Not-So-Easy, Natural, Big, (Kinda) Orange Easter Eggs  Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs
As one of those parents who reads the latest health concerns about things like artificial food dyes, it seemed only fitting to use natural colorings for our Easter eggs again this year.  After a first round of trying a few natural methods last year, I was determined to at least produce pink and orange.  In particular, Big Orange for the Tennessee Vols.  It seemed reasonable enough.  I had some success with beet juice producing pink egg coloring, and I knew that turmeric created a brownish yellow.  So why wouldn't the two ingredients create orange?

Beets and Turmeric
I had one and third tablespoons of turmeric left in the spice canister, so that's what I used in two cups of boiling water and about six tablespoons of vinegar.  I added the coloring of about one beet, then kept adding copious amounts of beet juice until the hot mixture seemed bright enough.  It took at least 10 minutes of having a hard boiled egg in the mixture to produce a discernible color.

Does any sort of turmeric-beet mixture produce orange, or just a pale brown or yellow? Depends on how you look at it, I suppose.  We never produced neon orange, but the eggs were bright enough to look like what other family members thought was "kinda orange." 

Beet Juice Pink Coloring
The girls spent a few minutes helping color some of the beet-colored pink eggs at the table, away from the stove.  Because I was concerned that the colors weren't deep enough, I kept transferring the eggs between the "orange" pan and the "pink" pan, trying to get something to work.  The prettiest eggs, when all done and dried, had a delicate pattern that included pink against a yellow background and other variations.

Naturally Dyed Easter Egg
Did I mention that while I was laboring over these eggs and cleaning up in the kitchen, my youngest was sneaking around to eat more artificially colored candy brought home from a neighborhood egg hunt?  So much for avoiding color-by-number foods.

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