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My mom lives by the mantra that all-natural is always better. So last weekend when I went to visit, I found her in the kitchen ranting about Paas, the popular Easter-egg dye. After many years of Paas-stained fingers and perfectly colored Paas eggs, my mom was having an all-natural Easter-egg-dyeing epiphany. "Think of all the chemicals," she exclaimed. "Maybe we should make our own food-based dyes." And so our experiment began. We tried blackberries, beets, red onions, saffron, turmeric, each mixed with some water and vinegar. The eggs needed to soak much longer for the color to adhere, but the end result actually looked pretty good. We even blotted the blackberries directly onto the eggs to get a sponge-painted look.
"What about wine,” my mom asked? “Merlot, Cab, Syrah?" I had to laugh. F&W's Kristin Donnelly has been brainstorming ideas for what to do with a bottle of wine you don't like for an upcoming story. I don't think Easter-egg coloring will make Kristin's short list, but we decided to try it anyway. I went back to NYC and poured a bad Cab I'd left sitting out into a cup with vinegar and let a hard-boiled egg soak for about an hour. The result: A horribly ugly, grayish-brown hue. My mom texted me the next morning to say that her Merlot-dyed egg was a failure as well. We'll just have to stash the bad wine until Kristin tells us what to do with it and stick to fruit and vegetables for egg dyeing.