For the second year running one of our lovely Bulgarian friends here in Brisbane has hosted Easter egg dying and decorating at her house. From after work onwards last night eager small kids and perhaps maybe less eager adults crowded around a small, slightly wobbly table laden down with bowls of warm dye, lit candles and hot, freshly boiled eggs. The potential for disaster was high but apart from someone trying to set a cotton bud on fire in the candle and getting dye all over our hands and down under our fingernails everything went without a hitch.
I'm not sure where the dye sachets can be purchased but they are obviously either German or Greek origin, and they come with full instructions if you want to try this yourself. You simply mix the dye sachet contents in about a cup of hot water and add a splash of vinegar and you are ready to dip in your boiled, warm eggs. This way you can get nice solid colours...but the real trick it seems is to know how to make some fancy designs. Many techniques were discussed and demonstrated amongst the attendees, everyone seemed to have a traditional family/childhood "how to" for egg decoration.
You can dip a stick or cotton bud in candle wax and draw over the egg before dying (the wax stops the dye being taken up by the egg shell).
You can add a splash of oil to the dye and this creates a lovely swirl pattern across the shell.
Or my personal favourite is to place a piece of foliage against the egg, pop the whole thing in the end of an old stocking, tie it in as tight as you can and dip the whole thing in the dye. Very pretty.
Or you can just be silly....
We'll be cracking these open on Sunday - you knock them together and the person who's egg shell stays in tact gets the most luck. They're perfectly edible if you like cold, slightly coloured eggs...