Growing up, in our household we celebrated Easter, or Lieldienas, in the Latvian tradition. A part of that tradition was the coloring of Easter eggs ... but without any artificial food dyes. For weeks before, my mother collected the deep brown skins of onions, some a burgundy red, saving them for our eggs. Onion skins are a perfect natural way to colour eggs and give the eggs a beautiful, reddish brown tone. But you can use a variety of other materials as well: chamomile gives a green-yellow colour, red beets will turn your eggs bright red, blueberries will make them violet-blue, coffee or black tea will colour the eggs light brown, whereas turmeric will give a beautiful yellow tone. On the morning of the coloring, my mother and I also gather grasses or tiny leaves outside in the yard.She would then set a large pot to boiling, and in it water filled with the onion skins. The water would very soon turn a rich, warm brown. With red onion skins, it might turn a deep, dark red. Plop in the eggs to boil, and in a few minutes they would be colored that wonderful brown. We would take some of the eggs and tie them up in cheesecloth with leaves and flower petals pressed against them. These eggs would emerge from the water with the pattern of the leaves and petals stained golden across them. Best of all ... my father would bring his artistry to the egg table. With a needle, he would scrape Latvian designs into the deep brown shells of the eggs.