Everything you need to know about eggs, according to my MIL.
I was talking with my mother in law (aka MIL, she knows I blog, but she is computer-phobic and won’t look) about eggs. I probably do have a family member who will read this blog and tell her about what I wrote. (Aunt A, I’m sorry I’m so sarcastic in my mind… that’s how God made me. But at least now you know your sister’s secret for hard boiled eggs.)
I had asked that she share a few of her favorite recipes along with the stories behind them. I love food stories. I love how dishes become entwined in family history and take on almost mythological significance. I love how the mere mention of a recipe (or smell or site or even just seeing the right ingredients together) can trigger a whole flood of emotion and memory. I love how a shared dish can bind people together beyond explanation or reason. Like my grandmother’s jam cake recipe, or my aunt’s angel salad, or my other aunt’s yeast rolls. … … … oh wait… eggs, right.
MIL shared her recipe for creamed eggs. She’s quite proud of having created a version of the dish that is dairy, gluten, and onion free (all issues for her). As soon as I can decipher her recipe and replicate it, I’ll share her version as well as my own. In the mean time, here’s the conversation I had with my MIL about eggs. It’s supposed to be everything you need to know about eggs.
She’s never even heard of Pinterest and has probably never even thought about making hard boiled eggs in the oven.
Everything you need to know about eggs (according to my MIL)
MIL: I want you to share my secrets for hard boiled eggs.
Me: Okay… what secrets?
MIL: Well, the secret to finding eggs that peel easily is to use old eggs. Did you know that egg cartons have an expiration date? You want the ones that are about to expire. Fresh eggs are hard to peel.
At this point I’m thinking “of course the carton has an expiration date. hello!?!”
MIL: If you have to use fresh eggs, set them out on the counter for a few hours before you boil them.
MIL: I always leave my eggs sitting in the water overnight, and then peel them the next morning when they are perfectly cooled.
I’m thinking… um… ew… spoiled eggs? Leaving them out sounds nasteeeeeeeee. But I keep my mouth shut.
MIL: And then comes my real secret. How to peel a hardboiled egg. Most people don’t know how to do this, and they absolutely LOATHE peeling eggs because they don’t know how. Even my own sister doesn’t know this secret. When I visited her, I offered to peel her eggs and she was in shock at how quickly and puuuurfectly I peeled those eggs.
Me: So, what’s the secret?
MIL: You know the flat bottom side of the egg?
She has me at the edge of her seat. I’m imagining some secret trick with a darning needle (whatever that is) or maybe a special magic word that makes the egg shell fall off. Maybe a secret ingredient like vinegar or baking soda is involved…
MIL: Well, you tap that hard against the side of the sink to make the shell crack.
I’m not saying a word. I’m breathless with anticipation. But I’m thinking “Okaaaaay…… I do that.”
MIL: Then… you… flip the egg over and tap hard on the pointy part.
Still silent in anticipation, but I’m thinking “Ummmm….. I do that part too. Comeoncomeoncomeon… spill the big secret part.”
MIL: Then… and this is the part most people don’t know… you tap all around the middle and crack the rest of the shell. And the egg almost peels its self.
I was so disappointed that she didn’t have some amazing secret I didn’t know. I mean, how else would you peel an egg? Are there other ways to do it?
MIL: You’d be amazed at how many people don’t know how to peel an egg, and it’s so simple once you figure it out.
Me: Well, thank you for sharing your secret for peeling hard boiled eggs. That is a very helpful hint.
I’m so torn. On one hand, I feel like she’s sharing something that everyone already knows (except the part about leaving cooked eggs on your counter overnight). To me, it’s the perfectly obvious way to peel eggs, and it’s very simple. But, I’m also the woman who says making a souffle is easy (it is, for me).
On the other hand, if someone actually didn’t have the secret key to opening hard boiled eggs, they’d be mighty grateful for my MIL’s advice.
Which leads me to wonder… how else would you peel an egg? Curious minds want to know. Anyone?