Pioneer Easter Eggs

    “Pioneer Easter Eggs,” Friend, Mar. 1997, 39

    Pioneer Easter Eggs

    Have you ever wondered how children colored Easter eggs before egg dye could be bought in a store? Here’s a method used by our pioneer ancestors that your family might enjoy trying during a family home evening.

    The next time your mother goes to the grocery store, ask her to gather up some of the loose yellow onion skins and put them into a sack. There probably will be no charge. Then have her buy some carrots with the green tops still on—or you can use fresh parsley, celery leaves, dandelion greens, or any other type of greens available in your area.

    When you are ready to color your eggs, put a large handful of onion skins into a kettle of water and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and, while the onion skins simmer, wrap the raw eggs in the greens and carefully bind them tightly with string. The design will appear only where the greens are firmly pressed against the eggs.

    Gently lower the wrapped eggs into the boiling onion-skin water and cook to a hard boil (10–15 minutes). Immediately after taking the eggs from the water, cut the strings off and remove the leaves. You will be delighted to see what interesting designs you have made.

    Illustrated by Pat Hoggan