Recalling how my Grandma Parker would dye the egg whites for the deviled eggs she served on Easter, I thought I would try that, using red cabbage, which is supposed to produce a robin's-egg blue color. I shelled the eggs after cooking, putting the whites in one bowl and setting the yolks aside in another.
Then I chopped up half a head of red cabbage, which filled a six-cup bowl, and added that to about 6 cups of water, brought it all to a boil and simmered it for about 15 minutes, until it made a dark purple liquid.
There's no need to add vinegar, because that's just to make the dye adhere to the shells. The whites will readily absorb the color without it. So I poured the liquid, chopped cabbage and all, over the whites, just enough to cover them, and put the leftover (there was quite a bit) in the refrigerator.
|You can see one of the whites peaking up in the lower left|
I plan to experiment some with the leftover liquid. I immersed a few yards of natural (off-white) linen thread used for bookbinding, and got this silvery lavender color after about 3 or 4 hours .(I should do a better job of record keeping if I'm going to be doing experiments!)
I rinsed it thoroughly with cold water to set the dye, but won't worry about that too much, since nobody puts a handbound journal in the wash! But before I play around with this homemade dye and fabric, I'll be sure to do a little more research about mordants and such.
And I hope to have no waste — the leftover cooked cabbage is quite edible!