Firstly I’ll explain why I dye eggs to celebrate a Greek Easter tradition, it’s not because I’m greedy and want two Easter celebrations a year it’s because my husband is Greek Cypriot and both our sons have been christened Orthodox. I don’t really do much more than the eggs, oh I guess we have lamb which is also a tradition! The reason I do the eggs is because they are fun to do and the game is something the boys have always enjoyed. Which I’ll also explain because children and adults get very competitive! …. Everyone selects an egg carefully choosing the one they think is the strongest. Then the cracking begins! ( think conkers without getting hurt! ) one cracks their egg on top of another’s chosen egg top to top, bottom to bottom,saying Christos Anesti. The other responds Alithos Anesti ( we don’t do that bit!! ) Each time, there is a winner and loser. This keeps going, the winner is the one with the un-cracked egg! The one with the strongest egg is said to have good luck for the whole year!! So let’s get cracking!!!!!!
It’s best to use white eggs and if you can get it you will need a sachet of Greek egg colouring, I do red, blue and sometimes green.
You will need:
- Eggs ( I do at least 30 which seems a lot but once everyone starts playing you’ll go through them so this year I’ve done 60 )
- Sachet of colouring – I use one per 15 eggs
- Large pan
- Rubber gloves or disposable to use when handling
- Olive to polish them
- Vinegar – one cup per batch of eggs
This is how I do them and it works for me and I don’t mean to show off but I didn’t crack one egg yesterday! ( go me! ) I sit 15 eggs in one layer in hot water from the tap for about 10mins.
Meanwhile dissolve a sachet of colouring in a mug of boiling water. After the 10mins pour the dissolved colouring into the pan with the water and eggs, bring them upto a slow boil on a med heat. This will prevent them bouncing and cracking!
Once they are boiling let them boil for 15/20 mins. Just before you remove them from the heat pour in a cup of vinegar.
Remove the eggs from the pan with a slotted spoon and place them on kitchen paper to dry and cool.
Once cool take a cloth or kitchen towel dip into olive oil and polish your pretty coloured eggs. This is where you will need your gloves because although the dye washes off pans and utensils it’s harder to get off your hands!!!!!!
This is a very basic way of decorating eggs but you do get a beautiful deep colour. You can of course paint and decorate at this point which I sometimes did when the boys were small. They make a lovely Easter table decoration that looks very impressive!!!!!