Dying Eggs in the Russian Tradition

April 10, 2010

Hello friends!

Last Sunday was Easter for all of you, no doubt. But here in Moscow, it was Пасха (Pass-cha). I passed on the opportunity to go to church, but I couldn’t turn my host mom down when she asked if I wanted to dye eggs. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into, but it’s an opportunity I’m glad I didn’t miss.

Instead of dying eggs with cheap store-bought chemicals, Russians start with a huge batch of hard-boiled brown eggs and a pot of onion skins. First, we wrapped the eggs in old pairs of pantyhose with cilantro leaves and rice. Once the stuff was firmly against the sides of the eggs, we let them soak in the pot of onion skins and water until the acidity of the onion skins burned an imprint onto the eggs.

These are some of the finished products.

It should be noted that the wrapping of these eggs is a very difficult process. You can’t really tell what your finished egg is going to look like, and the process of wrapping can be extremely tedious. However, mom, Anya wanted me to let you know that I am quite skilled at this wrapping procedure!

Here's a bowl full of what we came up with.

Marveling at our creations. In order from left to right, my mom Anya, brother Sergei, and his girlfriend Ira (pronounced EAR-ah).

Close-up of one of Anya's favorites.

It was quite an experience coloring eggs this way, and I think you can really appreciate the finished product more than when it’s simply dipped in dye. It was also a good chance for me to get to have some quality bonding time with my wonderful host family. I have a lot more updates on the way, so stay tuned!


One Response to “Dying Eggs in the Russian Tradition”

  1. steve davis Says:

    My mother remembers her Polish mother and great-grandmother doing Easter eggs this way. PAAS doesn’t make a kit for that.

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