Thursday, 28 November 2013

Dyeing inside

I like a good curry. The aroma, the flavour, the colour ... ahhh. Oh, the colour. Have you ever noticed what colour your kitchen utensils become when you cook a curry at home? If yellowy-orange is your thing, then you're probably not too worried. If you prefer items to remain the same colour as when you bought them, then there are some cautions to be aware of. I remind myself time after time that I'll mix the spices in a glass or Pyrex bowl next time instead of a plastic one so it's easier to scrub the colour off. (I sometimes remember.) I then look at how quickly my new scrubbing brush bristles have turned yellow. Oops, I forgot to wipe down the chopping board right away! Hopefully the dishwasher will deal to that ... but what about the beetroot juice that spilled onto the kitchen cloth? And so it goes on.

Turmeric, with its rustic, earthy tones is actually a great natural dye. So is coffee, beetroot and spinach. Actually, there's quite a list and you can find plenty of tips about how to make natural dyes from plants and foods. That's all good and fine when you want to colour something, but people rarely need to dye cream carpet the colour of pasta sauce or white tops with splotches of red wine. Pale clothing and furnishings are a magnet for intensely coloured food.

It's not all bad news, though. Teenagers of my generation were well skilled in the ability to use lemon juice to add highlights to your hair. I went to a school where hair dye was strictly prohibited. It was a matter for suspension! Hair had to be of one natural colour (ie, yours!) and even highlights were banned. However, it's amazing how many girls came back from the summer holidays with 'natural highlights' from the sun. It didn't work so well for brunettes, though.

I can't help thinking that if the foods we regularly eat can permanently stain everyday items, then what colours are we becoming on the inside??

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