Traditional Eastern European hand blown and hand dyed eggs – I have always wanted to try this since I saw a picture of these beautiful coloured eggs in my mother’s cookbook as a child. (Up until then they were always plain coloured in my mind.) Fast forward 30 odd years and I’m now doing this with my family – my husband is part of this tradition having grown up with it as a child himself. Trip down memory lane for both of us with our vastly different childhoods and a nice round trip in my head. Watch videos of him blowing out the egg; they are strangely satisfying and the last attempt, take 3, he can do it really fast, all in one go!
If you want to do this at home there are tons of better tutorials online, but briefly here:
1. Clean the eggs and draw circles where top and bottom are so you can cut the holes. Small hole in top and big hole in bottom. Ok my husband is a craftsman so is using all his (show off) professional tools but you can just use a… needle
2. There he blows
3. Keep the eggs by the way! Use them to make scrambled eggs etc
4. Collect onion skins for a couple of weeks beforehand and boil them in water; drop in the empty eggs before water fully boils and let bubbles go up, so they stay down and cook in the liquid. This will dye them a deep brown. You can also tea stain eggs (will try another year), maybe coffee, definitely beetroot/eggplant (for pink!), avocado also makes pink apparently and turmeric for yellow. Try and let me know!
5. Break wax crayons and melt them in a spoon with tea candle underneath. Shove into a plastic milk bottle to hold in place (or alternate holding system)
6. Make a needle stylus to paint with – we worked out that it is the eye of the needle you need to paint with (as it holds the wax) so shove the sharp end of the needle into a blunt pencil as a makeshift tool.
7. Once the wax has melted paint away! Trick is to make lines that are dragged up and away fairly quickly to get the trademark long pointed shape you see on the traditional eggs. Or you could also paint whatever you like (eg Chinese characters as I did on one for my son). There are tons of traditional patterns, all of them beautiful, so you can also take one of them as inspiration.
8. Later you can put ribbons through them and hang them up on a tree (or branch). We didn’t do it this year but one day!