There is nothing on the dinner table that quite says spring to me like Easter eggs dyed with onion skins and beautifully adorned with leafy patterns. If you want to have a go at this traditional method for dyeing eggs with your children, now is the time to make a start on the preparations.

So why is this, exactly? Although you can use fresh leaves to decorate the eggs, I know from my mother that pressed ones produce much more delicate patterns. That’s why, as soon as I see the first green of spring, I go out with my son to collect leaves (strawberry leaves are my favourites), then take them home to press.

To dye the eggs, I take a pan of water filled with a few handfuls of onion skins, then let it simmer until it changes colour slightly. This is the ideal time to start preparing the eggs: wet them with a little water, apply the pressed leaves, wrap them tightly inside a stocking and tie it up. Depending on how you like them, cook the eggs for around ten minutes.

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