Isha teaches Hosh how to boil eggs for an egg-cellent, nutritious, quick & easy breakfast.
Previous TaleTown Story: Eggs Recipe - French Toast
"Boiling eggs," Isha smiled at Hosh, "is an "egg-cellent" way to simply and cheaply prepare a quick and easy breakfast."
"I think a couple of eggs per person is an ideal serving size, but don't let that hold you back."
She gave him no Ingredients List today, but it was kind of obvious.
- Eggs (number depending on size of appetite)
"To avoid shells cracking when you boil them," she said, "take eggs out of the fridge and bring them to room temperature first."
"I suggest letting them sit at room temperature for about half an hour before using. In baking too, eggs are better used at room temperature."
"If an egg recipe calls for using only whites or only yolks, Ma," asked Hosh, "can we refrigerate the leftovers?"
"Yea," replied Isha. "Leftover whites can be refrigerated in a covered container. They will keep for up to 4 days. Store yolks in water in a covered container in the refrigerator and use them within 2 days."
"Alternatively, you can also freeze them. Simply place the whites into a tightly sealed container, label the number of egg whites and the date, and freeze."
"For faster thawing and easier measuring, freeze each white in an ice cube tray first, and then transfer the frozen cubes to a freezer container."
"Freezing yolks needs a bit more care and attention, because the yolk can become gelatinous (or thicken), which means it would be impossible to use in a recipe. Farmer Brown website recommends beating in either ⅛ teaspoon salt or 1 ½ teaspoon sugar per ¼ cup egg yolks (4 yolks)."
"Label the container with the number of yolks, the date, and whatever you've added - salt (for savory dishes) or sugar (for baking or desserts)."
"To use frozen eggs, thaw them overnight in the fridge or place them under running cold water before using. Use yolks as soon as they're thawed. Once thawed, whites will beat to better volume if allowed to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes."
"Thanks Ma," Hosh beamed at her cooking tips, "I didn't know all this."
"You're welcome," Isha smiled back. "Now let's boil our eggs for today's dish. When the eggs are at room temperature, half fill a saucepan with hot water. Place it on the element and bring it to the boil."
"Then lower the eggs into the water with a spoon, so you don't burn your hands. Reduce the heat, and let them simmer gently for:"
- 4–5 minutes for runny eggs
- 6–7 minutes for soft eggs
- 8–9 minutes for hard eggs
"Tell you a joke, Ma," said Hosh, "while they're boiling."
"Sure," she invited.
“A couple of chooks,” he began, “walked up to the circulation desk at a public library one morning, and said: Buk Buk BUK.”
“The librarian thought they wanted three books. So, she gave them three books."
"Around noon, the two chickens returned to the circulation desk, and said: Buk Buk BuKKOOK!”
“The librarian thought the chickens wanted another three books. So, she gave them three more. The chooks went off with their books as before.”
“The pair returned to the library again in the evening just at closing time, approached the librarian, and said rather grumpily: Buk Buk Buk Buk BuKKOOOOK!”
“The librarian was now a little suspicious of these little chickens. She gave them five more books, but since it was almost closing time, she also decided to follow them to see what they were doing with so many books.”
“So, she closed up the library and followed them discreetly. Slowly, the chooks walked down the street, crossed over to the other side at the next set of lights, down through the park and up to a pond with their heavy load.”
“On reaching the edge of the pond, they threw their books one by one at a frog sitting in the middle of the pond.”
"The frog looked at each book as it splashed beside him, and croaked: Rrredit Rrredit Rrredit…”
Isha laughed heartily at the clever play on words.
"Boiled eggs look the same as raw eggs, Ma," Hosh asked her. "How will I tell them apart, if they get mixed up before I deshell them?"
"There is a secret way to find out which is which, without breaking them," Isha chuckled. "Give the egg a spin. If it spins easily, it’s been hard boiled. If it wobbles, it’s raw and waiting to be cooked."
"Our eggs are done now," she noted. "You can turn off the heat, and take them out with a spoon if you are hungry, but they'll be very hot ..."
Hosh nodded. He was famished. They quickly took them out and easily deshelled them. As he sliced them in half, he noted a greenish hue around one yolk.
“Why this greenish ring around this hard-boiled egg yolk?” he asked her.
“Probably due to sulphur and iron compounds in the egg, reacting at the surface of the yolk,” she answered. “Or it may be due to overcooking, or a high proportion of iron in the cooking water. The eggs are still wholesome and nutritious, and their flavor is unaffected. So, nothing to worry.”
“Greenish yolks can be avoided by using the proper cooking time and temperature, and by rapidly cooling the cooked eggs in cold water. Using fresh eggs, and cooling them quickly after cooking, also stops darkening of the egg white.”
"As always in cooking," she concluded, "there are many ways to do something. Have a look at other ways to boil eggs on YouTube, when you have some time."
Next TaleTown Story: How To Scramble Eggs?