This morning I dyed eggs with onion skins. A few weeks ago, Eric’s parents told me how their mothers used to dye eggs in onion skin, and polish them with olive oil. It was fun listening to them reminisce, so I gave it a try.
Step 1: Gather ingredients. You’ll need eggs, onion skins, small pieces of cloth to cover the egg, and rubber bands or string. You can save your onion skins for a few weeks before you need them. If you forget, like I did, you can ask a grocery store for skins. (I got mine from the Rodale kitchen. Thank you, Leah!)
Step 2: Soak. Soak both the onion skins and cloth in warm water. It makes the onion skins softer and easier to wrap around the egg. It’s best to use big pieces of onion skin; it makes a more uniform cover for the egg.
Step 3: Bundle. Wrap your eggs in the onion skin, and then in the cloth. Secure with string or rubber bands. I tried tucking loose pieces of onion skin around any uncovered spots on the egg. Since I’ve never done this before, I wondered if the rubber bands would leave any sort of mark, like they do when you tie-dye.
Step 4: Cook ‘em. Layer the eggs in a saucepan. I chose a pretty one, for the photo. Then I realized I needed an inch of water above the eggs, and had to switch pans. This is the danger of being a photo editor. Cover the pan and bring the water to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat. If you are using large eggs, let them sit for 15 minutes.
Step 5: Rinse. Here are the egg bundles after 15 minutes. They floated to the top of the pan, and I lost one rubber band in the process. You’re supposed to remove the cloth and skin right away, and rinse with cold water. I am a wimp, so I ran cold water over the still hot bundles for a few seconds before I freed my eggs. Then I rinsed them a few seconds more to stop the cooking.
It worked! Also, my mystery was solved—the rubber bands did not leave any lines or marks. Some of the eggs I covered in small bits and pieces did not actually dye the egg. It gave these eggs a marbled appearance.
Step 6: Polish. Dry the eggs, then apply a light coat of olive oil with a soft cloth. This one is a bit extra shiny; I wiped it more thoroughly after the photo.
Step 7: Enjoy! I packed these back up to take to Eric’s parents. They should be okay in the fridge for up to a week. These eggs may be a part of an egg hunt before they are turned into egg salad. This was pretty easy, and fun. Next year I want to try some with red onion skins.