Shaken, Not Stirred

Humorous Essays and Other Stuff

Gerald Andersen

Gerald Andersen
Califon, New Jersey, United States
January 06
"“When I have one martini, I feel bigger, wiser, taller. When I have a second, I feel superlative. When I have more, there's no holding me.” - William Faulkner "I grow old...I grow old. I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled." -T.S. Eliot


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JANUARY 29, 2013 5:05PM

How to Eat an Egg

Rate: 21 Flag

My breakfast each and every day is one hard boiled egg.

I started doing it as a part of some soon abandoned diet I was trying, probably one of those low carb types. I used to eat an English muffin, which incidentally isn't English but originated in New York City.

I prefer the Eggland jumbo variety of egg.  Kathie is always singing the praises of the organic sort, but I don't like them because they are hard to peel and the shell always sticks to the egg. It starts my day off badly when I crunch into an errant piece of shell that sets off a sound  and sensation inside my head like I have just chomped down on a ten penny nail. 

Maybe they inject shell lubricant in the Eggland products, but they always peel perfectly. They also have a cute little red trade mark on the fat end that turns pink during boiling.

One  of the sensual pleasures of eating the egg is the way the shell strips off in one long piece and falls to the plate, revealing the soft, lustrous flesh. 

I always stroke the naked egg with my thumb to be certain no shell bits remain.

Next, I have to decide which end of the egg to bite into first. I hate taking the first bite and right away getting mostly yolk because this means I will be left with a mouthful of all white at the end. Awaiting the arrival of this blob of rubbery slime, tarnishes the rest of my eating experience.

 I like to get the white eating out of the way first, so that I know the rest of the way, down to the last bite, will be a balanced blend of yummy yellow and white goodness. Egg eating is all about balance.

It is my experience that as many eggs have their yolk oriented towards the fat end as toward the pointy one. I don't know why this should be so. You would think the yolk would be squarely in the middle, but it almost never is. The way they are oriented in the carton, whether fat end up or down, does not seem to be a factor in where the yolk winds up after cooking. 

Also, I always put them in the pot on their sides. You would thing the semi-liquid nature of a raw egg would cause the yolk to seek the middle when put on its side. It doesn't, or I should say, it doesn't always happen.

No big deal though, because I employ what I call "finger sonar" to find the white end. I tap each end of the egg, and  when I feel the rubbery resistance that indicates the presence of the white, I dig in. Like many backyard barbecuers, I use this technique to test the doneness of burgers and steaks. In that context, it is almost fool proof. 

It's iffier with eggs and I locate the white end about eight times out of ten tries. 

To me, salt is a very important part of egg eating, but, then again, I am a person who would salt his ice cream if it didn't make it melt.

I sprinkle some on that first bite and it is a real eureka moment when I have snapped off the dreaded white bite is one clean chomp. Kathie frequently hears a triumphant "Ha! I got you, you white bastard" coming from the kitchen.

I then make a little pile of salt on my plate and press the now concave end of the egg into it. With its rim of salt, it reminds of my margarita glass before I have taken the first sip of the glorious contents.

Several bites and breakfast is done and I am on about my chores and errands.

Stay tuned for the next blog in this series: "How to Butter Toast."

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Something to keep in mind Gerald, the fresher the egg the harder it is to peel when it is boiled.
Now you see this post just proves that one can write about anything and make a story out of it. Bravo to you.
I want one. Right now!!
How long do you boil them?
Never mind. I just now asked my daughter. 10 minutes, she said. The egg is boiling. btw, it's an Egg-land organic, with the little red thingie on one end. (I can hardly wait...)
Matt, I boil for two minutes and let sit in covered pot off heat for ten. perfection!
I enjoyed this journey to the center of the ellipse. Egg timings are off at altitude, but white/yolk balance is universal.
Mine was superb, except I ended up with the white left at the end. You've reintroduced me to what shall be added to my breakfast menu, which now consists of two multi-grain roll halves with honey and Ceylon cinnamon. And, of course, strong black coffee.
How egg-uisite. I didn't know there was so much to eating an egg. R
You're just playin' with us Jer...
What's next - the Complexity & Congruity of "The Deviled Egg"? R
Jesus, and I thought my husband's morning egg-eating was annoying. JUST EAT THE DAMNED THING ALREADY.
A boiled egg, A boiled egg - my kingdom for a boiled egg!
Have you ever had a soft boiled egg? It has a ritual to it too and involves an egg cup. It is fun to hack off the head of the egg and scoop out the innards with just the right size spoon. Eat with a piece of toast on the side and salt. Thank you for this kind of writing. It turns me on.
say it ain't so about the muffin. I was sure my english muffins came from London. Seriously. I envy those with such an egg at lunch routine. I never know what my lunch or breakfast or dinner will bring. Fine and funny piece, Gerald.
You are a strange, but entertaining, man. Who seems to have found a cohort in Matt.
I have never seen a blog on eggs and hardboiled at that. My grandfather used to have his in an egg cup and tap it a few times.. some how got the top off and ate it like it was in its own receptical :)
......EGG BULLETIN...... are you ready folks? Add baking soda to the water and a chemical reaction that nature arranges makes the shell slide right off.

There is a high degree of eggspertise involved in the creation of a soft boiled egg with the perfectly delightful runny center. Only the best eggsperts can produce the perfect soft boiled egg, resplendent with it's perfect little spoon, in it's fabulous little cup.

I'm looking forward to the series on toast. It's the only accompaniment for a soft boiled egg. I hope you will move on to marmalade after that. I'm just so eggcited!
forgot to mention, stirring the eggs about while cooking will even out the centers and keep them from settling in the ends. At sea level 5-6 mins of a light boil, followed by the lid on tight for 15-20 mins makes for a great large/ex large hard boiled egg. Don't forget the baking soda!

[r] Gerald! hah! great protein breakfast! I have been mindlessly eating my hard boiled eggs you now make me realize. You know the peel-ability I thought had to do with getting those suckers into cold, cold water after their cooking -- as quickly as possible. If they don't get that cold bath fast enough and cool off slowly it will be murder picking off the shell -- it will come off in those tiny frustrating pieces with pieces of egg with it. A bummer experience.

best, libby
oh my gosh, I've never heard of hard-boiled eggs sounding so appealing... (or a-peeling, if you're feeling punny)... now I'll have to get some and have my own experience. lol
Boo to the salt, they are much better with ketchup. I also am averse to having the big blob of whites as the last bite. I used to give that to the dogs when it happened. Although the ketchup makes that more palatable, too.
i like my hard boiled eggs over easy
What a wonderful description! I'm more of a sunny egg girl myself, but your writing here made me really want to have a hard-boiled egg! ...And you also got me thinking about yolk distribution, which I've never reflected on before.
Have you tried cooking them in the microwave?