Sunday, January 5, 2014

How to Boil Eggs

Cooking causes me so much stress because it brings out once of my worst most endearing personality quirks. I'm a very literal person. I take things literally. This is good sometimes but not with cooking.

My middle son enjoys eating the whites of hard-boiled eggs. Yes, I know the yolk is very healthy, but I'm kind of the same way. But this isn't what bothers me. What bothers me is the seemingly limitless variety of ways to properly cook a hard-boiled egg.

How much water? Some places say two inches should cover an egg, some say one is enough. I don't even know what two inches looks like.

I'm not good at eyeballing measurements so I had to use a ruler. If this doesn't work and I think I had two inches but I only had one and I didn't know it I'd never be able to figure out how to fix it next time! So I pulled out the ruler.

Turns out I had only one.

My confident-cooker husband said "you should find out why you need two inches. Maybe it's just so the eggs don't poke out."

"But then why not just say that?" I fumed.

How long do you boil the egg? What constitutes a slow boil? And how long is too long to boil? I stared at my pot, which boiled despite my attention, and adjusted the temperature more than once.

Some directions say let the eggs cool in the cooking water covered. Other directions say take the eggs out and put them in ice water.

Seriously? I don't have time for all these vague recommendations. This is why out-of-the-box or frozen foods are so much easier for people like me! Turn on oven! Set timer! Beep! Eat!

Also, this is probably why some people find working with me to be a bit difficult. I don't like unknowns. I like to know exactly what I need to do, what they want me to do. I like expectations made clear so I can work very hard to achieve the desired result. I'm not trying to be a pain. I'm trying to make you happy!! Don't you see??

Today I made three eggs and tried a new trick that I learned from Quora via NPR. I added baking soda to the water and it will supposedly make peeling the boiled eggs easier. So easy that in theory I should be able to whistle the eggs out of their shells.

This reveals another lame endearing part of my personality. I am so optimistic I believe I can conquer the art of making hard-boiled eggs.

The eggs have been cooling while I typed this. I'm going to try it now......

Ok, well, it didn't work.

I invited my middle son to watch the experiment, hoping he'd be delighted. He was unimpressed.

"I can't eat them now!" he said.

"Why not? These are peeled perfectly!"

"You blew on them," he wrinkled his nose and walked away.

My husband walked in to check on our progress.

"Did you blow hard enough?" he asked.

"My ears popped," I said, frustrated.

He had to walk away before he laughed in my face.