Friday, January 2, 2015

Eggs Actly! 1/2/2015

Here's my story about boiling eggs:

I don't know when boiling eggs became a problem for me. I know that somewhere along my road to becoming a homemaker, learning how to cook which includes knowing how to boil eggs I have tried the "old fashioned" method of water in the pot - to a boil for a 3 minute egg and 12 minutes of boiling and set the pot aside and then do a cold water rinse for hard boiled eggs.

When I was married to Harry back in 1961-68 I would use the pot boil method. I don't know when the electric egg boiling gadget came into my kitchen, but when it did it changed my egg boiling habits for many years. It was a "steamer of eggs" that had a timer that could be set for soft or hard boiled eggs. The egg had to be pierced before placing it into the steamer - to allow the egg to cook "properly".

Over the years the egg cooker was part of my kitchen equipment. Then, I "reverted" to using the pot method again. Why? I guess the old egg cooker finally "bit the dust" somewhere "along the line".

Here's a favorite story my son and I heard from Harry Lasky (real estate agent for my son's home). Harry had shown us around the home - giving us the selling points and then told us about the former owner who loved birds and had several cages of them in her kitchen. He also pointed out the graveyard out behind the garage for the birds.

He said that the lady had boiled some eggs (who knows how many) to the point that all the water in the pot was gone and then the eggs exploded! Apparently the lady had told Harry about what a mess it was to clean out all those bird cages, let alone all the egg bits and pieces that hit everything in the kitchen. The screeching of the birds, the smoke, the scary situation must have "been something"!

I had visualized that egg explosion story and could empathize with "The Bird Lady" (thinking off-hand that it would make a good children's book). And so this leads to my situation with eggs exploding.

More than once I've left eggs in the egg pan to dry out and explode. I've been able to shut off the stove, get the pan off and throw out the stinking scorched eggs. Whirling around a vinegar/water soaked and wrung out towel took out some of the smoke. I turned on the exhaust and overhead fans - opened doors and windows to get the smoke and stink out. It took days to clean up the pan - soaking, using Barkeepers Friend and scrubbing with a Brillo pad. Finally one pan "gave it up" by popping off it's "bottom" protective layer.

These explosions still didn't teach me - until finally the "last time around" I burned up one of my sweet little copper pans (almost). I left the eggs on the stove and came down to the office in a separate building to check email and Facebook. I was in my nightgown. I finally decided to go up to the house and there was a fireman in my breezeway. I covered myself with something - can't remember. Then three firemen went through my entire house - I headed for the bathroom for a robe. I don't know who turned off the stove - I think I was in shock!

They set up a big exhaust fan in the kitchen - pulling out a lot of smoke. They finally left and I kept the windows and doors open for hours. It took awhile to get the smoke out. I was really upset about the pan - let alone having another serious egg episode! I sent the pan off to the metalcoating place for retinning and renewal - another $70 gone. The pan looks great but I'm not using it again for eggs.

Long story - lesson learned. Now for the update: I now have an egg cooker that I found on eBay that works in the microwave - eggs don't have to be pierced - I can do one egg for 5 minutes and 4 eggs for 6 minutes or more - just fill with water - latch - cook. Main thing - being extra careful to be sure it's "latched" and then "unlatch" with super care - to prevent steam burn.

I finally can have my daily soft-boiled egg for breakfast and can enjoy adding hard boiled eggs to my tuna salad for lunch. Problem solved! Onward!