Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Perfect hard boiled eggs

I love hard boiled eggs. They are relatively cheap, nutritious, and easy to eat. I have a pot just dedicated to just this task. My dad spent years perfecting the art of boiling eggs and he passed on his secrets to me. Now, I reveal them to my readers. The steps to obtaining perfect hard boiled eggs are:

  1. Purchase the best free range organic eggs you can find or afford. I get mine at Trader Joe's, the farmer’s market, or the lady down the street who has chickens in her back yard.
  2. Start with cold water in the pot. Put in just enough to cover the eggs. Too much water is a waste of energy.
  3. Place refrigerated eggs gently in the water. You want to avoid accidentally cracking the eggs. Even a slight crack can allow the expanding hardened egg to seep out and make your egg look disgusting. Actually, it is fine to eat, but if you have picky eaters, they will make faces and refuse to eat the deformed egg.
  4. Sprinkle a bit of salt on top of the eggs. I have no idea why you do this, but this is part of "the method."
  5. Turn on the heat and come back 20 minutes later. Voila! Perfect hard boiled eggs.

UNLESS you forget to come back in 20 minutes. If you forget about the eggs, like I have numerous times, then you will be reminded of them only when you hear a strange popping noise followed by a horrible burning smell.

Should this occur, do NOT put the pan under the running water in your sink. Instead, take the pan and run outside, place the pot on the grass and fill with your garden hose. Should you be unable or unwilling to follow this advice, prepare for some of the worst smells to fill your house. Also note that I said to put the pot on the grass. That is because it is very hot and will melt or ruin just about anything that you place it on at this moment.

The sheer fact that I know so much about this subject should lead you to believe that I have experienced forgetting about my hard boiling eggs many times. This is a true statement. Indeed, my inability to remember for 20 minutes that I have eggs boiling is a standing joke in my family. The most frustrating thing is that I seem to remember for 19 minutes and then forget right before I need to turn them off.

After setting off fire alarms, burning a perfect round hole in the astro turf on my backporch and destroying several pots, I finally realized that I need to set a timer whenever I hard boil eggs. I picked up a great little digital timer with a magnet on the back for a dollar at a yard sale. It has become one of my most essential kitchen tools. I recently had to get another because we had dropped it just one time too many on the kitchen floor. I immediately got a wonderful no-cost replacement from freecycle.

Over the years, my use of this timer has grown past just keeping me from burning my eggs. We use the timer to:

Unfortunately, it is not always convenient to go and grab the timer from its home on the side of the fridge so that I can remind myself that I need to get off the computer and ready to leave in 15-minutes. But, ta-da..., I have found a wonderful little online timer that is easy to use that is coming to my rescue. It’s the Tick Tock Timer. Just set the amount of time that you want to give yourself and press start. The timer starts to count down and makes a very noticeable sound when your time is up.

I’m excited to find this online tool. It’s usually the simple things that can solve big problems (like always being late for work because you can’t get off your computer.) I hope this helps you.