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Sunday, May 6, 2012

NOT EGGACTLY EGGCITING

There's a pretty good chance this will be the wackiest thing I've blogged about yet.  Besides the fact why would a cat even care about such a silly subject as...are you ready...hard boiling eggs.  That's what I said...hard boiling eggs.



Let's just start at the beginning so you'll understand how this rolled out.  I happen to reside in a home with one male and one female human who spend a lot of time in their kitchen.  I'll just nick name them Mr. and Mrs. Chef as they both love to cook, other humans have actually made requests and paid them for special dishes, and they don't even seem to mind the clean up involved following a project.  Yeah, so maybe they are a little weird but I do get my two squares a day, all day munchies, litter box is always clean, I can't complain.  Whenever they have a concoction going in the kitchen I usually manage to stay on my nap schedule undisturbed.  That is until the times they make hard boiled eggs and those stinky fumes start permeating the hallway.  Frankly my litter box doesn't smell that pungent but whatever.


Aside from that my point here is not about the aroma of hard boiled eggs but rather the process or method one uses to hard boil them.  Mrs. Chef originally used her way which I understood to be pretty much just boil the living daylights out the eggs until there's no doubt whatever is inside the shell is boiled beyond belief.  Then along comes Mr. Chef one day and suggests she try his way, turned out his way was better and for that eggs everywhere are probably relieved.  Let me mention also that Mr. and Mrs. Chef often times watch the food network on TV and it just so happened one day they caught a show about making hard boiled eggs.  This particular TV Chef explained that the egg when cooked properly should have a solid yellow yolk with no green outer coat.  Funny part about this is Mrs. Chef thought that green exterior on the yolk was normal and made it look like an itty bitty planet earth.  Now thanks to using Mr. Chef's method she no longer gets the outer green color...and she'd never even noticed that until she saw that egg episode.  Then one day Mr. Chef happens across a video clip on how to boil the perfect eggs so they both decided they better watch this one too.  See how everyone lays claim to the "perfect" egg?  So this got Mrs. Chef to thinking that there must be more than one or two or even three perfect ways to boil eggs so she began asking her friends.  Next thing you know she'd collected quite a variety of methods.


Now I'm sure this isn't the first time somebody has taken the egg boiling methods to task and I'm definitely not here to say which is the best way or the worst way.  Frankly, I could care less how the rest of you stink up your kitchens but I thought it would be interesting to share some of what we learned. 


Interestingly enough Mrs. Chef's long-time best friend, we'll call her BFF, has a cookbook collection with books dating back to the 1700's.  Can you imagine worrying about hard boiling eggs back then minus electricity or running water?  So for fun Mrs. Chef asked BFF to do some research and see if she could discover how far back she could find a recipe for hard boiling eggs.  She tells us the early cookbooks seemed more concerned with how old an egg was rather than how to cook it.  Most times they were just served for breakfast soft boiled.  Another bit of trivia tells us that the very first American cookbook was by Amelia Simmons dated 1796 but no mention was made of cooking hard boiled eggs.  Back then all cookbooks came from England but here in America there were different foods available that were not covered in the English cookbooks.  Things like turkey, pumpkin, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, berries, etc.  Not that cooking eggs was done any differently here from there but no mention was made as to how to hard boil them.  Maybe they had not yet invented egg salad or deviled eggs.


It was also mentioned that the spelling in these books was horrible (ah, the pre-spell check era).  Way back then the letter 'f' was used in place of the letter 's' which made for some fun reading for BFF.


In BFF's research she told Mrs. Chef about a book from 1753 called "The Compleat Houfewife: or accomplfh'd Gentlewoman's Companion".  Whew...my spell check is going nuts over here.  Anyway, her book is a 15th Edition and she notes that the earliest edition is the 3rd Edition from 1729 and it now resides in a British Museum.  Notice the "f' and lack of the 's'?  And again nothing noted on boiling eggs but it did advise that when buying eggs you should put the big end of the egg to your tongue to see if it's fresh and warm.  Try that today and you're bound to hear someone yell security.  Now I'm going to let you digest this much and will continue next post with the very first recipe we found for hard boiling eggs!
Are we eggcited yet???



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