Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Silk Tie Easter Eggs

There was a suggestion from one of the (many) Waldorf Homeschool groups to to this method for dyeing easter eggs. It is so simple and the eggs come out so elegant!

I'm crazy tired so I'm not going to waste a lot of time being witty and fabulous. I'll just cut to the chase and tell you what you need to know!

You will need:

Some silk ties (I scored some at Goodwill 1/2 off for $2)I bought 5 and had leftovers. NOTE ON TIES: AVOID YELLOW AND LIGHT PASTEL COLORS. They suck. Go for deep blues, blacks, purples, dark greens- those will give up the most pleasing colors. Red worked nicely, too!

White eggs (if you are using farm fresh wipe eggs down with vinegar before doing anything else) I used 18.

White cotton fabric (I used some flannel scraps and a ratty cut up tshirt).

Something to tie or secure your bundles with

1/4 Cup plain white vinegar
The yellow tie came out awful. It was just a white egg with faint dots on it.

If you've got all that stuff, you're ready to go!

First, cut out the felt strip from the tie. you only want to have the thin piece of silk.

Cut the tie in squares big enough to wrap your egg.

Cut the white cotton in squares to cover the silk wrapped egg.

I recommend cutting everything a day ahead of time. Give yourself a break so you don't feel too overwhelmed by such an easy fun project!

Wrap the egg up with the right side of the silk against the eggshell. This is important.

Wrap the silk-wrapped egg with the white cotton.

Secure with a tie.

Make sure that the egg is firmly wrapped and that it is securely tied.

Repeat the process until all the eggs are bundled.

Fill a pot with water about 2" high and 1/4 Cup white vinegar.

Place the eggs in the pot. Add more water if necessary to make sure the eggs are covered by about an inch.

Set the heat to medium.

When you hear it boiling, set your timer for 40 minutes.

After 40 minutes, use tongs to remove the eggs and place them on a safe surface to drain and cool COMPLETELY.

Wait about 30 minutes or more for the eggs to be cool to the touch.

Unwrap slowly. The boys LOVED this part! It was magical.

If you want some lovely shine, dip a cotton ball in some vegetable oil and rub the eggs.

You could blow out the eggs and dye the shells to keep year after year. But for us, it was so easy I'm not going to do the extra 12 steps of blowing out the eggs. We'll make more next year!


Some notes in case you're wondering:

*We have no plans of eating these eggs.  I'm sure the dye is toxic.  Also, the eggs were not from a farm where we know the chickens.

*You can't reuse the ties. Once they have been boiled in vinegar, they are spent.  You could possibly wash them and dry them and reuse as something else though.

*I am not sure if you could keep the eggs year after year. I've seen conflicting info about how a boiled egg dries out or rots over time.  I don't plan on keeping these. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Easy, healthful fudge

Fudge is awesome. It's like having cake icing without the delivery mechanism of the cake part.

I wondered what would happen if I mixed honey & cocoa. Would it give me a nice spreadable icing?

I still wonder because I couldn't stop myself with just honey & cocoa powder!

I figured if I added some coconut oil and put it in the fridge, the whole thing would turn into a nicely set fudge.

Oh sweet mercy- I was right.

So, in case you want to try for yourself, here's the recipe:

Stupidly Easy Crazy Good Fudge

1 Cup non-dutch process cocoa powder

1 Cup virgin cold pressed organic coconut oil softened at room temp (you could use cooled melted butter, but you wouldn't get the same good benefits that the coconut oil would give you)
3/4 Cup UNFILTERED, UNHEATED, RAW honey. The kind that is solid at room temp.
1/2tsp vanilla

Whisk everything together until a nice shiny smooth mixture forms. Pour into parchment lined square baking dish. Refridgerate for 30 minutes until set.

Don't blame me if you make yourself sick from eating the whole pan.

The photo was taken in bad light with my phone. Don't judge.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tea Parties with Boys

Each week we go to a homeschool co-op. The boys have a lovely teacher for an Early Years class.

She sings with them, does fingerplays, engages them in lots of outdoor activies, and provides a beautiful organic setting for them to explore and play.

A few weeks ago Miss J had a Spring Tea Celebration with the children. They put fresh linens on the picnic table and used china cups and saucers.

My boys were so pleased! They loved the tea and they loved the experience of using fine dishes. We had to recreate their tea party that night at home.

Having tea has become a part of our daily rhythm now. We even went to Goodwill and they picked out their own teapot, cups and saucers.

The boys delight in pulling out a fresh tablecloth, spreading it out on the table, and setting out all of the lovely dishes to have tea together. We have even invited others over to have tea with us.

Most recently we had my nieces over. We baked biscuits, gingersnaps, star-shaped bread, and crackers. We made some lovely cheese spreads to go with our crackers and used the star bread to make tiny sandwiches.

The boys are really getting into tea time. Their table manners are becomming so pleasant. They are speaking so gently and kind during tea. "Button, will you please pass the ice?", and "So, Arbuckle- tell me what you would like to do today?". The lovliness warms my soul!

Our house isn't really conducive to entertaining, but I think it's better to just adapt and overcome instead of missing opportunities to have guests. We make sure our space is tidy and welcoming. That is good enough for me.

I love how the fellas set the table. Totally not perfect, and perhaps Emily Post would be outraged... But, for our family- it was just right.