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Eggs Enough and Time


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#1 Daily Gullet Staff

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 10:12 AM

hspace="8" align="left">by Margaret McArthur

“She can’t even boil an egg!” Before she stopped being able to boil water, that was the last word on kitchen cluelessness. Between you and me, that cook with the bad rep got a bad rap. It’s easier to poach an egg, fry an egg, whip up an omelet, or serve forth a souffle than it is to soft-boil an egg. It’s easier to shuck oysters, pass the CPA on your first sitting, or train cats to pair socks than it is to produce a perfect soft boiled egg.

A perfect soft-boiled egg has a completely cooked white and an oozing warm yolk. A few seconds too few, and you’ll tap open a nauseating translucent-white/cool-yolk combo that goes straight into to the dog’s dish. A few seconds too many, and the yolk’s soft but stiff—a medium-cooked egg. (I’ve never understood the medium-cooked egg; it seems like a soft-boiled or hard-boiled gone wrong. But with lots of butter and regrets, it’s edible.)

Last winter I craved a soft-boiled egg. I wanted to wash my dusty collection of bird-bodied eggcups, some unused since I scored them at a long-ago tag sale or my first visit to a Sur la Table in Santa Monica. I wanted pain de mie, toasted, buttered and cut into soldiers. I got greedy: why not two soft-boiled eggs, scooped warm from their shells onto a nest of toast points? I’d lost my job, the Black Dog of depression was my faithful mutt, and the grey days of February were broken only by oral surgery and the bloody orgies of Tess Gerritsen thrillers. Even the best-adjusted lady—and I’m medium-adjusted at best—would get wiggy. In my darkest hours I considered going into the egg cozy business. What better way to keep my fingers occupied (and my smoke count under forty a day) than to create egg couture? What better way to while away a few months of meds, Monster.com and unemployment checks? I realized I was reverting to craftswoman consolations, and that I’d better slap on some eye makeup, pull out an egg carton and check out any new thinking about how to soft boil an egg.

My father was the family egg cook, and I remembered his recipe for a Four-Minute Egg: lower an egg into a pot of water at a gentle boil, set the timer for four minutes. Remove when the timer dinged. Daddy made a reliable soft-boiled egg.

Research beguiles me, so I whiled away a few hours with cookbooks. According to the experts, from the Rombauers to Harold McGee, Daddy had it all wrong. What I’ll call the “Slow Start” is accepted wisdom in egg cookery. Put a 70-degree egg into a saucepan, cover with an extra inch of cold water, bring to a boil, then simmer for two to three minutes.

North Americans don’t leave eggs on display in cunning wire baskets, nor do I know how to find an egg’s armpit and take its temperature. Sure, I could have warmed one in hot tap water for a couple of minutes, but that seemed like fussiness; we’re talking about a boiled egg here, not zabaglione. My plan was to cook the egg for the longer suggested time and if necessary, try, try again. I’d paid $1.79 a dozen at Walgreen’s for my test subjects and I could afford to be fearless; I wasn’t experimenting with sturgeon eggs.

I filled a small deep saucepan with water and slipped in the egg. The problem with the Slow Start Method is that it requires devoted pot-watching, because the timing starts when the water reaches a boil. The cook has to see when the rolling bubbles form. I’m sure there’s a remote thermometer out there that would beep as the water reached 212, but that seemed like mucho materiel for a fifteen-cent test subject.

I lurked, the water boiled. I turned it down so that it maintained a tranquil bubble, and set the timer to three minutes. I busied myself buttering toast then stood, tea strainer in hand, to pull out the egg when my squat red kitchen timer chimed.

A boiled egg is hot, wet and slippery. With the help of a potholder I wrangled it into an egg cup and stood there counting back the years—the last time I’d boiled an egg, Oasis and Blur were thumping from my daughter’s bedroom. I performed a gentle tap tap tap with my paring knife and reached for the toast fingers.

Raw egg white. Slimy, snotty, raw egg white and a thin liquid yolk that was barely warm. I tossed the egg, tossed the toast—almost tossed my cookies—then refilled the saucepan with water and deposited Test Subject 2. I didn’t spend a lot of time waiting for the water to boil because the phone rang. By the time I’d convinced a landscaping company that I was planning to let my property revert to prairie, the water was preparing to churn out big-boy bubbles. I adjusted the heat, set the timer for three minutes, and made more toast. When the timer pinged I started counting. When I reached twenty (one thousand) I pulled the egg, beheaded it and danced a victory Watusi: the white was cooked firm, its texture neither rubbery nor shiny and glutinous. The yolk was runny, lightly thickened and clung to the toast like White-Out on a black satin jacket. I topped up the butter and salt and pepper in the perfect Brancusi serving vessel and thought: “I stressed less the last time I made Beef Wellington!”

Washing up, I pondered. Slow start, rolling boil, and three minutes and twenty seconds to soft boiled bliss—too much pot watching and counting for fifteen cents worth of perfect protein. I don’t have a timer that ticks off to the second. Waiting around for the pot to boil was dandy; I could wipe off a couple of cabinet doors or start a batch of yoghurt. But the counting method was primitive. I cast about to find a better metric for that three-minute twenty-second paradigm.

I reeled with my brilliance—I was a freaking genius. I have the perfect set-up in my kitchen, a CD player with a remote. All I’d need was to find a 3:20 track, cue it up and hit Play. No need to buy a more sensitive timer, no dorky counting. All the February misery and meds were as nothing. I was on my way back, Baby!

I tore into the glittery stacks of CDs, only to face another challenge. My beloved Motown/Stax selections rarely hit two minutes, let alone three. After spending four hours I’ll never reclaim, I found two possibilities for my digital egg timer: The Who: “My Generation” (3:18) and The Bagpipes and Drums of Scotland: “When the Battle is Over"(3:21).

My husband couldn’t see the coffee table for the CDs when he got home. Neither would he buy into my brilliance—he gave me the same wary glance that I’d last seen when I told him that our path to a whiz of an old age was going to be strewn with designer tea cozies. He thought I was nuts.

He was right. I’d entered culinary Cuckoo Land.

+ + +


I just wanted a soft-boiled egg I could eat without the bagpipe overture. The Slow Start Method wasn’t making it, so I decided to forget the Rombauers and McGee and try my father’s Fast Start Method. I wouldn’t have to mooch around the kitchen, catching the water as it hit 212. I could stick a pan on the stove, walk to the mailbox, answer the phone or run out for cat food and cigarettes, tasks short enough to assure me a pot of boiling water.

Father didn’t know best, or he’d used smaller eggs. A four-minute egg done Fast Start was the exemplar of what I can’t gag down. I was negotiating sutures and bleeding gums, unable to chew a steak or gum Rice Krispies, I was empty and angry. I was hungry. Why couldn’t I boil an egg?

I make my own marshmallows. I can knock off puff pastry without the maidenly dew of sweat. I can bone animals and fish big and small. My Paris-Brest, my babas au rhum, my bacon and eggs get good press. Not only can I make a perfect pate, I can source caul fat in the 'burbs. But I couldn’t boil an egg.

I was as committed to my goal as Newton was to The Calculus. As to mathematics and time, I discovered that my microwave—a machine I've owned for ten years—had a timer that counted to the second. (That’s what happens when you store your microwave at knee level.) As severe as Marie Curie in her lab coat, I in my apron set out to make lab notes.
  • February15: 4:20. Threw it out. White nowhere close to done. Oatmeal for lunch.
  • February 17: 4:35 Tossed it. 15 extra seconds didn’t make much of a difference. Yoghurt and a banana.
  • February 18: 4:50. Almost! White still too soft, but I ate it! (Pick up some pepper later.)
  • February 20: 5:00 White cooked. Yolk thick and runny! Perfect!
I’d conquered the soft-boiled space/time continuum. I’d come up with a nice round number—five is an elegant array of minutes. I could pull an egg straight from the chilly Styrofoam carton. I could eat an egg for lunch until the sutures melted. I could look forward to ancient decrepitude sans teeth, sans everything, knowing that I’d still be able to gum a soft boiled egg.

Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote a story called “The Birthmark,” in which the husband becomes so disturbed by a tiny stain on his gorgeous wife’s cheek that the birthmark blinds him to her beauty. When I had topped my excellent egg, the albumen was still a micro-millimeter unset where it met the yolk. My obsession egged me forward: I knew in my bones I hadn’t achieved perfection—I was roosting on mere excellence. That slippery remnant of white became a preoccupation, the niggling doubt that I’d failed to capture the egg-cup grail.

How to firm up the ends without risking a medium-boiled egg? I wasn’t going to mess with my five minutes learned the hard way, no Siree Bob! I considered finding the wire holder that comes with the Easter egg dye kit, and parboiling each end for fifteen seconds before lowering the entire egg into the pot, but that would feel like cheating because it would require extra counting. (Nor did I want my husband to suggest that I should adjust my meds.) But that twist of wire was my Newton’s apple—it sent me free associating about Easter baskets. I prick one end of the eggs I hard boil for Easter, to protect them from cracking. What if I pricked both ends, exposing the white to some extra heat? There was no hard science to back up my hunch, just intuition and desperate, piteous hope. I wanted to crack this ovoid mystery and move on with my life.

I punched two neat holes with the very needle I’d used to appliqué satin braid to my baroque egg cozy. I lowered the egg into boiling water. I set the timer for five minutes. I found a forlorn English muffin at the back of the fridge, and started it to toasting. I fretted. When the magic minutes were up, I stood my egg in its cheery cup, and crossed myself. I topped my prize, and checked the white. God must listen to the prayers of atheists: it was perfect. Not excellent, perfect.

As Simon said: “Time, time time, see what’s become of me, while I looked around for my possibilities. I was so hard to please.” Time flies. Time is of the essence. Had I but world enough and time. There’s a time for every purpose under heaven.

The time for my purpose was five minutes flat.
* * *

Margaret McArthur, aka maggiethecat, is the former editorial director of the Daily Gullet. She writes, cooks and tends her garden near Chicago.

#2 Anna N

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 10:17 AM

THANK YOU MAGGIE! You cannot possibly know how much I needed a good laugh today! :wub:
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#3 Chris Amirault

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 10:27 AM

As far as I'm concerned, any tale that solves the egg temperature dilemma with the easy to remember query, "Who needs an armpit when you've got two pricks?" is a big sensation.

Speaking of which, wouldn't "My Generation" make the egg cook more quickly? I seem to remember something about the heat of the devil's beat from seventh-grade Civics class.
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#4 moosnsqrl

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 10:49 AM

Yes, thanks. Now every time I see a perfectly oozing yolk, I won't be able to get Andrew Marvell out of my head! :wacko:
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#5 Priscilla

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 11:49 AM

Time has come today. And my soul been psychedelicized.

Very good. The only useful timeage for egg boiling accounts for a fridge-cold egg.

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#6 racheld

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 10:15 PM

You GO, Magical Maggie!!!

It's about time.
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#7 sparrowgrass

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 12:54 PM

Now, if you would just drop by Sparrowgrass Hill for some good eggs!
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#8 andiesenji

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 03:18 PM

This reminds me of a friend who is the epitome of the "obsessed" egg cook. And, the eggs must look perfect when served in their antique egg cups so he meticulously marks a circle around the egg and makes little pinpricks (using a spare thingy that came with one of his glucose meters) all around the circumference so that when the line of pinpricks is tapped on the cooked egg, the "lid" lifts off without disturbing the contents.
He also has delicate egg spoons with a bowl about half the size of a regular teaspoon which he carefully polishes immediately following the meal. (They are sterling.)
When asked about the process, he said that he began using this method after his partner missed the egg and fractured one of his (also antique) porcelain egg cubs by hitting it with a butter knife having disdained the use of the egg scissors.
He has a traditional egg timer that uses sand in a glass vessel and I think this is also an antique and is one of a set, each with a measured amount of sand for timing soft, coddled and hard cooked eggs, including one for timing quail eggs.
I have to admit that any time I have been served eggs at his home, they have been as perfect as any I have ever seen or tasted.
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#9 v. gautam

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 01:15 AM

With all his care, if your friend has restricted himself [for his soft cooked treats] to chicken eggs but NOT tried guineafowl eggs, his quest for the perfect egg may yet be incomplete! Guinea eggs, fortunately, are not terribly exotic, expensive or difficult to find today, even in their free range, organic versions. I believe urban outlets in CA can supply excellent product from amateur backyard flocks.

Here are 2 sources that may help him locate guinea eggs:

http://www.gfba.org/

http://www.backyardp..._directory.html

The shells are much thicker than chicken eggs, so care must be exercised re: egg cups! However, a beneficial corollary is that guinea eggs keep fresher longer under ambient conditions than do chicken eggs. These already-delicious eggs will retain their fresh-laid sparkle longer, a bonus for the soft-boiled egg-in-the-cup lover.

#10 pax

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 06:04 AM

I know this is a total cheat, but those little silicone egg poachers you let float around in boiling water have made my life lot easier in the morning, as long as I remember to butter them. :biggrin:
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#11 prasantrin

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 06:45 AM

I have a little onsen tamago maker that I got for Christmas from a friend, and it makes the most perfect onsen tamago (for someone who doesn't have an onsen or immersion circulator handy, that is). It takes a heck of a lot longer than 5 minutes, though!

#12 v. gautam

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 05:40 PM

Rona,

I saw this : Onsen Tamago Maker 貨品編號BS00220 $120

and wondered what might make such an appliance more expensive than a top-of-the-line rice cooker? What indwelling mystery? Thanks!

gautam

#13 Batard

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 05:59 PM

Rona,

I saw this : Onsen Tamago Maker 貨品編號BS00220 $120

and wondered what might make such an appliance more expensive than a top-of-the-line rice cooker? What indwelling mystery? Thanks!

gautam

View Post

$120?? :shock: All it does is 'slow poach' the eggs. Can't you do the same thing in a coffee thermos?

This is a awfully funny in a very sad sort of way ...

Edited by Batard, 19 February 2009 - 10:01 PM.

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#14 Peter the eater

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 06:30 PM

That's one crap-yourself-funny account of ovamania. Some obsess over the centering of the yolk in a well-cooked egg, or how to remove the fly-away watery white, or how to get that green ring without the stink, or how to slow cook the perfect Hamine egg. Maggie, your mission puts you in special company.

Maybe it's my own low standards or perhaps laziness but I kinda like a medium egg on the soft side. My solution is boil an extra and make sure I crack him (I guess that should be her) a little early so I can rescue the others. No dog so I slurp the altruistic pawn while the others cook on for a bit, once I see I'm past the 100% opaque albumen stage of course.

It may be a little late but I found an apt 3:20 track for you. It's a vinyl 45 of mine, a bootleg of a Buddy Holly track being covered by -- wait for it -- the Beatles. But wait, there's more! The title of the song is "Crying, Waiting, Hoping".
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#15 maggiethecat

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 08:15 PM

That's one crap-yourself-funny account..



It may be a little late but I found an apt 3:20 track for you. It's a vinyl 45 of mine, a bootleg of a Buddy Holly track being covered by -- wait for it -- the Beatles. But wait, there's more! The title of the song is "Crying, Waiting, Hoping".

View Post


I can't think of higher praise! And man, "Crying, Waiting, Hoping" is poetically and functionally perfect! I have a turntable but no round plastic thingie to accommodate a 45.

Sparrowgrass: Your eggs are the best I've ever eaten. Visit family in W'Ville in an egg-packed van and I'll buy all of them. For real: I've eaten thousands of eggs, and sparrowgrass's are the ne plus ultra.

Andie: How your friend would love a English sterling Victorian piece my parents own: A filigree basket, with handle, containing eight sterling eggcups. (And I may steal his pricking/topping idea.)

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#16 maggiethecat

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 08:28 PM

Yes, thanks.  Now every time I see a perfectly oozing yolk, I won't be able to get Andrew Marvell out of my head!  :wacko:

View Post


Judy, why wouldn't one want to think of Marvell? But his almost- contemporary Robert Herrick, wrote one of the greatest and shortest poems about eggs (and, um, sex.) In its entirety:

Fain would I kiss Julia's leg
As white and hairless as an egg.

Margaret McArthur

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#17 andiesenji

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 10:19 PM

Andie: How your friend would love a English sterling Victorian piece my parents own: A filigree basket, with handle, containing eight sterling eggcups. (And I may steal his pricking/topping idea.)

View Post



That sounds similar to another set he has, high Victorian - ca. 1880s a tray with a center T-shaped handle that stands up about 10 inches with horizontal "forks" that hold the dozen egg cups in place (while the servant carries it to the table). :biggrin:
The porcelain egg cups are Spode Ascot pattern, part of a breakfast set he uses for "everyday" and are Edwardian.
I only recognized them because I have a set of the Ascot that I inherited from my grandmother - my set does not include egg cups, only dinner service. :sad:

Edited by andiesenji, 20 February 2009 - 10:20 PM.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#18 ChefCarey

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 08:24 AM

I love it, Maggie! I cook and eat soft boiled eggs at least a couple of times per week. Local, high omega brown eggs. My mother who worked and was always strapped for time made them often.

I've settled on 3 1/2 minutes - fast technique. :)

#19 andiesenji

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 10:42 AM

My next-door neighbor, a lady originally from Mexico, who has an enormous extended family, says she does soft-boiled eggs for a large number of people using room temp. eggs, a dozen or more, placed in a large cazuela, into which she pours boiling water. Medium sized eggs will be done in 4 minutes. She rarely cooks large eggs this way as she uses those for baking but says she would leave them in the water an extra two minutes or longer. She says cooking them this way allows them to sit in the slowly cooling water longer without cooking to the hard stage.

I seem to recall reading something like this in one of Julia Child's books. Not in a recipe but in one of her stories, however it could have been another cookbook author. My memory is not what it was........
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#20 prasantrin

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 05:47 AM

Rona,

I saw this : Onsen Tamago Maker 貨品編號BS00220 $120

and wondered what might make such an appliance more expensive than a top-of-the-line rice cooker? What indwelling mystery? Thanks!

gautam

View Post


That's almost the same as mine!

It's actually much cheaper than a top-of-the-line rice cooker, given that totl rice cookers can run closer to US$1000 now, but also because that price of $120 is in HK dollars! :laugh:

It works out to about US$15 which I think is what mine cost (it was a "Secret Santa" gift and the limit was Y1500). It's just a plastic thermos-like thing--not even an appliance. Just put your eggs in, pour boiling water over them, and cover for 20+ minutes (depending on the size of your eggs and the doneness you desire). The person who gave it to me (or rather, who I think gave it to me) knows how much I love onsen tamago, so she thought it would be the perfect gift!

Batard--yes, you probably could just use a regular thermos, but it wouldn't be as cute!

#21 JAZ

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 08:14 AM

(I’ve never understood the medium-cooked egg; it seems like a soft-boiled or hard-boiled gone wrong. But with lots of butter and regrets, it’s edible.)


The only time when I willingly ate medium-cooked eggs was my first year of college at the dining hall. If you wanted real eggs (i.e., not powdered scrambled), your ostensible choices were hard or soft cooked. But of course since the eggs sat around on a warming tray until claimed by students, the soft cooked, if they ever were soft, turned to medium cooked. Still, they were better than the hard, and as Maggie so eloquently puts it, butter helped.

Plus, there was the appeal of actually getting a soft boiled egg, when serendipity took over and you picked one that had just come out of the water. All in all, not a bad way to start the day.

#22 snowangel

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 01:03 PM

I'm off to Goodwill tomorrow to off-load the kids' clothes that are too small, and the various items I haven't used since I moved to this house almost 5 years ago. But, when I go to off-load, I always go into the store (nice and clean and well organized) and look for egg cups.

Oh, and Maggie, I am so with you on the snotty egg whites. And, a suggestion. For poking holes in eggs, a push pin works wonderfully. In fact, I have two in my utensil drawer (no room on the counter for a caddy), each pushed nicely into a wine cork. Saves me from rummaging through the sewing box.
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#23 maggiethecat

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 11:06 AM

Oh, and Maggie, I am so with you on the snotty egg whites.  And, a suggestion.  For poking holes in eggs, a push pin works wonderfully.  In fact, I have two in my utensil drawer (no room on the counter for a caddy), each pushed nicely into a wine cork.  Saves me from rummaging through the sewing box.

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Actually, I graduated to push pins recently, but the cork solution I hadn't thought of. That is a Good Thing, Susan!

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#24 andiesenji

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 12:05 PM



Oh, and Maggie, I am so with you on the snotty egg whites.  And, a suggestion.  For poking holes in eggs, a push pin works wonderfully.  In fact, I have two in my utensil drawer (no room on the counter for a caddy), each pushed nicely into a wine cork.  Saves me from rummaging through the sewing box.

View Post


Actually, I graduated to push pins recently, but the cork solution I hadn't thought of. That is a Good Thing, Susan!

View Post


It is a great solution. Many of my egg-cooking gadgets arrived with egg-piercing accessories but many were awkward to use and many had pins that rusted.
I have a little homemade gadget I made many years ago from a stainless steel push pin and a wooden thread spool (I have a drawer full from my sewing days). I pushed the "handle" part of the push pin into the center hole of the spool until it was secure.
I have arthritis in my right hand at the base of my thumb so it is not easy to grasp small items like the push pin. The greater circumference of the spool makes this a much easier task.
To clean, I put the spool in a small items basket and through the dishwasher. I replace it about once a year when the spool begins to look a bit ratty.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#25 violetfox

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 05:05 PM

Thank you, Maggie, for your brilliant and entertaining essay!
My dad used to say that he didn't think that I really liked eggs. I love eggs, and I love the warm, runny yolks. I truly hate the snotty raw egg white. He actually appeared to like it. Weird.

I also use a push pin to prick the egg - seems to work better than anything else I've tried. I don't know whether I read or heard that somewhere, or if I happened to have a push pin in the "miscellaneous," aka junk, drawer which is next to the stove.

I'm also really relieved to know that I'm not the only person who has purchased at least two sets of cute egg cups on sale because they were SO adorable - and I think I've used them once in about a decade.
"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

#26 maggiethecat

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 10:03 PM

I'll t to remember to upload a pic of my eggcups tomorrow. (Lovely handle, violetfox.)

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."
Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

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#27 Domestic Goddess

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 07:45 AM

Maggie - let me tell you that this article has lured me back to eGullet. Your endearing, funny post struck heartchords as I miss my dad (who's back in Manila) who makes the best soft boiled eggs ever. I like snotty eggwhites, I also like medium-soft egg whites. And I also recently discovered the joys of making toast soldiers.

One thing I do miss and still have not found here in Korea - eggcups or egg holders. What do I use instead? Korean soju shot glasses. LOL

Now I will confess that I will try the needle-pricking technique next time. I've got double-yolk eggs in the fridge and THAT would make for a sublime soft-boiled egg.
Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

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The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

#28 Kouign Aman

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 11:14 AM

Maggie, what size eggs are you using? What temp is your fridge set to?

Loved the story. Love little touches like tossed, tossed, tossed - all that attention to detail in your writing :wub: .

We make one softboiled egg 5 days a week for more than a year now. I told the munchkin about my Gma making me eggs and soldiers. 2 yr old Munchkin was dubious but interactive food was a hit.
From fridge, slip into boiling water, acceptable (not perfect by a long shot) egg is 4 min. The eater will accept 4 min 15 sec. Any visible yolk firming is met with criticism "Daddy does this better, Mama. You should let Daddy do it.".
Daddy never boiled an egg in his life til Mama got the munchkin hooked on the e&s :biggrin: .

I prefer the eggs closer to 4:30. Dont like unset albumin. :shudder:

Eggs size Extra Large, Fridge at 35F.
"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

#29 maggiethecat

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 02:14 PM

Thanks for your kind words -- they'll propel me through this crappy chunk of February Block.

Doddie -- you brought back some memories. My college flat was short on equipment, so what did I use for eggcups? Shot glasses! (Every student apartment has a few of those on the shelf.)

KA: I hang my head. I have no idea what temp my fridge is set to;indeed I can't find the thermostat! 34-35 sounds around right. My eggs are typically Large.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."
Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com


#30 violetfox

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 07:25 AM

Thanks, Maggie - the handle actually belonged to a distant relative, a real name.
One of my sets of eggcups was found on sale at Williams Sonoma, mostly nondescript but with fairly huge attached saucers, and in cute pastel colors (for spring, of course!). Now, with the approach of Easter, temptation will lurk everywhere I turn. I hope that I can resist, but I'm not sure. The original idea was "oh, I won't just use them for family Easter brunch, I can do all of those cool egg things that I have in cookbooks and impress EVERYONE!"
This has yet to happen a single time. I do use my eggcups, usually on Easter morning. I think that you have inspired me to use them more often. Thanks!
"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child