As a kid growing up in the mountains of Big Tujunga Canyon we used to have a hippie tradition that was so wonderfully wholesome it set me up for Easter disappointment for the rest of my adult life. Nothing can compare to the warm spring evenings and homemade root beer that drove all of us kids running in the direction of our friend’s horse property half a mile down the road. Right before dusk the whole neighborhood would convene to help the kids tie leaves and grass around our eggs with twine, and then boil them in a cauldron of bubbling onion peels. After they were cool we would carefully cut the string free from our packages and press back each strand of grass until a fluffy nest had formed around our precious eggs. As a by-product the eggs were left with the most delicate shadowy patterns of whatever leaves imprinted upon their shells, and we all felt like the grand creators of something very, very special.
This year I realized, rather to my own surprise, that I had yet to share this experience with my boys. Perhaps it was time. And lucky for me a dear friend happened to forward a post from mothering.com which included suggestions for dyeing eggs naturally. So this afternoon the boys and I donned aprons for our first attempt at an old tradition. Although I fudged a few details here and there (trading cheesecloth for wild grasses and coffee for root beer…) I am happy to say the results were various hues of yummy neutrals, and between picking leaves from the garden and chowing down on the fruits of our labors the boys and I most definitely succeeded in bringing back the old days. Can’t wait for next year to do it all over again. Read on for how-to!
Happy Easter, friends. Boom Shakalaka Boom Boom.