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Friday, January 22, 2010

How to Boil the Perfect Egg

This morning I was getting tired of my same old bachelor lunch and thought I'd boil a few eggs. For you strangers, I'm no bachelor, but Terry is off in New York City cuddling our new grand babies.

My old, nearly perfect, egg boiling recipe was to cover the eggs in a couple of inches of water, heat to boiling, boil for two minutes, remove from heat and let set for about 20 minutes. This morning I stumbled into an easier solution - although it might have been one step short of burning down the bunkhouse.

I placed four beautiful brown eggs into a big saucepan and covered them with a couple of inches of water. I turned the heat on high and wandered off to do a couple of things on the computer while the pot came up to a boil.

Some time later - and the "some time" is a vague guess, I heard an odd bumbling, thrumming sound. I didn't think much of it as they are always working on the railroad track - probably replacing girders or ties down on the Onion Creek trestle, I thought.

As I scrolled through my e-mail, the odd sound puzzled me. Yet, it was sort of a peaceful little bubbling, boiling sound ...

Bubbling, boiling sound!! Ack! The eggs, the eggs! I had completely forgotten the egg boiling enterprise. I scrambled to the kitchen. The pot was bubbling furiously, the glass-top burner underneath was a cherry red. I turned off the heat and removed the pan. Hmmmm... how long should I wait on the eggs? I tentatively set a timer for five minutes - thinking that my distraction was probably at least 15 minutes. I then noted that about an inch of the two inch header had boiled away.

I could have used calculus - a differential equation that took in the diameter of the pot, the inch of boiled off water, the atmospheric pressure and a few other variables and calculated the time. Instead, I figured the eggs had endured about as much cooking as they could stand. I plucked them from the water, put them in a dish and placed them in the refrigerator.

When they had cooled, I tested one. It popped clean of its shell and was perfectly cooked.

Don't try this at home.

3 comments:

  1. WHAAAAT? You didn't leave those eggs in the pan to boil dry and explode? I have to set a timer and chain myself to the stove when doing such tasks.

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  2. Anonymous3:48 PM

    ha ha ha ha ha ..Oh,brother. I know that feeling and sound (and smell.) Major, you're too funny.
    I wrote a note in permanent market to tape in little corner near the range: NEVER walk away from eggs or dairy content heating in a pot. NEVER. I'm glad you didn't have the sufur explosion. On the bright side,I think tomorrow's lunch will be egg salad sandwiches. :)

    Hope Terry is doing well in NYC and that babies' parents appreciate the help.

    Saw a fantastic rescue of a dog in the LosAngeles river today (FoxNews). Dramatic. Men dangling from choppers to grab a wet,frightened dog..amazing. I'm sure other pet people keyed on that story.

    My foot may be healing,but it's still painful.

    Supper: Linguini & Clams, red sauce, baguette.
    It's one of my easiest meals -son appreciates it.

    Hugs from southwestern NY -Adele

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  3. Marcia, I thought I was the only one who let eggs boil dry and explode all over the kitchen! I'm probably the only one who did it the second time!!

    Now when I have something cooking on the stove and I leave the room, I turn the kitchen light on so I know I have to keep an eye on things. Course, that only works if you're cooking at night.

    The joys of forgetfulness!

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