"Mrs Bates, let me propose your venturing on one of these eggs. An egg boiled very soft is not unwholesome. Serle understands boiling an egg better than any body. I would not recommend an egg boiled by any body else; but you need not be afraid, they are very small, you see -- one of our small eggs will not hurt you. Miss Bates, let Emma help you to a little bit of tart -- a very little bit. Emma The tradition of dyeing Easter eggs or eggs for Spring festivals goes back hundreds of years to the ancient Egyptians. In the Spring, they would dye eggs in bright colors and give them to friends as tokens of new life. Early Christians who avoided eating eggs during Lent would preserve them by boiling them. It is said that they dyed them red, using onion skins, in remembrance of Christ's blood, shed for them. Boiled eggs are also a part of the Passover tradition. Later on, during the 16th century the tradition of exchanging eggs as Easter presents was in full swing and lovers would hand decorate special eggs with a variety of colors, gilt, wax and even paper for their sweethearts. We don't know if Jane Austen ever decorated Easter Eggs. If she had, only the most natural ingredients would have been available to her. Here are some basic guidelines for transforming eggs into beautiful works of art:
- Canned produce will produce much paler colors.
- Boiling the colors with vinegar will result in deeper colors.
- Some materials need to be boiled to impart their color (name followed by 'boiled' in the list below).
- After your eggs dry, use a vegetable oil and soft cloth to polish them.