30 March 2013

Easter Eggs and the Koolaid Dye

I have to admit, I've been a bit Scrooge-like in my approach to Easter this year.  Or maybe it just snuck up on me.  What is it doing in March, anyway?  I had the genius idea to hit a few community egg hunts this morning and nearly died of an anxiety attack.  Why does the women who avoids highly congested areas walk willingly into a place that the entire valley is converging on?  Did I really expect my kids to get any treats, with every child in a 50 mile radius there too?  Is a picture with the sneaker-wearing Easter bunny really that important?  Deep breath....  We did make it out alive and with a few treats to show for it.

I saw eggs on sale last week and managed to buy a few dozen, not really realizing just how close the holiday was.  We boiled them earlier this week, although I still had not purchased the dye.  Then somebody I know pinned something on Pinterest about dying eggs with koolaid.  For some reason, my mind took hold of that and decided it was much easier to find the powdered juice aisle at the store than the Easter aisle, which isn't true and I ended up going to two stores because the first one didn't have the lemon-lime flavor, and what is Easter egg dying without green?  Also, I couldn't find the requested blue flavor, so I picked up blue raspberry, which may have been a wrong move.

As I started filling cups with water, I luckily thought first about making sure my little cups could hold the water with an egg in it, so I adjusted the water accordingly.  We still had some major splashing and spilling, but what do you expect when you turn three little kids loose with staining liquid and eggs.  I also realized at this point that koolaid packets don't come with the little egg dipper things.  Spoons worked pretty well, although they added to the spill factor a bit.

When it came time to dye the eggs, I laid down a ton of newspaper and then put down old rags and towels all the way around the table.  I did that because I know my kids can't make it through a meal without spilling a cup of something.  Maybe we'll start doing this for meals too.

Here's the verdict:
Yellow didn't work.  We left an egg in there for an eternity in kid time and it was barely yellow.  I added a bit of orange to it and we ended up with a few hues of orange.  Orange did great, as did green.  I did a cup with black cherry just for fun and it did a good job too, as did the cherry.  They aren't quite the same color, but really not different enough to need both.  The blue did okay.  It was a bit pale.  The pink did pretty well too.  The purple ended up more black than purple.  The instructions said to add a bit of the blue to the grape, so I did.  I'm not sure if grape by itself would have been better.  It was really making Easter look depressing to have two black eggs in the mix.

Luckily, or unlucky, depending on how you look at it, while the dye is wet, it rubs right off.  This means that we could re-do the black eggs, but it also means that when the 6 year old fumbles the egg removal, most of the dye gets scratched off by the spoon.  Once the eggs dried, the color is there and pretty.  However, the eggs tended to get air bubbles on them as they sat in the dye, so some of the strongest colored eggs have funny white dots on them as well.  Also, they took forever to dry and that drove the kids nuts because you need to dye each egg at least twice and we ran out of time for that, as bedtime arrived.

On the plus side, egg dying has never smelled so fruity, I didn't have to measure out any vinegar and the kids thought I was totally cool for using koolaid.

I don't know that we'll do this method again.

Happy Easter!