with Easter? Early Christian Lenten practices were more strict. Abstaining from meat also included meat by-products. The Tuesday before Lent, Fat Tuesday, was a day that pantries were cleaned out of meat products. Chickens continued to lay eggs all of Lent. As Lenten is broken at Easter, there was an abundance of eggs from the chickens laying eggs that were not consumed during Lent. Thus, eggs were included in the food and fun of Easter celebrations.
This year the boys and I decorated Easter eggs using food products around the house and objects we collected from the yard. We wrapped eggs in old hosiery with random botanical objects picked in the yard. We boiled them in pots with onion skins and cabbage for color. Then we rested the wrapped eggs in the pots overnight. After 6 – 12 hours resting, the great unveiling of the eggs revealed beautifully colored eggs with surprise patterns from the objects they were wrapped with.
If you haven’t tried dying eggs this way before, I would recommend it. The eggs came out in lovely earth colors. The onions skins created sepia tones and the cabbage made nice stone blue hues. I put together a recipe to guide your experience based on our learnings.
Begin by boiling the coloring components in separate pots of water for 30-ish minutes to allow the color hues the deepen. While the pots are on, move on to getting eggs ready.
while pots of coloring water boil.
Gather rest of competent for wrapping eggs
Collect botanical tidbits from around the yard
– small flowers, twigs, dried grasses from last season, etc.
Cut the hosiery open to unwrap the eggs.
Fish wrapped eggs out of coloring pots.
Admire you work.
Dab egg with lightly oiled rag or paper towel.
Display your beautifully colored eggs!
Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs
Various components for coloring: cabbage, red and brown onion skins (turmeric, beets)
Apple cider vinegar or other highly acidic vinegar
Botanics for patterns or other objects for patterns
Cut hosiery into 3-5 inch length. Tie open ends leaving just one end open for inserting the eggs.
Place items to use as patterns against the egg. Slip a piece of cut hosiery around the egg ensuring a snug fit. Secure by tying the open end.
Place coloring components into stockpots with water just above what will cover an egg. Boil the water with coloring components for 30ish minutes. Allow the pots of colored water to cool.
Meanwhile, prepare the eggs.
When the pots of colored water have cooled, stir in ¼ cup of vinegar. Tuck the eggs into the pots around the cabbage and onion skins, ensuring each eggs is fully submerged.
Put the pots back onto high heat until they begin to boil. Reduce the heat to medium and boil for 10 minutes. Then turn the heat off, leaving the pots at their burners and covering. Allow the pots to cool. Once cool enough, place in the refrigerator for 6-12 hours.
After cooling the eggs in the refrigerator, fish them out with tongs and cut the hosiery away from each egg. Dab the eggs with a lightly oiled rag or paper towel.
My toddler is thrilled when a package arrives in the mail. Upon recognizing a box he will delightedly declare “maiyo”. Then comes the dance of excitement with squeals of “open, open, open.” Each command with increasing urgency and volume than the subsequent. The dance does not subside until the tape is peeled back and objects are removed from their packaging.
The day my first assortment of essential oils arrived this very scene occurred with my son. I take delight in his reactions to life. They are such present and extroverted expressions of emotions at this stage of his development. My more reserved self, with the personality function of introverted feeling, gets satisfaction in his raw emotional assertions.
Making a batch of shaving cream was the first green living recipe on my list. Below is the full recipe I created. The first time around I used fewer drops of essential oils and combined sweet orange with lavender. A few days in the cream smelled a bit garlic like. Sticking with just the lavender and increasing the drops in the mix rendered a pleasant, relaxing aroma.
Melt the coconut oil. Mix the coconut oil with olive oil and avocado oil in a jar. Chill jar of oils in refrigerator until they solidify.
Remove from refrigerator and whip mix. Can whip with a mixer or by hand with a fork. Once the solid is mostly broken up, add in the Castile soap, optional essential oils and continue mixing. The paste should begin to resemble whipped cream in appearance. Continue whipping until the cream is glossy and smooth.
Your silky shave cream will spoil faster if exposed to moisture. Keep in a sealed jar. Use about 1/2 teaspoon per use. 1/4 teaspoon under each arm and 1/2 teaspoon each leg has worked well for me. I like to scoop 1 1/2 teaspoons on to a fork to bring in the shower rather than bring the whole jar.
My interests are more like obsessions. The intensity of interest in topics ebb and wane over time. I feel that this personality trait is fitting for retail. There are trending seasonal flavors that are best sold with honest buy-in from the salesperson. My tastes and interests easily follow such seasonal trends.
My newest obsession this season is green cleaning. The big topic of interest this week has been essential oil. It started when I came across some green cleaning recipes through a blog I follow for clean eating recipes. Rebecca had a post on DIY cleaning recipes with essential oils.
It had not occurred to me to make cleaning products and personal care products. Part of the reason I am even considering it is my son’s nut allergy and the family’s sensitivities to the aromas of traditional cleaning products. It seems there are health benefits and cleaning capabilities to essential oils so I will include them in my upcoming green cleaning and personal care creations.
I read about the scent and antimicrobial action of various oils on green cleaning.about.com. Based on my research, the top three oils I am seeking to use for cleaning and personal care are lavender, sweet orange and lemon. A quick view of each oil’s benefits follow below.
Mood booster – helps to see the sunnier side of life