Dying eggs for Easter is a tradition that I have enjoyed for years and years and years. I am sure there were a few years during my stint in college that I did not fully participate, but for the abundance of my years on the planet, the celebration of our Lord's resurrection has been celebrated by singing along with Jesus Christ Superstar from overture to curtain and coloring unfertilized chicken embryos.
Mostly I remember the smell of vinegar. Back in the olden days, the dyes that came with the PAAS kit encouraged users to use a teaspoon of vinegar to make them fizz up properly. These days, they only suggest the vinegar if you want Ultra-Vibrant Colored Eggs. If you're after pastels, stick to just the water. The vinegar also came in handy for the rubber egg experiment as well as seasoning that occasional plate of corned beef hash.
In the week leading up to Easter, I was not there for the hash. I was there for some serious egg decoration. Over the years, many different iterations have been attempted, everything from white crayons to rubber bands to leave bare spots on the shell or create stripes over various widths. Of course, the PAAS kit came with its own distractions: stickers and stands and other ways to dress up your vibrantly colored eggs. Those were initially very important to me, but as I grew older and more experienced, I began to explore the actual colors available. I was following in my older brother's footsteps on this one, since he was always more patient and would sometimes monopolize a particular cup for what seemed like hours, looking for a specific shade. Dark red. Deep blue. It was also by watching him that I learned to eschew the provided wire egg handlers. He was not afraid to get his fingers a little orange by turning his eggs with his fingers, plucking it out at the moment he had achieved his spectrum goal. Which served me well also, but when I had a son who was anxious to try every hue in the rainbow, he sometimes got stuck behind his dad who was looking for something in the maroon category.
Now that little boy has moved on to his own house and his own choice for making vibrantly colored eggs. Or pastel. Vinegar or no. Crayons, rubber bands or stickers? We will wait and see.