Tuesday Try This #6: Soft-Boiled

So simple and basic, yet so unattainable! Or at least it is not consistently do-able for the Imprecise Cook. This morning, however, as I opened my breakfast egg, I realised that not only had I done it, but I remembered how. I had executed four perfect soft-boiled eggs. You know the ones: soft yolks just made for dipping your toast crust with no sign of a jiggle in the white. This is such a rare occurrence that it just had to pose for a photo before being devoured.

imageSo how is it done? It is likely that many if not most of you know how to boil an egg. I do, and have for years. Why then is it such a big deal today? Because they were perfect. Perfect, I say! Not sort of good or almost perfect. Perfect. I did not get distracted by Facebook or the latest post from one of my fellow bloggers, nor by the dog wanting to be let in, out, or in and out repeatedly. I placed the four large-size eggs straight from the refrigerator into a glass saucepan and covered them with cold tap water and placed the lid on the saucepan. Then I set them on the front burner of my little stove. This is important, as the front burner is labeled “high input,” meaning, according to an RV salesman, that it will get your morning coffee brewed faster than either of the other two, and current wisdom advises us to bring that water to the boil as quickly as possible. ‘Nuff said. When the water had come to a full boil, I turned off the flame and set the timer for four minutes exactly. Then I drained the pot and once more covered the eggs with cold water, where they stayed while the table was set. The toast had already been made and buttered. by the time we were ready to sit down and eat, our eggs were ready too. This took no more than five minutes.

The process of consuming the boiled eggs varies with the home in which one was raised. In my childhood home, we mounted our eggs in egg cups and carefully cut the small end off the egg. This “cap” could be spooned out of the shell first or set aside for later. Then we tore the crusts from our toast and dunked them in the luscious yolk, which had been salted and peppered to taste. Then the remaining crustless buttered toast was savoured either as-is or with a jam, jelly or honey spread. I still eat my eggs this way and avert my eyes from the other side of the table, where the eggs are unceremoniously scooped from their shells and mashed over toast with no thought for the process that brought them there.

It’s Tuesday, People! Try this.

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