Friday, April 22, 2011

Onion-skin Easter Eggs, Bosnian-style

Here in Bosnia, Serbian Orthodox families traditionally dye Easter eggs with onion skins. We decided to do our Easter eggs the traditional Bosnian way.

First, we gathered leaves and blossoms, dipped them in egg white and affixed them to the raw eggs. (Happily, only a few eggs got dropped by my enthusiastic 5, 6, and 7 year old helpers.)

Then we carefully put the decorated eggs into an old nylon stocking. Not carefully enough, it turned out.  The stocking knocked the foliage off all but one of the eggs. Every experienced Bosnian egg decorator I asked about it told me I just didn't do it carefully enough.

We dumped onion skins on top of the eggs--we've been saving the colored skins of our yellow onions for weeks now. Today at the produce market we saw an enterprising vendor selling not only onions but also bags full of onion skins.

I covered the whole mess of eggs and onion skins with water and squirted in a bit of vinegar, too, about a tablespoon. We boiled the eggs for 15 minutes, turned off the heat, and let them  continue to soak in the onion skin water for about an hour (until dinner was over).

The last step was to dry off the eggs and rub a tiny bit of oil into the shell to make them glow.

I had been dubious about how well our brown eggshells would take color, but the results, even without the shadows of leaves and flowers, were beautiful. Not pastel: vivid and gorgeous.

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