How To Dye Easter Eggs

Easter time!

While I don’t consider myself religious, I come from a traditionally and culturally rich heritage that has religious holidays and rituals so I like to celebrate them with my family.

This year was the first that I didn’t do the egg preparation with my grandma as she has passed. So this time I was going solo and trying to also show off to my partner of a different background.

This is one of the most entertaining activities though. You can dye all different types of eggs or paint them yourself.

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The background

 

Growing up in a Serbian Orthodox community I was told that Easter eggs were a symbol of Jesus being resurrected and we dyed eggs to symbolise his blood.

Sounds morbid.

To me, it’s always being a part of the traditions of my heritage and spending time with my family while being creative.

The egg has also been a long standing symbol of new life, particularly in pagan spring symbolism.

The oldest example of egg decoration was found by archaeologists to be over 60,000 years ago with the discovery of a decorated ostrich egg.

This was still a time that human artistry boomed and we went from the first humans to the first creative creatures.

Growing up we could draw whatever we wanted and used whatever colours.

Some places in the world keep it more traditional with the images of the cross as well as using the colour red.

In our tradition, we use the eggs to compete for bragging rights to see whose egg is the strongest by cracking them in an egg crack showdown.

How I did it

 

Here’s the fun part.

First of all, you want to use some really good eggs. Like proper farm eggs that had chickens having the time of their life.

Fun fact, there are so many chickens on earth in this point in our history that aeons from now when they describe our time on earth, the remains of all those chickens will make us seem like they rivalled us in population.

Anyway, you want a good set of eggs because they last longer without smelling and have a great taste afterwards. Quality!

Also, you should try and support your local farms.

You’re going to need the following:

Stockings

Food dye (I chose blue)

Some garden trimmings and/ or some candle wax.

First, you hard boil the egg.

Put your eggs in cold water that covers them.

Put them on the stove or fire and leave on med-high heat until it comes to a rolling boil.

Turn the heat to med-low and leave for a good 15 minutes on this lower heat for the eggs to boil through.

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Once boiled put them in some icy or very cold water to cool them down.

Dying the eggs

While your eggs are cooling, set up some warm water with a tablespoon of vinegar.

I reused the water I boiled the eggs in.

Then try and put a few drops of colouring in. this can be hard if you don’t have a dropper mechanism.

If you are using the garden pieces and stocking, you want to put your pieces on the dab dry egg and pull the stocking over it to hold it in place and tie the stocking off like a balloon.

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Obviously, don’t squeeze hard.

If you’re using wax, take a piece of candle wax and draw your won invisible design on the egg.

Once you’ve done your design work, you carefully place your eggs in the mixture.

It doesn’t really matter if they’re touching in the pot just make sure they aren’t crowded.

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The dying process can take anywhere from 10-25 minutes depending on how dark you want the colour on your egg.

Once they’re the colour you like, take them out, dry them off and leave to cool and dry.

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The goods

So my egg was the second strongest.

My sister won by default.

But I clearly won.

Conclusion

The tradition of eggs stems from the pagan traditions from the beginning of humanity.

We use the egg religiously because it symbolises new life and Jesus’ resurrection.

We also do it because it’s a fun bonding activity for the community.

You can include many different designs with garden pieces or drawing on your eggs with wax.

While I didn’t do it this time, you can use natural dyes instead of food colouring, and you can also get some very elaborate eggs happening for Easter.

Stay tuned for next year to see what we come up with.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you and learn some new designs.

Leave a comment or a photo and show of what other techniques are out there.

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Cuban Street Food

Ahh, Cuba.

This is one of those places on earth that one you’ve been, you’re so moved that a piece of you remains behind.

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The music, the people, the terrain, the Internet (I’m Australian), the climate and of course their food!

I spent a good two and a half weeks in this beautiful island country and I cannot recommend it higher.

Firstly we’re talking about purchases so I need to clarify the currency disparity. Due to trade sanctions Cuba has two currencies. One is the CUC (Cuban Convertible Peso) that was a replacement for the American dollar and the other is CUP (Cuban Peso). Most people use both throughout the country but the local Peso is more regularly accepted.

A Brief History

Firstly I think it’s best I give a little background to the country and why their food blended with their culture is so unique.

Cuba was originally an island populated by three main indigenous tribes of whose descendants still inhabit the island.

The islands like many others in the Caribbean were transformed into plantations, mainly for sugar cane.

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This is still a major source of economic growth in the country and slaves that were sent to labour the plantations also contribute to the population of descendants.

After Spanish colonial rule, the country was engaged in a treaty that declared Cuba as part of the US’ protectorate between 1898 and 1902 when the country became independent.

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(yes I wore a fedora, I accept your judgement)

In 1952 Bautista, a previous president staged a coup when he lost re-election and overthrew the country. His coup was funded and supported by the US, a trend that can be seen throughout Latin America. Cuba at the time was a safe haven for America’s gangsters with the majority of funding provided by and for the rich elite and the criminals.

In 1958 a revolution led by infamous Fidel and his brother Raul Castro ensued leading the country to become independent and form its current socialist democracy.

During it’s time as a communist entity during the cold war years led to Cuba being a perceived threat of the USA and the subsequent actions that led to long-standing sanctions against its trade.

For this reason, the money the country does have is funnelled back into the support of its people with education, healthcare, employment and this is one of the reasons behind it’s lacking in infrastructure and run down appearance. This is also contributed to the many hurricanes it faces throughout the year.

What this does mean is they subsidise a lot of things.

Subsidised Ice Creams

Thanks to the Bautista years of capitalism, Castro set up a chain of state-run subsidised ice cream parlours around the country with a home base in Havana called Coppelia. However on the street, as you, as it gets hot enough any day of the year you’ll find state-run ice cream vendors pop up all over the towns with subsidised ice cream.

I paid for this chocolate heaven (half is already missing) for only 1 CUC (Cuban Convertible Peso), which equals out to today’s rate of $1.40 AUD.

Creamy but not sickening made with real sugar cane sugar right off the island.

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Ice cream in Cuba is a bit of a big deal, make sure you indulge in the Heladerias.

Street Pizza

Ok, these seem to be the locals favourite and they are EVERYWHERE!

Most places you’re going to get these are holes in the wall. Literally. It’ll be from either a small shop window or the window to someone’s kitchen.

They come in cheese, meat lovers style, supreme and Hawaiian. Personally n9ot a fan of pineapples on pizza but the Cuban people definitely know how to do it right.

These yummers go for about 5 to 10 CUP (Cuban Peso) so that’s about 40 cents AUD.

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Coconut Shell Gelato

 

Another favourite among locals and tourists alike are the gelatos sold in coconut shells. They’re a great mix between sweet ice and gelato. They come in so many different flavours and the mobile store you buy them at always seems to have new flavours.

Every one of them that I bought was homemade with natural ingredients.

Definitely, need to have these when walking around town in the heat but maybe byo a spoon to save having to use the plastic one.

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These go for about 20 CUP so around 80 cents to $1 AUD.

Hamburguesa de Cerdo

 

This one I see a lot of in other posts but in my time I only came across it a few times and only when there were a lot of people around, particularly street festivals or hot evenings.

They come to around $1.50 AUD and are unbelievable.

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You have the option of adding pineapple or onions to them but with the chilli, they are perfection on a bun.

One Peso Coffee

This one is self-explanatory. You buy it at the food stall around the city. They are one peso. They are freshly roasted beans. Just buy them!

RON

 

According to the Observatory of Economic Complexity (https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/country/cub/) $387 million of Cuba’s $1.4 Billion exports was raw sugar. Knowing this and the fact that Havana Club is a national drink then Rum is the way to go!

Light, Dark and old there are many types of rum to moisten your palate with.

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Whether you’re having a roadside mojito on the way to Ayala cave club or just having a break from walking the sea wall, rum is your friend. Drink Responsibly!

 

Conclusion

 

All in all when you travel to Cuba (I say when because the beauty is irresistible) you cannot shy away from the street food.

Most things will cost you less than $2 AUD per item and the flavour is never disappointing.

Each morsel has a history behind it that stretches before communism and sometimes even before the Spanish era which only adds to it’s wholesome and rounded flavours.

Do you think I missed any?

Be sure to comment with any ideas or experiences of your own.

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