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Ninety-three minute egg... - The Art of Procrastination
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May 2005
Tue, Jan. 4th, 2005 02:09 pm
Ninety-three minute egg...

I have been cooking on my own since I was seven. Without being too specific about my age, I freely admit that a few decades have passed since then. While I eat beef and some fish raw, and have been known to eat raw egg - mixed into cookie dough- the mere thought of eating a runny egg does unwelcome things to my stomach. So, even though I can successfully produce a souffle, I have never had to make a soft boiled egg.

Until this week, I never thought I would have the need. I am a firm believer in not cooking something I cannot eat - unless in the cause of true love. (The reason I once learned how to clean and prepare fresh squid.) My mom can and does cook anything, and she does it remarkably well, thus I never thought I would have to cook something special for her. But, she has been unwell and asked for a soft-boiled egg.

One might ask how hard this could be to accomplish? The Good Housekeeping Cookbook (!957, black-covered edition - our family bible) said to place a room temperature egg in cold water, bring to a rapid boil and then time for two minutes, serving immediately. So, I stoked the fire - wood stove in winter at my Mom’s - and when good and hot, put the pot of water on the stove and placed the egg in. After carefully timing 120 seconds once a full boil was reached, I pulled out the egg, dumped the water and took it into my Mom who found a not quite hard boiled egg - not what she really wanted.

She suggested that I finish it in the microwave and make egg salad for lunch.

Back to the stove and stoking fire portion of the exercise, I decided that I should take the next egg out after one minute. Once done, I then had two eggs for the upcoming luncheon special of the day. I then decided that I would cheat with impunity, Mom was in bed after all and wouldn’t know that I chose to light the “summer” stove (gas range, to the rest of the world). My thought was to skip the stoking, simply bring the water to a boil first and then add the egg, cooking it for 2 minutes should produce an egg that had a wet white and a runny yolk.

This worked perfectly for the runny yolk part, sadly, it also left the “white” mostly clear and equally as runny. How can boiling an egg for 2 minutes produce a basically raw product?

At least I had stopped dumping the water and was able to begin again almost immediately. The next egg was boiled for three minutes. While it looked fairly disgusting to me, I was pretty certain this was what my Mom had in mind. So, I took it into her with a piece of pumpernickel toast. Success! She ate it gratefully. And asked for another.

I could learn how to catch squid...


Tue, Jan. 4th, 2005 08:19 pm (UTC)

Hooray for perserverance! :-)

Gosh, I haven't done soft boiled eggs in forever, so I'm no help there. It sounds as though you did everything right - maybe running cold water over it to stop it from cooking would help? As long as the shell isn't cracked, the egg inside will continue cooking, even when removed from the heat (just guessing that could have been what resulted in the not quite hard boiled egg).

My personal preferance for *comfort food* when I'm not feeling well is coddled eggs on toast - only I learned to coddle them in milk, the way my mother always did (pouring the milk over the toast before serving), rather than in water as the cookbooks tell you to.

I guess you could say I end up with coddled eggs and milk-toast.

(((Hugs))) to you. And please tell your mom hello for me.

Wed, Jan. 5th, 2005 06:59 pm (UTC)

I've never believed in coddling eggs. It just leads to weak willed off-spring who remain too attached to your apron strings in later life.

Milk-toast? You may be as strange as my Mom... Why can't you have normal comfort food like mashed potatoes and cherries? I can handle mashed potatoes.

BTW - Thank heavens for Chile and there upside down fruit growers. (noshing on fresh cherries as I write this!)

ReplyThread Parent
Wed, Jan. 5th, 2005 07:04 pm (UTC)

I make spelling errors in a reply to the people most likely to catch it! Where's the edit button when you need it?

Let's make there, their - because they belong to Chile and we need to use the possessive case.

ReplyThread Parent
Thu, Jan. 6th, 2005 12:09 pm (UTC)

I make spelling errors in a reply to the people most likely to catch it!
*g* I wasn't going to say anything; I was too happy to see your post to give spelling a second thought.

And there - in not so chilly Chile - is where we find those "upside down fruit growers." There's a rather incongruous image which that phrase evoked. :-p

ReplyThread Parent
Wed, Jan. 5th, 2005 07:02 am (UTC)

Well, you certainly kept trying! I'd have been no help to you - in my house we don't just hardboil eggs we kill 'em. Basic recipe - stick in water and cook for about ten minutes. Even then I'm not going to eat it: for me to eat an egg yolk it either has to be mushed up with the white (scrambled eggs, omlettes) or covered with tomato sauce ;-)

Hope your mum feels better soon.

Wed, Jan. 5th, 2005 06:56 pm (UTC)

I'm on your side - kill the sucker. Fileg laughs at me when we go to diners because I order my eggs over hard with the added instruction that if the egg doesn't bounce if dropped, it needs to be cooked more.

Thanks, with all the good wishes being sent her way, she has to get better.

ReplyThread Parent
Tue, Jan. 11th, 2005 08:01 am (UTC)

The only time I ever order a fried egg is when I'm staying in a motel - and then we always write on the menu begging them to turn it over and cook it until it's hard (what I really want them to do is break the yolk, but I don't ask for miracles). We still throw out the yolks of more eggs than we eat. ;-) Speaking of boiled eggs - as a kid I was totally confused by how they dipped toast soldiers in them in my English books: they just bounce off ours. ;-)

I heard through Ness that your mum is in hospital and both of you have been in my thoughts all day.



ReplyThread Parent