Archive for March 13th, 2009

The “Art” of Boiling Eggs

March 13, 2009

easter-bunnyEaster is just around the corner so you can start practicing the art of boiling eggs right now.  For years the media hype on the ill-effects of eggs put off the daily consumption of eggs.  The fact is, eggs are very healthly.   The secret is to buy farm-fresh eggs that have not been refrigerated and are not more than 7 days old.  A farm-fresh egg has lutein for your eyes, choline for your brain, B12 for your nervous system and are a cheap source of protein for building strong bones and rejuvenating cells.  Eggs have also been proven to help lower bad cholesterol levels rather than exacerbate bad cholesterol levels.  If your local health food store or farmers market doesn’t carry farm-fresh eggs, ask them to do so. 

A tried and true method for boiling eggs:

Cover raw eggs with cold water.  Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 5 to 7 minutes uncovered.  (Use a timer if you are busy.)   Turn off the heat, cover the pan and let sit for 5 to 7 minutes.  Then drain off the hot water and run cold water over the eggs until they are just barely warm.  At this point, eggs may be colored for Easter baskets or an Easter Egg Hunt.

To shell eggs for your favorite dishes, crack the eggs all over while holding them under the cold water.  The shells should come off in a ribbon and the yolks will be lovely and yellow.

easter-eggsTo make your own colors simply use a separate ramekin or tea cup for each color and add 1 tsp white vinegar and 1/2 cup boiling water to each cup.  Then add as many drops of food coloring as needed to make the desired colors.

When I  lived in the South Pacific, only brown eggs were available and dyed Easter Egg was not a cultural tradition in the islands.  But, a lot of ex-pats got together and celebrated Easter with an Easter Egg Hunt, easter baskets and egg exchange.  Obviously, brown eggs would not color so we used felt pens and drew geometric designs, crosses, flowers and such on our brown eggs.  Some of them were quite artistic.  At any rate, we were still able to celebrate our Easter tradition a long ways from home.

Eggs symbolize the rites of spring or new beginnings.  The celebration of spring was actually a pagan festival prior to Christianity.  The Christians adopted the  pagan holidays for church holidays hoping to eradicate the pagan rituals.   However, small elements of those ancient pagan rituals have continued to exist in most of our holiday celebrations today.   So we can thank the pagans for their contribution to civilization and the pagan part of our Easter traditions.

How many ways can you use hardboiled eggs? 

Let’s see!  Drop a comment and tell me what I’ve missed!

  1. Deviled eggs:  add a pinch of curry and sweet pickle relish with the mayo and mustard.
  2. Egg-salad sandwich:  add tuna or chicken, pineapple bits, arugula and/or fresh basil along  with a slice of  tomato or mango chutney.
  3. Salads:  add chopped eggs to a Caesar salad, or wilted spinach salad, add sliced eggs to a Cobb salad, egg wedges to a Chef’s salad or Salad Nicoise.
  4. Creamed eggs:  on toast with parsley garnish for breakfast, or with  ham on biscuits for lunch or a quick supper.
  5. Pickled eggs:  Boil 1 cup water with 2 cups cider vinegar, add 1 Tbsp of pickling spice.  Let cool and pour over shelled eggs in a sterile jar.  Refrigerate for a few days.  To add color to your proverbial “boneless chicken” place pickled eggs in a jar of pickled beets.  They’ll change color within a day.