12 white eggs
12 Carrots, cut into 1-inch thick slices
About 5 Beets, chopped into roughly 1-inch cubes
1 Head of Purple Cabbage, chopped
1 lb Fresh Spinach Leaves, chopped
5 Tablespoons Paprika
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
At least 1 and 1/2 cups of White Vinegar
1/4 Cup Fresh Soft-Leafed Herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, basil, or mint
2 Pairs of Sheer Nylon Stockings, cut into 6-inch tubes (each pair of stockings makes about 6 tubes)
When dying eggs it is important to use pots that are not too wide because the eggs will need to be fully submerged in the dye. The wider the pot, the more water it takes to fully submerge the eggs, and the more diluted and weak the dye becomes. A deep pot that is no wider than 8 inches in diameter is ideal. Each of the four dye mixtures needs their own pot. Also, the more salt you add to your dye, the "spottier" the egg's surface will appear.
To make the blue dye, pour five cups of water into a pot along with the chopped cabbage and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and allow it to cook for 1 hour.
To make the pink/antique dye, pour five cups of water into a pot along with the chopped beets and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and allow it to cook for 1 hour.
To make the green dye, pour five cups of water into a pot along with the chopped spinach and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and allow it to cook for 1 hour.
Then strain each dye into it's own bowl so that only liquid is left in the bowl. Discard the vegetables. Pour the each dye into a liquid measuring cup, however many cupfuls are possible at a time, and keep track of how many cups of dye there are. Then pour the dyes back into their respective pots. For every cup of dye in each pot, add 3 teaspoons of white vinegar and stir to blend. Allow the dyes to cool for 30 minutes.
Place 3 of the eggs in each pot of dye. Bring the pots a boil, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the pots from heat and allow them to rest, still covered, for 15 minutes. Place each of them, except the beet dye, in the refrigerator and allow them to sit overnight. If you are making the beet dye, you can allow the eggs to sit in the dye in the refrigerator for about an hour and they will have the antique look featured in these photographs. If you want them to be a very bright and deep pink, let them rest overnight.
If you're making the eggs in the morning, check the coloring of the eggs after 6 to 8 hours, and allow them to soak until they have reached the desired saturation. The longer they soak in the dye, the richer and darker their color will become.
Once they reach the desired saturation, remove the eggs from the dye and then untie and discard the nylon stockings and the herbs. Place the eggs on a wire rack to dry, with the stenciled side facing up. Allow them to dry for at least 1 hour.
After the eggs dry, they will become slightly dull in sheen and saturation. When you are ready to serve them, dip a paper towel in the vegetable oil and gently rub the outside of the eggs with the oil to create a nice sheen and to bring out the vibrance of the colors. Serve immediately, and keep any uneaten eggs refrigerated.