Friday, April 19, 2019

Easter Egg Chemistry

Last summer, Xander and I did some Simple Science with Acids and Bases by boiling purple cabbage and using it as a pH indicator.  I thought it might be fun to try out a similar concept with our Easter Eggs.
I started out by chopping up most of a head of lettuce and adding water until it was not quite covered.  Then I boiled it for about 15 minutes.  At the store, I tried to pick the head that was the deepest purple, figuring it probably had the most pigment.
After boiling, I strained out the cabbage and was left with this deep purple water (and a somewhat smelly kitchen). I returned the water to the pot and added some eggs.  I boiled the eggs for about 15 minutes and then let the sit in the water until we were ready to use them (a few hours). I learned that you have to stir occasionally or one side gets darker than the other.
Here is what they looked like after boiling.  Definitely not bright like regular dye, but a noticeable color.
I gave Xander one dish with lemon juice, one with a baking soda and water mixture, and some cotton swabs. 
He did some painting and some dipping. 
For us, the lemon juice seemed to have a stronger effect.  It turned pinkish.  The baking soda turned greenish. 
The effects were subtle, although stronger than what the pictures show. 
Then we decided to crack them open and see how the eggs looked.  Xander thought that was almost cooler than the outsides. 
Both boys tried some.  They pretty much tasted like hard boiled eggs, however, I thought they were a little softer/less rubbery than most eggs cooked for that long.

Happy Easter! If you decide to try it, I'd love to see pictures of your results!

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