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The Ballad of Bloon & Bubby

Lowered Eggspectations

So here's what you missed, during the Great Blog Outage of a Few Days of 2014: Me as a real-time walking exhibit of Pinterest Fail, because I decided to get obsessive over Easter eggs for some reason.

Easter is not my holiday jam. I always forget about it, and when it comes on the heels of a week-long break from school I'm generally just sort of over life in general. My own mom used to go All Out for Easter — baskets were like a mini-Christmas morning! there was a cake shaped like a bunny and a big fancy meal and candy freaking everywhere omg candy candy candy! — so I'm not sure what happened. I suck at it.

(Maybe because my love of holidays now is firmly carb- and entree-driven and I'm just not really that into ham.)

Before spring break, Ezra's preschool class dyed Easter eggs, once again reminding me that my kids' teachers have so much more energy and patience than I do, because I cannot even remember the last time we dyed eggs: I buy the plastic kind and fill 'em with whatever bagged candy is on sale. 

(Though to be fair, this is Ezra's teacher's first year at his school, so it's possible we've simply gotten her before multiple knocked-over dye cups and broken eggs and oh God, Tyler, don't drink the dye spit it out spit it out have adequately crushed her can-do spirit. We'll see what happens next year when Ike is in her class — I'm guessing it'll be Easter eggs of the construction-paper-and-marker variety.) 

Anyway, Ezra brought his eggs home and Noah immediately looked at them with an accusatory side-eye of NOT FAIR. How come HE never gets to dye Easter eggs? Huh, Mom, how come? 

(Because it's a pain in the ass and nobody in our house eats the hard-boiled eggs so they all go to waste and the plastic ones have CANDY INSIDE, that's how come.)

Alas, the trap was set. I felt badly and promised him we'd dye Easter eggs this year.

Then we went to Williamsburg and I kind of forgot about the whole thing. Jason didn't, helpfully sending me a link to instructions on how to dye eggs naturally with vegetable scraps. And that part of my brain that's self-aware enough to recognize when I'm out of my crafty depth (which is admittedly very, very shallow) shut down at the sight of those pretty, pretty colors and I suddenly decided that I was the sort of person who not only dyes Easter eggs, but dyes them NATURALLY, because FUCK FOOD COLORING. 

I should note that yes, we are pretty anti-food coloring. Artificial colors in food exacerbate Noah's sensory and ADHD symptoms, so we try to limit his exposure whenever possible. Blah blah blah, me and my precious principles, please remember that 1) we're talking about dyeing eggshells, not our morning breakfast cereal, and 2) NOAH DOESN'T EVEN LIKE HARD-BOILED EGGS. NONE OF US DO. WE'RE EVEN THE WEIRDOS WHO HATE EGG SALAD.

But no matter! I had found a project! A project I was 100% committed to and excited about for at least an hour, until I realized that I had absolutely none of the required vegetable scraps on hand. My produce drawer had a couple faded stalks of celery, some anemic carrots and a mysterious bag of Something Brown That May Or May Not Have Been Cilantro. And I further realized that going to the grocery store and spending money on fresh cabbage and beets and a buttload of onions for the express purpose of boiling them into an inedible slurry did not sound...frugal. Or even remotely responsible and earth friendly. So I was the sort of person who dyed Easter eggs naturally with expensive wasted food? Good god, I WAS A MONSTER.

It was time for a downgrade. I dug around in my baking supplies for awhile and emerged in principled triumph: A never-used package of all-natural, vegetable-based food coloring. 

I meticulously boiled a dozen eggs — thinking, perhaps, if I made sure they were perfectly cooked someone would actually eat them this year — and set out our supplies and rallied the troops. The boys excitedly gathered around the kitchen counters as I measured out water and vinegar and shook up the dye bottles.

And shook them.

And shook them.


The yellow dye — the only really identifiable color of the three — was staying stubbornly separated, with a lot of solid goop clinging to the sides. The red and the blue dyes were...well, I'm ASSUMING they were red and blue, because they didn't really look like anything. I added them to the water anyway and both cups immediately swirled into a smelly dark brown liquid, something akin to rancid tea. 

The boys stared at it, and then at me. At this point I flipped the dye box over and realized that they expired in mid-2012. 


And my existing ambivalence towards this holiday grew ever, ever deeper. 

Jason was out running errands (translation: rushing around looking for crap to throw in the boys' Easter baskets, because we'd forgotten about that, too), so I texted him an SOS. Grab some dye, any dye! 

So. Yeah. $3 Angry Birds-branded Easter Eggs it was. 


Quick! Just put the "speckled dye tablets" in some mason jars and add a photo filter! No one has to know!

The worst part — THE WORST PART — is that I ended up dyeing the eggs alone, after the boys went to bed. They'd completely lost interest in the activity after the false start with the hippie dyes. Eggsactly how I wanted to spend my Saturday night. 


Well, at least the wine was going to be involved no matter what. 

The eggs did turn out kind of pretty. 


I hand-colored these with turmeric paste, organic algae essence and a touch of beet smoothie. Delicious!

The boys decorated the eggs with some stickers on Easter morning, after the World's Shortest Egg Hunt. 


It literally took them less than five minutes to find every egg we'd hidden, including one that I think has been hanging out back there since last Easter. 


Noah obeyed my direction to "let Ike find some" and diligently helped add to his brother's stash.


Ezra, on the other hand, did no such thing. Suckers. 


Ike really liked finding the "real" eggs instead of the plastic, at least. He also really liked dropping them on the deck, repeatedly.

Back inside, Ezra and Ike agreed to try a slice of hard-boiled egg, which they both immediately spat out in disgust. I made some egg salad that nobody is eating, and am using the rest as a treat for Ceiba, hiding her joint pills in the (PERFECTLY COOKED) egg yolks. 

The boys did LOVE their Easter baskets. Those were the one solid hit of the day. Jason found some chocolate bunnies and other candy, we lined the bottoms with scraps from our office shredder...and then I somewhat guiltily gave everybody a couple dollars of cash from my wallet. IT'S AN EASTER MIRACLE. 


Katie in Cali

I love that I am not the only one who is ambivalent towards Easter. We dyed eggs Sunday morning, and didn't even hide them. I did hide the plastic ones though. I'll have to remember the shredder grass for next year. There was no grass in his basket.


There are THREE DOZEN nearly week old easter eggs sitting on my kitchen counter.The trash comes on Monday and I couldn't throw them out this past Monday because they were still shiny and new and I would have crushed Abi's soul. None of us eat hard-boiled eggs either. Just seeing them there gives me the dry heaves and I refuse to put them in the fridge because then everything will smell like hard-boiled eggs and fuck that noise. I? Didn't even have to dye them. I sent Abi to my mom's and THEY dyed eggs. And yet... there they sit. On my counter. Ugh.


So I actually love hard boiled eggs usually. And my 18 month old dyed some and had great fun. I'm pregnant however and apparently my embryo hates hard boiled eggs. With a passion. It's the only food that has made me sick thus far. So our eggs died an unceremonious death as well because my husband and son won't eat them. Grr...

Liz McC.

At Walmart this year, I found fake plastic dyeable eggs for $2! And they totally worked with the dye kits they sell. It was easy and no one had to gag over the hard boiled "fragrant" eggs.


You know what's fun? Buying Starburst jelly beans on sale WEEKS before the Easter craze, buying plastic eggs and organic dye and then having all that shit sit in the same bag a week after Easter because memory and laziness and meh. The baskets weren't done but that fake grass is all over my floors. We didn't dye anything but I'm still interested in doing a mini, better late than never plastic egg hunt in the backyard because that bunny has nothing to do with the day. Magnify, O Lord for He is risen. With bunnies. Thank you, Easter Bunny! Bock bock.

I'm going to hell.


I actually really like Easter myself. 2 ideas for next year (AS IF). Scuba diver eggs (google or Pinterest - super easy, you don't have to dye, but very cute) and cascarones- eggshells filled with confetti kids can smash on the fence or heck, on each other's heads.


The only "natural" dye with the food scraps that worked for me was the one with turmeric. And that also dyed my favorite soup ladle into a sickly green color. Not worth it! All the others were a messy gross disaster. Oh and the frozen blueberries, but that was a total waste of frozen blueberries.

Buying the Angry Birds version next year.


I get the dye boxes at the Dollar Store, because whatever. Although someone posted egg eyes withhold school Kool Aid that looked fun.
I posted a picture of my 4yo this year, with six perfectly blue eggs and a tremble lower lip. She and ripped through all none of her eggs in, like, three minutes, and had no more eggs to dye (because if you do the math, that's 18 HB eggs that no one but me will eat. And I like them and all, but....)
And then I realized on Tuesday morning that I had failed to collect the hard boiled eggs and refrigerate them, so ain't nobody eating them this year. (don't judge. Hard month.)


Oh, holy cow, it is typo city up in there. Apologies, and bonus points for deciphering skills.


We also have three children. To avoid the mad scramble of inequity (aka Middle Child grabbed up all the eggs and left the other two with sad faces), we started labeling the eggs a few years ago. So each plastic egg bears the name of one of the children. If you find an egg without your name, you leave it where you found it for that person to find. Result: everybody gets CANDY, no sad faces, no parental buzz killing "stop, stop, your sister only has one EGG, you are DONE!". Acknowledged downside: you have to re-assess each year and make sure you have some eggs with each kid's name still on them, or get new ones.....Or you could just buy new ones every year - but I can't quite bring myself to do that because of the planet.

birdgal (another amy)

Your food-centric attitude towards Easter is just like mine--I'm not really into ham, therefore, I am not really into Easter. Also, I've dyed eggs with my kids just once(and it may have been before the 2nd one came along actually--so one has NEVER done it). Too much trouble for too little reward in my book. And I LIKE hard boiled eggs, but I'm the only one in my family who does and I don't think I could commit to eating ALL of them!


In my book, your Easter was so much better than the couple, who checked out before me at a great big discount store a week before Easter. It was obvious they had two kids and their cart only contained Easter basket themed items. $140+ Wow


If you ever do want to do cool natural eggs, you can save onion skins, which make beautiful eggs. You take the skins, wrap them around the egg and then put them in some pantyhose or wrap them in clean rags with twine. Boil as you normally would. When you take off the skins, the eggs are naturally dyed. My grandmother used to do this with us every year - they are really cool-looking. But, I do the Paas kits!


We have about a dozen hard boiled eggs left over. We dyed them, and at least let the older kid dye them, but then we did absolutely nothing. Didn't put them in the baskets, didn't do a hunt. No idea what the point was.


i didn't even consider hiding eggs for my kids. on easter morning, my 4 year old got her coat on, picked up her easter basket and told me she was going outside to 'hunt eggs'. i told her i didn't think there were any outside but she very confidently assured me 'don't worry, I will find some'. i think i need to step up my game next year...


I did baskets last year and my kids were so meh about the whole thing that I didn't even bother this year. My mom really wanted to do something so that morning she brought over a bunch of plastic ones to "hide" in the living room (my kids suck at finding things). Each egg had a single grape in it and my kids thought it was the greatest activity ever. They're just weird.


My Easter lessons learned:

1) Target still has awesome stuff the day before Easter. This year, cheapo squirt guns were the big winner.

2) I hate candy, for me and the kids. Avengers stickers and TMNT tattoos make great egg fillers.

3) Favorite quote, from the 3-year-old: "Mommy, when I like eggs, I like them, but when I don't like eggs, I don't like them" One bite of hard boiled egg said today he didn't like them.

4) Forget ham. And cooking. Totally not Easter-y, but I loved our dinner out at my favorite Israeli Hummus house :-)

5) Whoever came up with the idea of including GLITTER in egg dying kits is sadistic, and needs to be hunted down and confined before he/she does any more damage. I'm still finding glitter all over my house and kids and fridge and food!


You don't have to hardboil them. Just make a little hole on the top with a needle, a slightly bigger hole on the bottom, and blow out the contents! (Clean the insides so it won't start to smell.) Paint the eggs and make omelet/cake/whatever and voila!


I totally feel you on the yuck to hard-boiled eggs and egg salad! Not a fan is putting it mildly... Nice work, though :)


Half the reason I took the kids up to see my parents over spring break is so my mom would dye eggs with the kids. I read a book in the other room. Fun was had by all! And my girls loooove hardboiled eggs so they're not going to waste.


In case you think you win at worst Easter mom: when my son was 5, we forgot about Easter until about 9:00 the Saturday night before. Both too lazy to go to the drugstore, I put the following items in his basket: some candy from christmas; a pack of gum from my purse, a pad of sticky notes, and 5 $1 bills. We knew the MIL would be coming with a proper easter basket the next day, but good god did I feel like a FAIL.


My children got stacks of Easter Eggs for neighbours and friends. I put them in a huge silver pot in the floor of the sitting room because I couldn't be arsed to hide them outside at midnight.

Small child No 2 "Why did the Easter bunny leave them there?"
Me: "Ummm, because she was in a hurry."
Small child No 1: "There are still some hidden in the garden though right?"
Me: No. The slugs would have licked them.
Children: "Oooo, yuk. Well done Easter bunny."


Ah, yes, thank you! Easter annoys me so much sometimes with all its perfect Easter outfits and eggs and Bunny photos. I was tempted (out of guilt) to do the natural dyes until I read that they take 24-48 hours to actually dye the eggs, SERIOUSLY? My kids are 2 and 4. If it doesn't happen in under 30 seconds they do not care. We dyed 12 eggs (PAAS, baby) in under 5 minutes and did two Easter egg hunts in probably under 5 minutes each. That's how we roll.


Not to worry - you are not the only one. I could not think of a bigger pain in the ass than dying Easter eggs. Until my kids are old enough to drive themselves to the store and buy the dye themselves - there will be no Easter egg dying going on here.

Emilia H.

My sister and I didn't want to hide the eggs in their apartment while everyone was sleeping so we just told her kids that the Easter Bunny left the eggs for us to hide in the morning so he wouldn't wake anyone up. I think the youngest one might have believed us. Also, for harboiled eggs next time try these hard boiled egg cookies I've made all three and liked them.


Here's my friend Jen's UBER-popular post about Kool-Aid dyed eggs, if you ever go there again. Such an awesome story- my mom did full-on easter too, but I don't think I will ever quite get there, especially with a Jewish-ish husband.

Lynda M Otvos

Oh man, my kids are grown, gone and not doing it with their kids by now. Stupidest holiday Ever !~! (she ducks as the rest of her fundamentalist family throws shoes at her--do they think I'm Hilary for shite's sake?) We didn't do a damn thing that we don't every other sunday: sleep, read, tv, eat, sleep some more, sweep in anticipation of Monday work and then hit the sack by ten. That's Easter here in NoCal.


We are also avoiding anything artificial in these parts to help my daughter so I did go the natural dyes route and what a colossal mistake. I actually used the link you posted above for the recipes and the only ones that somewhat worked after letting them sit OVERNIGHT was the onion skins and the purple cabbage, but if you rubbed the eggs the color totally came off. It was more of a film than a dye. The kids (and adults) had more fun decorating eggs with sharpies. Next year, I will go the artificial color route all the way!

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