I like to make Easter eggs at the last minute, usually the day before Easter Sunday. Like so many of you, I usually make my eggs hard-boiled, and I don’t want to leave them sitting around for too long before Easter so that they are fresh enough to eat (should anyone be so inclined to peel a pretty egg along with their breakfast). I like all kinds of eggs, so this year I decided to make a variety pack. I made solid eggs, eggs decorated with wax and eggs with patterns taped on to leave a white design behind after they were dyed. I also made swirled eggs, a favorite of mine.
Swirled eggs are made by adding a little bit of vegetable oil to a cup of egg dye – made with white vinegar, water and food coloring. As the egg goes into the dye through the oil, some of the oil adheres to the eggshell and prevents dye from sticking there. Add a little bit of oil, and you get eggs that are mostly solid swirls. Add a lot of oil and you get eggs that are mostly white with smaller splashes of color.
To make swirled eggs: Combine 1 tbsp vinegar, 1/2 tsp food coloring and 1/2 cup boiling water in a glass or deep, narrow bowl. Add 1/4 – 1 tsp vegetable oil to the top of the dye (use only 1/4 tsp for brighter eggs, more oil for more subtle eggs, as pictured here). Amounts can be doubled or tripled if you are going to make a big batch of eggs and prefer to use a larger container. Lower the eggs into the dye, swirling them very gently as you enter the water. Remove when desired color is reached.