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.
- Politics – I have zero interest and know nothing.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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).
- 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.
- Peel the eggs.
The 6th Step Nightmare
The Not-So “A-peeling” Results
The Devilled Egg Recipe
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!
I 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!