Those Devilish Eggs

I am a very reflective person.  I take pride in knowing myself well and am fortunate to have worked hard and developed some good skill areas.  I am very committed to becoming good at anything I am interested in and passionate about.  However, the opposite of this is also true.  There are many things that interests me little and therefore I know little about and spend little time getting better at them.  The list of my limitations is long, but three jump to the forefront of my mind at this moment.

  1. Politics – I have zero interest and know nothing.
  2. Gardening.  Give me a plant and I will generally kill it.  My husband continually reminds me that plants need water, but somehow I still don’t seem to get that concept.  I do the planting in the spring and think I do an okay job at that, but my husband tends to the garden and waters regularly.  I am not even very good at harvesting.  We thought we’d try a few more veggies this year.  Some have grown well, some have not.  Few have been harvested at the right time.  I guess it doesn’t really pay to grow your own if you don’t actually pick the lettuce when it is ready, and before the ends begin to turn curl and turn brown.
  3. Music – I have no ear for music, can’t read a single note and get stressed out when I am asked to clap to the beat.  I do like to sing and dance in the privacy of my home where I let my family’s eye rolls and criticism slide off my back. Fortunately for me, I teach 5 year olds and regardless of how bad you are ~ kindergartens generally love their teacher and think they walk on water, so we do lots of singing and dancing at school…. but you won’t catch me joining the choir!
  4. Deviled Eggs ~ I actually didn’t know this was so close to the top of my list until yesterday.  Let me explain….

The History Lesson

I love deviled eggs and my mom would often make them when I was growing up.  Again, eggs were not expensive and she had all of the ingredients on hand, so they made a perfect pot-luck dish or extra side-dish when company was coming.  I have made deviled eggs several times in the past and I think they tasted good.  Not so good, that you won’t forget them, but good.  However, I have only ever made them for my immediate family and have never really worried too much about the divots in the outsides or the presentation, it was much more about taste.  Generally, I prefer to put my eggs in a pot, boil the “dickens” out of them (I think I am turning into my mom) and then mash them up for egg salad sandwiches.  However, I decided that this year, I would make deviled eggs for our annual block party potluck dinner dish.  I knew that peeling the eggs would be a challenge for me, so I did what any perfectionist would do, I Googled it.

Easy to Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

Evidently, I am not the only person who struggles with this task, as there were many posts about it.  There were lots of tips, many of which I tried to follow.  Here are some of the things I learned about boiling eggs (I seriously thought you just put them in a pot – who knew there was a specific way to do it). When I originally wrote this post, there were two sites I used as a reference:  MOMables and Food.com. Since then, a more up to date and comprehensive blog post was written on My King Cook. This is a very informative article with many great references, video clips and suggestions. Everything you might want to know about eggs can be found here. I also love that they included some great egg recipes. I have recently been trying to drop a few pounds and must say….eggs are one of my best friends! Gotta love them!

  • Use eggs that have sat in your fridge for 2 weeks or longer (evidently older eggs peel much better)
  • Add salt to the water (I read any where from a pinch to 1 Tablespoon)
The salt won’t affect the flavor of your eggs; it helps solidify the proteins within the egg, helping create an easier to peel egg! I have used both iodized (table) salt and Himalayan rock salt (the pink salt in my photo) and both have worked perfectly.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of vinegar to the water to make peeling easier
  • Only cook the eggs for two minutes and then remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
  • Give the cooked eggs an ice bath right after cooking.

My Experience

I did my research and learned all the tips to make perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs.  I knew what the experts had to say and began to take action.
  1. We go through eggs like there is no tomorrow, often as many as 36 per week, so needless to say I would never have eggs sit in my fridge for 2 weeks or more.  I immediately began phoning neighbors to see if they had older eggs.  We began to exchange “expiration date” information and I managed to get 30 eggs that were much older than mine.  I am not sure how old, but he expiration date was August 24th and mine expired September 18th, so I thought it was a good trade.
  2. I gently set the eggs in the bottoms of two big pots because I wasn’t sure if layering was a no, no.  I covered the eggs with lukewarm water, added 1 T. of salt (I knew I would need all the help I could get) and the 2 tsp. of vinegar and set the pots on the stove to boil.
  3. I watched the pots like a hawk and when they reached a full boil (or at least what I determined to be a full boil), I turned my timer on for 2 minutes.  Evidently, the greenish-gray ring around the yolk results from over cooking.  Mine always looked like that, so I thought that was normal!!  Go figure?
  4. I removed the pots from the heat and covered them with a lid.  I turned the timer on for another 10 minutes.  (At this point, I was already feeling a little stressed about how my eggs were going to turn out, but I knew I was doing everything the experts told me).
  5. After 10 minutes, I removed the eggs and rinsed them in very cold water and then transferred them to an ice bath which was made up of very cold water and several cups of ice cubes.  You were to let them sit in the bath for 5 minutes.
  6. Peel the eggs.

The 6th Step Nightmare

I must say, this was one of the hardest tasks I have had to endure.  No kidding.  It was like I was trying to win some kind of internal battle between two drastically different personality traits.
Although I have never been diagnosed, I believe that I have Attention Deficit Disorder and that I come by it honestly. If you have ever met my father, you would know what I am talking about.  He has two speeds “go” and “sleep”.  He is 77 and literally only stops to sleep (any time, any place).  He can’t even stand still without jiggling the change in his pocket.  For the most part, I have complete control over this and have strategies that help me cope.  I do things like make lists to keep me organized and take notes when listening to a speaker (to keep me engaged).  However, the battle that ensued between my ADD and my perfectionist trait was one for the record books.
Let’s just say peeling the perfect eggs takes PATIENCE beyond anything I could ever imagine. I am tensing up just thinking about what I endured peeling those 30 eggs last night.  I am all about problem solving and strategy, so I wanted to try out one of the tips I learned on the first egg.  The poster said to crack the egg and gently roll it on the counter to create breakage all around the egg.  This would help you to get the holy grail of boiled eggs  ~ the membrane.  I tried it out on the first egg and immediately broke it right in half.  Ugh!  I guess she meant really gently.broken eggThis was not the start I was hoping for.  As I went through the eggs one by one, I tried different strategies ~ like did it work better when I started breaking off the shell on the side, top or bottom of the egg.  Should I use the end of my thumb or the side?  Do I try for the big piece or the little tiny time-consuming crumbles of shell?  I set out determined to peel each and every egg to sheer perfection, but this was to no avail. For some eggs, I made a flaw in the white flesh with the first pull of the shell.  Can you imagine the torment of having to continue to peel an egg slowly and carefully when I knew it is already damaged goods and less than perfect. By the second divot in an egg, my legs were squirming and I was tense all over.  I was generally able to work slowly and carefully until the moment when the perfect exterior became flawed and I had to settle for less than perfect and yet continue to finish the task with a steady hand and patience. This was so beyond my scope of management.  When creating a card or a project, I just scrap it and start over, but the reality was that there were no more old eggs to boil.  I had to salvage and use what I had.  No repair job, no re-do, no make-over.  It was killing me.  I was catching my self shifting my weight from one foot to the other, clearly agitated and using self-talk to make it through.  “I can do this.”  “How hard can this be?”  “The next one will be better.”  “Take your time.”  “Careful now, just slow down.”  I felt like some kind of a nut case on the brink of losing it.  Never before have these two elements of my personality battled it out in such a way.
The Not-So “A-peeling” Results
Not one perfectly peeled egg.  Despite my research, precision in following the directions and formidable attempt at peeling slowly and carefully not one egg survived unscathed.  There were many that made it up until the final shell was being removed.  The roller coaster of hope and failure was one I won’t be riding again for a long time. (And yet, deep down there is still a battle waiting to be won – someday, I will be able to peel an egg without error, but not today).  I can’t say the tips didn’t work, I truly believe this is my own challenge, so don’t disregard the tips, they just didn’t help me.eggs
The Devilled Egg Recipe
Whenever my mom made devilled eggs, she just tossed in some mayo and green onion, salt and pepper and sprinkled them with paprika.  No recipe, she just went by eye and taste.  I have always done the same, but because I am taking these eggs to the potluck.  I decided to actually follow a recipe.  I decided to go with a recipe that had a 5 star rating from 126 reviews.  Pretty good odds, I think.  It is called Kittencal’s Best Deviled Eggs from food.com.  The recipe calls for mayo, milk, parsley, chives, mustard powder, dill, salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika.  Sounds good and great reviews.  This part of the dish is easy.  Mix the egg mixture and pipe them into the whites.  I am hoping to make them look good enough that people won’t even notice how I butchered the eggs when peeling.  (By the way, the yolks did cook perfectly with no greenish-gray ring around the outside).
cooked yolks

I don’t actually remember my mom ever fighting with boiled eggs.  I don’t know if she had this little system licked and never had a problem, or if she was less of a perfectionist and really didn’t care if the eggs were perfect.  Either way they always tasted great, and I guess the look really didn’t matter, as I for one don’t remember if the whites were perfect or not.  I must say that this was a pretty humbling experience.  In general, I produce a pretty good product. I am not saying that I have never had a desert that didn’t set properly or a roast that over cooked because I have, but in general, when I make or do something I do it pretty well.  This result is so sub standard for me and the incredible stress it brought really caught me off guard.  I have decorated cakes that have required supreme patience and a very steady hand.  No problem! I would never have thought that peeling eggs would be so hard for me.  What an eye-opener!  The next time I eat someone  else’s devilled eggs, I will have a new respect and appreciation for the chef that prepared them.  It’s painful!  I will take cake decorating over egg peeling any day!

devilled eggsI think the egg filling tastes okay, but the recipe says to let the flavours blend for several hours, so we’ll have to wait and see.  From the top, they don’t look so bad ~ the deep dish helps hide the utter mess below.  Over all this was somewhere between an epic fail and a slim pass.  Hopefully they taste great!

 

About Cindy RoyI am a busy mother, wife and kindergarten teacher. I have a huge list of loves! I love my family, Springs Church, old houses, "up-cycling" and DIY projects, scrapbooking, volleyball, interior design, cake decorating, party planning, healthy eating, and sleeping. I am very organized and reflective, and am continually striving to do life more lovingly, passionately, effectively and successfully.

2 thoughts on “Those Devilish Eggs

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