Dying Easter Eggs is a tradition spanning centuries in many countries throughout the world.
Last year, a dear friend, Agnes Fuller shared with me a fun-filled day of cooking. We prepared foods based on the Armenian cultural traditions of her family for the Easter Sunday celebration.
Besides Armenian Rice Pilaf, we prepared Armenian style Easter eggs using collected onion skins as catalyst for the dye.
The food was delicious, along with a shared bounty of Armenian style breads, cheeses, stuffed grape leaves and olives.
And the Pilaf preparation, more than a common dish shared by many in the European-Middle Eastern tradition, is to Agnes, a time of prayerful contemplation, each task within the cooking process used as a sort of beatitude in gratitude to the flavorful finish.
During our time together it was fascinating to observe how cultures of people from a simpler past, perhaps even with little money, developed and evolved creative traditions, such as dying eggs in natural shades of color just by saving up and using the skins of onions. This was one way people created their own living acknowledgment of the Easter celebration, the emergence of new life.
As with all things there are of course, some creative twists often used in the egg dying process, including multiple variations of patterns and designs while coloring, but due to our time constraints at the end of the day we agreed to utlize the basic Easter Egg onion skin dyeing technique for sharing.
I thought the Armenian Style Dyed Easter Eggs were naturally lovely. They also serve a symbolic part in the cultural heritage between families of generations.
Onion skins for dyeing eggs have and continue to present one sort of purposeful core of tradition, the saving and collecting of natural bits, those people ever mindful of bringing forth the celebration in signifying their faith on Easter Sunday.