Dyeing with Onion Skins for Pascha Gets a Third Chance

Dyeing with Onion Skins for Pascha Gets a Third Chance

I had at least six people tell me I could get a darker red using onion skins for my Pascha eggs than the results I got in my first two attempts.  Two lovely ladies (thank you Maria & Erica!) were kind enough to share their recipes with me and I used both!  I also figured out the trick we missed!  You have to steep the onion skins BEFORE you dye the eggs. Crucial step.   I also do not normally hard boil my eggs for more than 11 minutes and both of their recipes called for the eggs to sit in the hot dye for longer than that. I wouldn’t call the eggs red but they are most definitely much darker than my first two attempts.  I would call them a reddish brown.  I’m okay with this because I prefer the natural dyeing method but if you’re looking for a more vibrant red, I’m not sure you’re going to get it from onion skins. For both recipes, I used both white and brown eggs to compare the difference between the two.  My results were: Red onion skins gave a much darker reddish, brown color to the eggs than the yellow onion skins White eggs will give you a reddish, brown color but for whatever reason showed imperfections in the dyeing process much more profoundly Brown eggs gave a deeper color result but the color was more of a rich chocolate brown than a reddish color There was not a significant difference in results between the two recipes Above are the results for my third attempt to dye eggs with onion...
Different Dyes, Different Shades of Red for Pascha Eggs

Different Dyes, Different Shades of Red for Pascha Eggs

There’s a tradition, especially among the Greeks, of having red eggs for Pascha.  It’s a tradition that has been passed down from one generation to the next as we break the fast together on Pascha.  Where the Slavic traditions will bring a basket of food with them to be blessed by their priest, the Greek tradition is to receive a blessed, red egg from their priest after the Resurrection service.  Both traditions share the commonality of breaking the fast together as a community. These little traditions are teaching moments for our children.  They are not, in any way, a necessity to our Orthodox Christian lives – but they allow for moments of conversation between the grown-ups and children.  They are opportunities to explain our faith to our children while engaging them in an activity that will remain a lifelong memory for them. The story goes that Mary Magdalene visited the Emperor Tiberius after Christ’s Resurrection.  Mary was telling him how Christ had risen from the dead and the emperor mocked her saying that a man could no more rise from the dead than the egg in her hand could turn red.  Immediately, the egg turned red in her hand and this is where our tradition for red eggs on Pascha originates. Parents and grandparents alike have explained the symbolism of the red eggs to their children and grandchildren over the years – whether it’s while they are making them together on Holy Thursday, gazing at them in their hands after Liturgy on Pascha, or while they take that first bite after cracking it open with a triumphant, “Christ is...
Lenten Staples: Meals on the Go – the Sequel

Lenten Staples: Meals on the Go – the Sequel

Here’s one more set of Lenten meals on the go during this season.  After this post, I’m going to focus on some of the traditional foods for Pascha – egg dyeing, bread, etc. These are simple meals I made for my family to eat on the way to or from church during last week.  Trust me, at 6 months pregnant, I did not spend a lot of time putting these together. These are quick and easy meals to prevent us from stopping at fast food on the way home from church.  I put the containers in a big bag with a fork, napkin, and juice box for each person – and there you have a Lenten meal in the car when everyone is hungry.   In this meal: Pretzels (regular or gluten free) Almond Butter Peas Strawberries In this meal: Quick Vegetable Biryani Tomato & Cucumber Salad Blackberries Quick Vegetable Biryani: 1 box “A Taste of Thai Yellow Curry Rice” prepared per directions on the box.  If you don’t like spicy foods, just use little to none of the little red spice packet when preparing the rice. Saute 1 chopped zucchini, 1 chopped carrot, and 2 cloves of garlic in 1 tsp of olive oil Heat up half a bag of frozen peas Then mix vegetables and rice together In this meal: Pasta & Masala Marinara (“Dave’s Gourmet” brand pasta sauce – If you like Indian food, this is a seriously yummy pasta sauce!!!  It’s not spicy at all for kids either.) Fruit medley – pears, orange, and plums Corn In this meal:  (This is the gluten free, pregnant...
Lesson: Evening Services During Lent

Lesson: Evening Services During Lent

This is a lesson I did with my nine and ten year-old today to talk about the evening services we attend during Lent.  I made this lesson with my boys and our parish’s services in mind.  The lesson assumes that your parish holds Great Compline on Monday nights, Pre-Sanctified Liturgy on Wednesday nights, and Akathist to the Mother of God on Friday nights.  If not, you can tweak the lesson to fit your family or class’ needs.  This lesson also goes along with our Pascha Passports.   Here is the worksheet and lesson:  Lesson – Evening Services During Lent Here is the calendar printout:  Calendar – Evening Services During Lent This lesson can easily be used for children a couple of years older than ten and for children a year or two younger than nine.  (You know your children/class and what they can do academically.) Appealing to different learning styles: One of my boys is an auditory-sequential learner and the other is a visual-spatial learner.  I printed out the lesson and let both of them read along in their head as I read it to them.  My auditory learner got to hear it being read and my visual learner could see the text and follow along at his own pace. I created the worksheet to appeal to my auditory-sequential learner who thinks mostly in words and systematically. The worksheet reinforced our lesson for him.  I also talked to them, line by line, about what the words in the prayer of St. Ephraim met on their age level.  We talked about who is “Lord and Master” of their life, what is...
Lenten Staples: Meals on the Go

Lenten Staples: Meals on the Go

These fasting meals were inspired by the school lunch, the grown-up work lunch, and the meals eaten in the car going to or from weeknight Lenten services.  They are meant as inspiration or to copy for all those needing a Lenten meal on the go.         Contents of this meal: Bean burrito: vegetarian refried beans, onions, bell pepper, guacamole, tomatoes, and salsa Dried apricots Applesauce Roasted pepita seeds Contents of this meal: Black bean & veggie sandwich Apple Chips Salsa Contents of this meal: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich Broccoli Orange Olives Dried figs Contents of this meal: Pita bread Pistachios Carrots Peanut butter Applesauce Contents of this meal: Chips Lenten Chili Cashews Raisins Contents of this meal: Chips Salsa Guacamole Dates covered with coconut Dried cranberries Contents of this meal: Peanut butter & jelly on rice cakes Banana Pickles Salad Salad dressing Contents of this meal: Pita bread Hummus Cucumbers, carrots, and peppers for dipping Dolmas Dal Greek salad – cucumbers, tomatoes, and...
Lenten Staples: Legumes & Grains

Lenten Staples: Legumes & Grains

These are eight examples of meals I’ve made using the legume and grain staples in my pantry.  I decided to label this selection of food legumes and grains to provide the widest definition for these staples.  Wikipedia defines legumes as – “Well-known legumes include alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lentils, lupins, mesquite, carob, soybeans, and peanuts.”   This is a huge group of staples to choose from so select your family’s favorites and see how many combinations you can come up with during Lent. Taco Soup 1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 can tomato sauce 3 – 4 tbs Cumin 2 – 3 tbs Smoked paprika Salt and pepper 1 vegan bouillon cube 1 small bag of frozen corn Mix all ingredients in pot and simmer until warm.  Pour over corn chips and top with guacamole and salsa. Black Bean & Corn Enchiladas  Large handful fresh cilantro, chopped 3 ears of corn, sliced from the cob or 1 bag frozen corn 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 capful cumin 1 capful smoked paprika Salt and pepper 10 tortillas (regular or gluten free) 1 large can of enchilada sauce Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all the ingredients together except the tortillas and enchilada sauce in a bowl. Scoop a hearty spoonful of mixture into a tortilla and then roll and place in a casserole pan.  When all the tortillas have been filled, pour the enchilada sauce over the top and place the pan in the oven.  Bake for approximately 20 minutes.   Lemony Rice Soup...