These beet juice-colored eggs make a great appetizer, an attractive Easter table centerpiece, and also a fun family craft project. They work for Valentine’s Day as well.
Decorating Easter eggs has a long Pagan tradition, which was later adopted by Christians. The oldest excavated colored egg shells are 2300 years old and were found in Ancient Egypt. In 1290 King Edward I ordered 450 eggs to be covered in gold. Since the Pagan days, eggs have been seen as a symbol of the regeneration that comes with springtime. Originally, the church marked eggs as a forbidden food during Lent, but chickens continued to lay eggs, and since cooked eggs last longer, they were dyed to distinguish them from fresh eggs. Later the eggs became a symbol of the Christian Resurrection in both the Western and Eastern Orthodox churches, where eggs were painted for people to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting; they were then eaten on Easter as a celebration. The egg-coloring tradition has continued in the United States. The White House Easter Egg Roll has been held every year since 1878.
For another Easter egg decorating technique, check here.
Place eggs in a saucepan large enough to hold them in a single layer, cover them with cold water and bring to a rolling boil, partially covered. Once boiling, turn the heat off, cover them completely, and let them stand for 10 minutes. This will yield the perfect hard-boiled eggs.
Peel half of the eggs and place them in a container with beet juice for 12-24 hours, refrigerated. Warm juice will color them faster.
With the remaining hard-boiled eggs, gently tap the shells all over with the back of the spoon to lightly crack them all over but do not peel them. Do not tap too hard, or the beet juice will seep into the shell instead of just staining the cracks (the mistake I made here).
Place the gently cracked eggs in a dish with beet juice, ensuring they are fully submerged. Let the eggs sit in the liquid for 12-24 hours. Warm beet juice will dye the eggs more quickly.
Remove the eggs from the liquid and peel them. The whites have beautiful marbled patterns.
Be on the lookout for a special Easter deviled eggs recipe next Wednesday!
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Eggs by Michel Roux and Martin Brigdale
Call Number: 641.675 ROUX
Egg: a dozen ovatures by Lizzie Stark
Call Number: 641.6450
Delicious gatherings: recipes to celebrate together by Tara Bench
Call number 641.5973 BENCH
Call Number: 641.568 HIBBS