How to... Dye Red Easter Eggs

In a stainless saucepan, place the skins of 15 onions and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar in 4 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Yellow (Spanish) onion peels work best. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Strain dye into a glass bowl, and let cool to room temperature. (Don't be fooled by the orange color.)

Put the cooled, strained dye into a stainless saucepan and add eggs that have been allowed to warm to room temperature. The eggs should be in one layer and covered by the dye.

Bring to a boil over medium heat. When boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer. To protect the eggs from cracking while boiling, add salt to the water.

The time required for the dyeing will be affected by the color of the eggs. Start checking for color at 12-15 minutes. Do not simmer longer than 20 minutes. (If eggs are not a red enough color after 20 minutes, leave them in the pot, but remove from heat. When the pot has cooled enough, place it in the refrigerator and let sit until desired color is reached.) Painted eggs can be made shiny by first being wiped dry and then greased with sunflower oil and polished with paper towels.

Speckled eggs can be created by first wetting the eggs and placing them in dry rice. The eggs are then wrapped in gauze and tied with a thread to allow the rice to stick. Finally, the eggs are boiled in a dye solution.

Time Required: 50 minutes + 2 hours cooling.

Tips: Do not use any porous (wood, ceramic, plastic, etc.) materials, as they can be stained by the dye. If stainless cookware and utensils are stained, wash them with regular detergent and a small amount of chlorine. Rinse very well.