A unique Amana tradition takes place at Easter: the vibrantly dyed eggs! Sure, everyone has tinted Easter Eggs, but not like those in Amana. The special process hails from the communal days, using a combination of dye from the Amana Woolen Mill and glue from the Amana Furniture Shop. The resulting marbled look is stunning.
The process is fairly simple—the glue and dye are combined and put into small bowls by color. The mixture gets to be fairly firm like a very stiff gelitan. The warm hard boiled eggs is then laid in the bowl of color and the heat of the egg transfers the color to the shell. The eggs are then rubbed by hand to give them a marblized look.
Growing up, I remember each egg having only one color but today the more innovative egg rollers are able to produce some multi colored eggs that are very striking.
You can watch a demonstration and purchase these one-of-a-kind eggs at the Kitchen Sink, next door to White Cross Cellars. The eggs are beautiful in displays and can be kept for several years. The inside of the egg will eventually dry out and it becomes very hard. To keep them from year to year we simple pack them away in egg cartons.
As a child I remember having an Easter egg hunt after Sunday School on Easter Sunday. We all would go to Mrs. Trumpold’s house, about half a block from the Sunday School. The senior class had hidden the baskets or paper boats of eggs, candy and plastic green grass (just like the picture above). Of course, we thought the Easter Bunny had done the work. We would all line up and when we got the signal, we went tearing around the house looking for the prize. What fun! They were hidden everywhere - even on the roof of the building and in the rain gutters.
If you’re interested in purchasing some Amana Colonies Easter Eggs, I suggest contacting the Kitchen Sink at 319-622-3227. Available year-round, there even more colors available during the Easter Season.
My brother, Mark nibbling a Chocolate bunny, circa 1955.