Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day One: Hard Boiled

This morning, I ate a hard boiled egg. (No, that's not my egg in the picture, but it looked a lot like that.) As innocent as the hard boiled egg might seem, as simple and unassuming, it is one of my mealtime nemeses. The texture has always bothered me, and along with that, the separate entities of the white and the yolk don't blend to create the eggy flavor I like. Eggs and I are on-again-off-again anyway--even a beautiful, soft, cheesy, scrambled egg can disgust me if I'm not in an egg mood. But hard boiled? Forget about it.

I was trying to remember, as I waited for my eggs to cook (I actually had to look up a recipe for "hard cooked eggs" in my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook--I also consulted Ina Garten online, and found the cooking times too contradictory, so I just went with my old standard cookbook) when I last ate a hard boiled egg. Not too long ago, my husband brought me salad with hard boiled egg on it, and I was so hungry I ate it, but that was just a few slivers, soaked in dressing. The last image I have of myself eating a hard boiled egg is Easter morning, when I was probably six. There had been an Easter egg hunt--just me and my brother, I think, and I was in the kitchen (we had a bright orange counter top that I loved) and my dad said I couldn't just have chocolate. I had to eat an egg. Being a kid, I preferred my food as bland as possible, and I struck a bargain. I would eat the egg white, and Dad would eat the egg yolk. Since he liked the yolks so much (and probably because the whites are the healthiest part anyway) he agreed. So I choked down a few whites and then dove into my candy.

This morning, I had to eat the whole thing.

I made my husband eat his first. I needed to see how he did it (a sprinkling of salt, three bites). I needed to know it could be done.

Silly as it sounds, it was incredibly difficult to take that first bite. And the second one. And the third one. I liked the second bite best, since it was mostly yolk and I had managed not to overcook it, so it wasn't grainy or green but a bright yellow and just solid. Before I took my bite, I asked my husband to give me a positive descriptor to focus on, and he said "creamy." And really, the yolk was creamy. Fairly enjoyable, really. My gag reflex triggered on the last bite, which was equally divided between yolk and white, but I kept my cool.

So I ate a hard boiled egg and it didn't kill me. Step one, complete. I will boil more eggs soon, and find some ways to enjoy them.


  1. Yes, creamy! I love it when I get the yolk just right. Tell me about your recipe though. I always just boil them until I think they're done, and sometimes they end up rubbery. Are you supposed to put the eggs in cold water and then boil, or boil and add eggs, or something else? How long did you boil them?

  2. I covered the eggs in cold water, brought them to a rolling boil, and immediately turned off the heat. Then I removed them from the heat, covered the pot, and let them sit for fifteen minutes. (Well... that's what I was supposed to do. I left them on the heat for about a minute, uncovered, not realizing that I was supposed to move them, but looked at the recipe again and did it right. Since I'd left it on the burner a little too long, I only let them sit, covered, for 14 minutes). After that, rinse them in cold water and put them in an ice bath to chill. So sayeth Better Homes and Gardens.

  3. That is one thing I do miss, now that I'm vegan. There's plenty good egg substitutes for baking and the like- but there's no substitute for hard boiled or scrambled eggs.