Friday, April 24, 2009

Perfect, easy peeling, boiled eggs

Back when I worked in a commercial kitchen making perfect hard boiled eggs involved steaming them in the steamer in a perforated pat for exactly 14 minutes. It was easy. But now that I'm retired I have to use the stove and boil them. Can you believe that I had to do some research into how to make the perfect boiled egg? And what I found was that there are many, many opinions on how to do this. I wanted an egg that didn't have that gray overcooked edge on the yolk and that was consistently easy to peel. Two separate problems to solve. I already knew that 10 minutes of boiling gave me an acceptable egg most of the time but the problem was the peeling. I like to make deviled eggs for pot luck type of situations and you want your deviled eggs to look appealing (get the pun) hee, hee. So with my research here is what I worked out. Your mileage may vary, this is what works for the altitude in Minnesota. I know for a fact that it doesn't work in the Colorado mountains at 9,000 feet - the eggs have to cook for some unknown time longer - I'll work on it when we go to the cabin this summer.

Take the eggs out of the refrigerator and put them into a pan. Fill the pan with HOT tap water and put it on medium heat. Bring to a steady but not hard boil and boil for 10 minutes (use a timer). When the timer has about 2 minutes left to go, prepare an ice cold water bath for the eggs. Put a tray of ice cubes into a bowl and fill with cold tap water. When the timer goes off, immediatly drain the eggs and rinse with cold tap water. Then put them into the ice cold water bath and leave them until the ice melts. When you peel them, crack them all around the middle of the egg and the shell should just come off in large sections. Works for me - try it and let me know if it works for you. Popular folk lore says that you should only use old eggs for boiling but I've used them fresh from the farm and it's worked.

Here's one of the things I do with boiled eggs. This "recipe" comes from my grandmother so that must qualify it as an heritage recipe - except that my kids and the Compadre think it's gross so the recipe is bound to stop with me. Anyway, take a peeled egg and slice it. Drizzle oil and vinegar on it and then sprinkle salt and pepper on it. Mmmm, brings back memories every time.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

If Only I Could Remember My Camera

If I could remember my camera then I would have wonderful pictures of the cute alpacas that I saw at the Minnesota Alpaca Expo last Saturday. It was a fun day. Although I have no knowledge whatsoever about judging alpacas it was fun to watch. Everywhere you looked there was a cute alpaca head looking back at you! Some of my friend's alpacas placed very well. I had the most fun watching the kids with their alpacas play "Simon says" during the lunch break. Little kids with their alpaca on a leash leading it around the ring. Cute and cuter. But sorry, I forgot my camera, you'll just have to imagine it. Oh, and there were vendors - yarn vendors. I bought another kit to make yet another tulip sweater for Abigail! I love, love, love making that sweater and Abigail looks so cute in it. Christmas present here we come.

And if I had thought that there would be a camera opportunity I would have brought it to the sock machine get together last Monday. We got a tour of the wooden box factory that is a family business for one of our members. It was like going back in time - the boxes are made with very old technology and this is one of the only places that makes wooden berry boxes. We saw the basswood logs being made into the thin veneer and scored and sliced into the pieces for the boxes and then watched them being stapled into the actual boxes. I just love factory tours and this was especially great because of its history and because I know one of the people involved.

I learned how to make the tiny felted mittens on my sock machine on Monday too. They are fun to make. The idea is to make coin purses out of them by sewing velcro in the top. When I got home and showed the Compadre what I had learned he started laughing! He pointed out that the entry for Monday on the Yarn Harlot's daily calendar was about making mittens because they're a small project. And she had the idea to sell them as small purses (tongue in cheek) because you don't need as many mittens as you do socks. And here I was actually making small mitten purses! Talk about a coincidence.

I'll leave you with a picture of a different baby! This is Natalie, she's the daughter of my nephew and his wife. They were visiting last week. Also in the picture is my son and his fiancée and my daughter. What a cute baby.