Tag Archives: eggs

Onion-Dyed Easter Eggs

Growing up, I remember that we had two different methods for dying our Easter eggs: the way everyone else did it, with the bright pastel blue and pink dyes and stickers and wax crayons that came in the PAAS kits… and the way with the onions.

Onion-dyed Eggs

I remember waffling between preferring the pastels and the onions as I got older. These days, I prefer the look of the onion-dyed eggs to the pastels, especially since my lasting impression of the bright pastel dyes is “makes a horrid mess in the kitchen.” The onion-dyed eggs are a snap to do, and simple enough that kids who are old enough to be trusted handling raw eggs can help.

To start, you’ll need some onion skins.

Onion skins

I discovered that I saved way too many skins for what I needed; I could easily have doubled up some of the skins to get darker colours. In any event, this was a great excuse to make French onion soup. When peeling the onions, try to keep the skins in as large of pieces as possible.

I bought my eggs a week before I planned to dye them. Older eggs are easier to peel. Also (obviously) make sure you’re not buying eggs with the date stamped on them, or brown eggs. Plain old white eggs are needed for this.

Finally, you’ll need some rags or scraps of cloth large enough to wrap an egg in. I had some cotton cloth leftover from making curtains, but any fabric that isn’t super thin should work. You just need it to be strong enough to hold the skins against the eggshells.

Cloth scraps

When you’re ready to dye your eggs, wet both the eggs and the onion skins well. This will help the skins stick to the shell. Also, try to select large pieces that will wrap around the egg well. You’ll want to cover all of the shell. Make sure that the skins are touching the shell, since they won’t colour what they aren’t touching.

Onion-dyed egg

(Now, some people get fancy here and put little flowers or leaves between the eggshell and the onion skins. I’ve tried that and it worked, but I didn’t feel it was worth the hassle of keeping the flower stuck while trying to wrap the egg in the onion and the cloth. Your milage may vary, of course.)

Once you’ve wrapped the egg in the onion skins, bundle the cloth up around everything and tie it off with a rubber band.

After you’ve wrapped up all of your eggs, simply cook them using your favourite method for making hard-boiled eggs. I’ve been using the method from Simply Recipes and it works quite well.

Once the eggs are cooled, remove the rubber band, unwrap the cloth and slip off the onion skins, and admire the pattern on the egg!

Onion-dyed egg

I think this is one of the reasons why I like dying eggs this way: each egg is going to be a unique surprise.

Happy Easter! If you try this out, let me know how it worked for you.

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Creamy Scrambled Eggs and Spinach

It’s getting to be that difficult time of year here in Winnipeg. The holidays are long past, but winter will just drag on and on for at least another month and a half. I find myself crawling out of bed later and later on weekends, unwilling to face the cold.

What makes it better? Brunch. If I’m going to climb out of bed an hour late on Sundays, I might as well combine breakfast and lunch for efficiency. To that end, this savory twist on scrambled eggs fits the bill.

Creamy Scrambled Eggs and Spinach

We’ve been using Gordon Ramsey’s method for making scrambled eggs for a while, and this variation works splendidly. It produces a creamy, almost smooth scrambled egg dish that is so different from the dry clods you’re used to from the local diner. It takes a lot longer than the “usual” way, but the results are so much better.

For this recipe you’ll need a medium non-stick saucepan and a silicone spoonula. I’ve tried making these scrambled eggs in a non-stick pan… and it wasn’t pretty. Do your dishwasher a favour!

As for ingredients, you’ll need:

  • 2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cubic inches feta cheese, crumbled (or about 3 tablespoons crumbled)
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • salt (optional)

A note about the cheese: I like goats’ milk feta, but you can use any feta you prefer.

Fill the saucepan about half full of water and bring to a boil. Add the spinach, stir, and let wilt for about three minutes. Drain the spinach and dry the pan. Squeeze as much water as you can out of the spinach. (You can do this easily by putting the wilted spinach in a bowl and using the back of a spoon to press the spinach against the side of the bowl. Tilt the bowl to drain the water, and the damp spinach will stick to the sides of the bowl.)

Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl until they are a uniform yellow.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the drained spinach to the oil and quickly stir to break up the clump. Add the eggs and stir. Stir constantly over medium heat. Keep scraping the bottom of the pan to make sure clumps of cooked egg aren’t forming. If the egg mixture starts to set up too quickly, remove the pan from the heat and keep stirring. Return to the heat once you’ve broken up any clumps that started to form.

This will take a while, so be patient! Stir, stir, stir. At about the halfway mark (probably about six minutes in), add the crumbled feta and pepper. The feta won’t melt significantly, so you might want to add a bit of salt to the eggs as well.

Continue to stir the eggs, placing the pan on the heat and removing to control the heat, until they are almost set but still glossy. This usually takes about 10 to 12 minutes. If the glossiness goes away, they are overcooked. Keep in mind that the eggs will continue to cook just a bit after being removed from the stove. (If you overcook them, don’t worry. They’ll still be as good, but won’t taste as creamy.)

Serve immediately, with fruit and toast or popovers. Serves two!

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Eggs now available at the St. Norbert Farmers' Market

Ok ok ok ok ok! I’m back! School is over, the requisite trip back home has taken place, job has been secured. I am crossing my fingers that I will have more time for blogging, now that I don’t have homework and other issues hanging over me!

In case it passed your notice, the St. Norbert Farmers’ Market is now open. The market is open every Saturday 8:00am-3:00pm. It will also be open on Canada Day (8:00am-3:00pm), and starting in July it will be open Wednesday afternoons noon – 6:00pm.

Saturday haul.

We’ve gone every weekend that the market has been open so far, and it’s been even better than last year. The produce stands are awash in asparagus and spring greens, and we’re even starting to see carrots and tomatoes. (And of course, Wenkai Liu is back with his wealth of greenhouse-grown Oriental veggies.) Our favourite vendors are back, and there are some new ones.

One of the most exciting additions has been Nature’s Farm eggs from Steinbach. The market was really lacking in two areas: eggs and dairy products. I suspect this is because of the tight grip that marketing boards have on producers, so I am thrilled to see these eggs available directly from the producer. The colour of these eggs is amazing. The chickens are fed with flax, which gives their yolks an amazing orangy-yellow colour. Nature’s Farm also makes a variety of pastas that I’ve written about before.

I’m looking forward to another summer of exploring our local foodshed via the Market. Hopefully, the addition of Nature’s Farm means that there are even more good surprises in store in the years ahead.

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