Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pysanky--It's not Easter, but dyeing eggs is fun anytime

My son was finishing up a report on Russia yesterday, and at 5 PM he sprung on me that he needed to replicate a Russian craft for the next day when he was to present the report. What the heck? Luckily the craft he chose was one we could whip out--something Pysanka-like. Pysanka is the art of decorating and dyeing eggs in the Ukrainian style. We preferred the get-it-done-quick style, and I have to say it was a lot of fun and the pieces turned out well.

We poked holes in the top and bottom of the eggs using thumb tacks, then I made the holes bigger by taking the tip of a sharp pen knife and rotating it back and forth in the holes to make them just slightly more egg-blowing friendly. (I read a blog this morning that said to use a long needle to poke the yoke before blowing. That would have helped! Next time...)
Next we applied candle wax using a batik tool. We weren't using it correctly because that would have taken time to figure it out and apply the knowledge, but dipping the tip of the tool into the wax and then quickly touching the egg seemed to work. (Artists acquire things like batik tools either from spur of the moment purchases brought on by surplus of time fantasies, or by people unloading their stuff to a good home.)
Next we dyed the eggs. I just used what I had, which was food coloring. I used 1 cup of boiling water (water must cool a bit before putting the egg in the dye so the wax doesn't melt) and 20 drops of color, with 2 tsp of vinegar.
Here's Wes picking off the wax. Next step is to thread a narrow ribbon through a needle and string it through both holes. Craft shops have little metal decorative tips that can be glued onto the egg to hold a string too, and I think that's the path we're going to take. But for now, the 2 eggs we dyed are good enough for a school report.

To make the evening more interesting, Wes needed to bring a Russian dish. I knew about this yesterday, when he asked me to make a dish out of pork, lamb and veal. I'm a vegetarian so I told him it needed to be made out of beans. Bless his heart, he found a recipe and it was easy since we had everything on hand or growing in the garden! I doubled it because it sounded pretty good, and I have to say, he chose well. It doesn't seem very Russian to me (where are the beets?), but I'm sharing it because it's easy and tasty:

1/2 cup cooked dried kidney beans or 1 can rinsed and drained
2 Tbs white wine vinegar
2 Tbs finely chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbs vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste

Let sit at room temperature for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

1 comment:

dawn said...

yum. I'm going to make this with chickpeas since I've got lots of dried ones in the cupboard. Thanks!