Learning to feed yourself can be one of the most terrifying things. Am I about to give myself food poisoning? If I eat this too often will I end up with scurvy? How can I get the most nutritional bang for my buck? Why does this still taste like ass?
With Ode to My Pantry, learn to navigate a grocery store without having a meltdown in aisle three. Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a queer to cook and stave off malnutrition for another semester.
Happy Easter everybody! Or more importantly, Happy Long Weekend everybody! I sincerely miss my elementary school days when I’d go home on a Thursday and come back on Tuesday with a pocket full of those snappy egg containers and Easter Lipsmackers. Hot Chocolate! Pink Chocolate! Some type of Bunny Berry pun! Those days were awesome! Now I have to go out and buy my own candy and eat it at work on Monday. Sometimes being an adult sucks. But I still look forward to three things surrounding Zombie Jesus Day: hot cross buns, leftover hot cross bun French toast and buying an irresponsible amount of discounted Mini Eggs on Tuesday! Actual Easter eggs? Not so much.
Every single craft board and/or blog I follow offers at least twenty ways to DIY your shells to make them both adorable and chic! Nevermind that half of the bedazzled, painted and/or varnished ovoids are less than edible, what do you do you’re left with two dozen you can eat? If they were raw I could suggest quiches, frittatas and tamagoyaki. But no, these jerks demand a boiling, and hard boiling at that! Whereas soft boiled eggs are custardy orbs of sunshine and happiness, for me hard boiled eggs are nothing more than little grenades of disappointment. I don’t have the stomach (or enough little mayo packets) to deal with that many hard boiled eggs.
I’d probably be more excited about eating questionable eggs I find in my couch if the Easter Bunny favoured century eggs. They fulfill the unofficial Easter requirement of having Instagram worthy coverings and are durable and delicious to boot! But then again, most people (including two in my apartment) would completely disagree about the last point. I guess not everyone finds amber eggs with grey-green tinged yolks from sitting in the ground wrapped in mud, tea, salt and lime for a few weeks appetizing. Fine then, all the more congee for me! Onto prepping the boring ol’ chicken eggs.
As one blogger showed, Pinterest’s baking method is no match for good ol’ fashioned boiling. I imagine the Pinterester was trying to recreate the creaminess of Momofuku’s slow poached eggs but didn’t really succeed. Their theory seems like a sound way to avoid the plagues of Rubbery Whites or Grey Tinged Yolks since eggs cooked slowly (and below the boil). When egg white proteins are cooked too fast, they’ll lock up, forming more bonds than they should. These super tight bonds squeeze out water, leaving something more akin to a bouncy ball than an epicurian delight. Same thing goes with the yolk. As you continuously heat the egg it’ll turn from a liquid to a creamy gel to a firm solid to a sphere of chalk. If you needed another reason to watch your watch, prolonged heating forms a shitton of hydrogen sulfide in your whites, one of the chemicals responsible for grumpy grey yolks.
You can tweak that poor Pinterest plan and still get an Instagram-worthy egg with the right prep, though. Reach into the back of your fridge and skip over the new dozen in favour of staler ones. Instead of putting your old ova offerings into a pot of violently boiling water where they’re likely to crack, place them covered in a pan of cold water and bring it up to a boil as fast as humanly possible. As soon as it’s bubbling, take it of the heat and cover ’em. After about ten minutes, shove your eggs into an ice bath. You can start cracking as soon as they’re cool and you’ll notice that it’s fucking easy. An egg’s pH drops as it ages, creating an environment where the egg white proteins are more enamoured by each other than the inner membrane. Instead of sticking to the membrane (and the shell) like a younger egg, an older hard boiled egg will happily strip without showing off a dimpled behind.
After you’ve perfectly cooked your eggs and rescued them from their hiding places, what should you do? If you’re a fan of plain eggs, but want something slightly different, you can mould your egg into something twee. By applying gentle pressure to a warm, shell-free egg, you can eat a heart, cube, pyramid or other unnatural shape. Does this make it taste any better? Probably not! But I don’t think Pinterest cares all that much about reality.
If that still doesn’t float your boat, rest assured there’s something for you. Want something pretty? Crack the shell (while leaving it intact) and steep in a mixture of soy sauce, tea, five spice powder and sugar. The resulting Tea Egg absorb the liquid in a delicate marble pattern. Craving something substantial? Strip it naked and redress it in a shroud of sausage meat and breadcrumbs before deep frying it into a Scotch egg. Or turn your Mayoneggs into Devilled Eggs by mixing the chalky yolk with mayo and mustard and repiping into the hollowed whites.
If you cooked up a big ol’ batch and haven’t decided how to eat them yet, shove them back in the fridge and they’ll last for about a week. They won’t make their way to the raw egg’s expiration since they’re rinsed of their protective cuticle becoming more prone to bacterial invasion through all of their teensy pores. If anything feels slimy, smelly or otherwise amiss, give them a toss. If sometime during that week you realize you never marked your cooked eggs, there’s a trick to differentiate them without getting a TSA scanner involved. Just give them a spin!
If they pirouette gracefully, you’ve got a hardboiled one! If your egg wobbles like it’s at Dinah trying to find its way back to its hotel post-White Party, you’ve got a raw one! Unlike the free flowing yolk and albumen in a raw egg, there’s nothing loose to resist your motion in hard boiled one! Thanks Encyclopedia Brown!
Let me know if you have a tried and true method for hard boiled eggs. Or have a better way for me to
dispose of enjoy them. That is, if I find them all.