Easter Eggs Dyed with Tea, Flowers and Leaves
This week, dear readers, we bring you a fun Easter project from Ozolini farm! Evita and her daughter Loté show us how to dye eggs naturally with tea, flowers and leaves.
April in Latvia is when the snow is officially gone and green starts to stretch up from the ground after the very first rain. When Loté and I visited Ozolini last weekend, we were thrilled to find buds with green noses and the very first leaves of meadowsweet and peppermint — still tiny but very much alive.
April is also the month of Easter, and we dye eggs here in Latvia too. Usually we dye our eggs in a bath of onion skins — no, it does not make the eggs taste like onions! ha! — but this year we tried something different. We dyed our eggs in wild raspberry leaves (the main ingredient we use in Anna’s Afternoon Blend) and fermented apple tree leaves (the tea main ingredient in Brigita’s Daylight Blend). The result was golden hues from the apple leaves and storm cloud gray from the raspberry leaves. Both were beautiful!
Read below for how to dye your Easter eggs with nature, the Latvian way.
It’s better to start with white eggs so that the change is more visible, but brown eggs will do the trick as well. We cut cheesecloth into squares, then searched Ozolini for materials to make patterns on our eggs, like flowers, baby leaves, and moss. You can also use oats or rice, or anything else you find to make a pattern on the egg.
This is your time for creativity and imagination! You can put as many leaves and flowers as you see fit, then wrap up the egg with the help of cheesecloth and thread. Make a nice bundle of every egg. A tip we learned — the leaves will stick better to the places you desire if you dip them in water or poor water over the egg as we did.
Put all your egg bundles in pot of cold water and tea, leaves, onion peels, or whatever else you choose to dye your eggs with. You might consider also adding a few capfuls of white vinegar to the water as it will help with the dyeing process. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes.
Ta daaa!! The results always come as a surprise. We are never sure what the exact color of the eggs will be, and the patterns made from our flowers and leaves tend to live their own lives, as they to do in nature. The patterns varied from completely abstract to very distinct flower shapes, and we even spotted one butterfly!
Are you ready to repeat our experiment at home? Just be careful, as the process is very contagious. :) I think dying eggs this way helps us to reconnect with nature and develops the trust that even though the result will not be exactly as you planned it to be, it will be beautiful anyway.
One more Latvian Easter tradition is egg battles. You find your favorite egg and you spar with opponent to see whose egg shell will break first. If your egg was the strongest, you get the egg with broken shell. It continues until all eggs are broken.
Hugs and bućas! And Happy Easter!