Greek Red Easter Eggs
Last night, the actual Greek Easter, we had a small dinner party with some friends. The week before in Geneva my mother-in-law, Rita and I made a batch of traditional deep red Greek Easter eggs and last night we used them in our own little egg smashing competition. The process of dying them is the same as any standard pastel Easter egg coloring technique, but in Greece they do a particularly neat decoration of leaf imprints on the red background. Here's how we did it:
We set the eggs in a pot of cold water, put that over a high flame and once the water came to a boil, we lowered the heat to medium and let them softly boil for 5 minutes. In the meantime, we took a package of "Paschalia" "non-toxic, European Union Approved" Easer Egg Dye*, and mixed the contents with 1/2 cup white vinegar (in a glass we promised we'd never use again because of the red staining - Could this be the origin of the Greek plate-smashing tradition? Hmmm...
*Imagine how strong Greek Easter egg dye must be to render white eggs, not pink, but blood red!
Once the eggs were finished boiling, we took them out of the hot water and cooled them down. With some parsley, rose and I don't know what leaves clipped from the balcony plants, we proceeded to make the decorations.
We cut approx. 3 inch pieces from an old (but clean) pair of nylons. We placed one leaf onto an egg and stretched the nylon over everything, tying a knot in the back with some string. It's best to have two people working in this together, one to stretch and tighten the nylon and the other to tie the string.
Then in a bowl we'd promised never to use again either (opaah!), we put the eggs in and poured cold water to cover. We then poured in the vinegar/dye mixture and let the eggs sit for 5 minutes. After that, we returned the eggs to their carton and let them completely dry before cutting off the nylon and revealing the leaf pattern.
The final step was to take a paper towel, dip it in oil and rub the eggs with it to give them a shiny glow. Music to shine eggs by: The Strokes, "Is This It?" The track, "Last Nite" blends the best of hard-ass rock n' roll with Julian Casablancas' loungey lyrics. Have a listen. After that, you're ready for the Easter egg smashing competition!