Friday, March 30, 2018

Naturally Dyed Tiffany Blue Easter Eggs

If you are still looking for an Easter Egg Hunt ideas, this article will inspire you to try something new. All you need is eggs, white vinegar, and purple cabbage. The whole project takes less than 12 hours. The outcome is more than amazing.

I used white free range organic eggs and an organic purple cabbage to minimize exposure to chemicals in our already over polluted world. This is especially important if you want to eat the eggs after the Sunday egg hunt.

For twelve eggs you will need a large head of purple cabbage, large pot, and twelve small Mason jars or small drinking glasses to dye each egg individually. You can dye the eggs in bulk, of course, but if you dye them individually, the eggs will be covered more thoroughly. 

  • Wash and chop up the cabbage. Toss it into a large pot, pour enough water to completely cover the cabbage, and bring it to boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pot, and boil until cabbage is soft. 
  • Once the cabbage is ready, allow it to cool off. Strain the liquid and toss away the cabbage. Add 4 Tbsp of vinegar and mix well.
  • Boil the eggs. Put the eggs in a large pot and cover them with cold water. Bring water to a rolling boil. Once the water is boiling, remove the pot from heat and cover it with a lid. Leave the eggs in hot water for 12-15 minutes. Remove the eggs from the pot and put them into a bowl of ice cold water. 
  • Place each egg in an individual jar or a glass. Pour the purple cabbage juice over the eggs completely covering each one, and allow eggs to take color for at least three hours. The color intensity depends on the time the eggs spend in the purple cabbage dye. To add some variation, let some of the eggs stay in the dye for a bit longer. For a more dramatic effect, leave them in dye overnight.
  • Remove the eggs from the dye and place them on a baking cooling rack. Allow the dye to dry out completely. The little flaws in paint are more than welcome. They truly make the eggs prettier.
  • Once the dye dried out completely you can place them in an Easter basket, on a decorative platter, or in your backyard. 

 Eggs in purple cabbage juice

This is the first time I used purple cabbage to dye the eggs. They turned out beautifully. No egg looks the same. I used a little 24ct confectioners gold leaf to add a little sparkle to them. You can use edible gold paint if you prefer, or simply leave them the way they are.

I hope this little project woke up your own creativity. You can use different plants to make the most beautiful Easter eggs ever. My mother used onion peel to create various shades of golden yellow and brown color. Purple cabbage gives various shades of aquamarine, Tiffany blue and turquoise. You can use beets to make your eggs pink, turmeric root to make them bright yellow, dried chokeberries (Aronia) to make them pink, or blueberries and blackberries to make them indigo blue. You can mix the plants to create different nuances. Also, using brown eggs instead of white will produce a much different color effect. Experiment! It's fun.

~ Wishing everyone peaceful Easter Holidays and happy Easter Egg Hunt! ~

Dominique Allmon

Dominique Allmon@2018

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Happy 30th Pi Day And The Joy Of Pi

This mysterious 3.1459... which comes in at every door and window,
and down every chimney. - Augustus De Morgan in "A Budget of Paradoxes"

Even if math is not really your thing, March 14 is a fun day. It is the birthday of Albert Einstein and  a perfect occasion to have a large piece of your favorite pie. 

March 14 is also a day of Steven Hawking's death who passed away today in Cambridge, UK, at the age of 76.

The constant pi represented by the Greek letter π is a number that expresses the ratio of the circumference of a perfect circle to its diameter. The value of pi has been calculated to more than a trillion of decimal digits.

No other number has captured as much attention and imagination throughout the human history. It is an irrational number that has many applications in various areas of science and mathematics, including theoretical physics, geometry, trigonometry, integral and differential calculus, number theory, probability theory, and statistics.

It is impossible to know when the number π was first calculated. Early mathematicians must have discovered the relationship between circumference of a circle and  its radius by simple experimentation which involved a rope. Ever since this relationship was discovered, people in many cultures obsessed with it and worked to calculate the precise ratio with millions of digits after the coma. Others tried to learn and commit to memory as many digits of the π as possible.

Ten decimal places of π are sufficient to give the circumference of the earth to a fraction of an inch, and thirty decimal places would give the circumference of the visible universe to a quantity imperceptible to the most powerful microscope. - Simon Newcomb in Comic Sections by D. MacHale

The first significant celebration of the number π took place in 1988 in San Francisco. The celebration was organized by the physicist Larry Shaw and involved pie eating and discussions about π. In 2009 the US Congress recognized March 14 as the National Pi Day in an effort to promote math learning.

Whether you are enjoying a slice of a scrumptious, perfectly round pie today, doing some calculus, or simply throwing a pie throwing party, give some thought to this magical number that is so embedded in the fabric of the universe that surrounds us.

Happy Pi Day!

By Dominique Allmon

Dominique Allmon@2018

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Year of The Earth Dog

The Year of the Earth Dog officially began on February 16, 2018. It will end on February 4, 2019. 

In Chinese astrology zodiac signs are combined with the Five Elements. Each animal sign appears every twelve years, but only every sixty years in each of its elements. The Five Elements: metal, water, wood, fire, and earth determine a special quality of each zodiac sign for a particular year. The current year is dominated by the earth element, hence the Earth Dog. The Dog will return again in twelve years, but we will have to wait another sixty years for the next Earth Dog. It will return in 2078!

Chinese horoscopes are very complex. To simplify matters we can say that the Chinese believe that both, the zodiac sign and the element, affect destiny and personality of a person born under them. The predictions for the year to come also depend on this unique combination. 

In Chinese culture Dog is considered to be a luck bringing animal. Dogs are honest, loyal, caring, protective, and faithful, and will never abandon their masters. This quality of the zodiac animal carries a promise for a good and prosperous year. Earth elements is associated with mountains, real estate, agriculture, minerals, and earthquakes. Earth element adds some stability, may also represent barrier or obstacle blocking our view.

If you had difficult time holding on to your fortune during the Fire Cycle, your luck may change a bit for the better in the year of the Earth Dog, but be careful, dogs are very playful! Don't gamble your fortune away and remember that nothing comes without work. The earth element might add some difficulties which means that you will have to put a little more effort to get to your destination, or work a little harder and smarter to conquer possible obstacles. If you lack diligence and determination, you might miss many opportunities. Year of the Earth Dog is good for completing unfinished projects, especially if they apply to the source of your income. Fortunes can be augmented, but the Earth Dog suggests that saving money is a good idea.

In Chinese culture, people born under the sign of the Dog are considered to be honest, loyal, amiable, kind, industrious but also cautious and prudent. They are ambitious and outgoing, are great friends and faithful spouses. They are resourceful and make good doctors, lawyers, teachers, accountants, politicians, and civil servants.

Unfortunately, the Year of the Dog is usually very bad for people born in the Dog year. The destiny of everybody else depends on their own birth year and how their personal zodiac animal interacts with the dog. Very complex birth charts are used by an Chinese astrologers or geomancers to determine individual horoscopes and predict a fortune.

No matter what your birth sign, we hope that you will have a very good year. Remember, that no matter what the predictions are, you and only you are the true master of your fortune. And if you like dogs, 2018 is a good year to get or adopt a dog.

Wishing everyone Happy Chinese New Year
and a very prosperous Year of the Earth Dog!
Dominique Allmon


Dominique Allmon©2018 

Image: Year of the Dog Greeting Cards by Jimmo Designs. To purchase a card please click HERE