Easter is one of my most-favorite times of the year. There are many reasons:
1. I'm a Believer, and as a Believer, this holiday represents the height of what my personal faith lies on - Jesus is alive!
2. I love the way springtime feels.
3. It is a tradition in my (Italian) family to make salami pie! WHO DOESN'T LOVE SALAMI PIE??
5. We get to eat colored hard-boiled eggs. YUM.
I love coloring the eggs. We have done it every year since the kids were small, and continue to do it even though they are grown now. I especially love coloring them now that I am much more chemical-conscious. I have found so many ways to color eggs naturally!
Now a few years ago, in preparation to color our Easter eggs, I did what every one of YOU do prior to coloring eggs for Easter: I boiled them. (Notice I didn't say "hard-boiled" them?)
I thought I did all the right things. I brought the eggs to a rolling boil, let them cook in the water for some time, and then turned off the heat and rinsed them with cold water. I put them in the fridge to cool prior to coloring them, and started on my food coloring ingredients of rosemary, blueberries, purple cabbage, red zinger tea bags, and turmeric. I was just sooooo proud of myself. So I called The Hubster to the beautiful table I had set with the array of colored water/vinegar elixirs I had prepared, the carton of boiled eggs (nope, still not gonna use the other reference), and two lovely glasses of wine. (Those were for us, not the eggs). Adrian had turned on some nice music and we got to work.
After each egg was colored, we tenderly placed them back in the egg carton to dry. Easter morning before church, I placed all the eggs into the cutest little basket and placed them on the table as a centerpiece where we would be eating these eggs, along with our Easter ham, salami pie, and other goodies. The kids look forward to this very meal every year! The Hubster likes his with a little mayo, relish, and cayenne. Cameron pops an entire egg into his mouth at one time. Chelsea carefully cleans out the yolk and gives it to Sam while she eats the whites. And Jordan slices his and puts it on his ham - ohhhhhhh, how the family would be SO PROUD of me when they saw these eggs! They looked stunning, even if I did say so myself.
As I set the table that afternoon, those beauties were calling my name. Which one should I eat? Which one wouldn't take away from the glorious eye-feast that was my egg centerpiece? Which one would I delight in sprinkling a little sea salt and cracked black pepper on before placing the delectable into my watering mouth??
I slowly scanned the treasure basket and focused in on the deep-emerald splendor and grabbed it, carefully tucking the other eggs not chosen into its place so as not to disturb the egg-basket trophy I so proudly displayed. Holding it in front of me in both hands like it were delicate glass (okay, that part's not true, but it made for good imagery), I went into the kitchen, opened the garbage basket, and begrudgingly (it was just SO PRETTY, after all) banged it on the counter so as to crack it's armor and peel it away to the delicious orb that lie beneath.
Here comes the good part.
So I smashed it. I wanted to just be able to give it a good crackin' to hurry and get to it, after all. BOOM. Full-hand smash. Aaaaand the egg exploded all over me; like, EXPLODED. Apparently, I had NOT boiled them properly, and the only part of it cooked was a small layer around the outside. That layer blew into bits upon the smash, and the rest of the liquidy egg was everywhere.
I literally was standing there with egg on my face.
And we did not get to eat our eggs that year, either, needless to say. (Oh, don't worry - there was PLENTY of ham and salami pie, along with decadent potatoes and asparagus, but that's a story for another post)
I have now, thanks to that experience, perfected the hard-boiled egg. Perfect white, not too rubbery, and the golden center, not too dry, but cooked just right. I have taken this secret out of the vault and am giving it to you as a gift. The 'recipe' is below.
Do you prize what looks good on the outside, never REALLY taking the steps needed to go a little deeper and find out if what's inside is what is REALLY of worth? As you age, are you gracious to yourself and consider the wealth of knowledge and experience you've gained over the course of this precious life to put into the vault, or do you just waste this gift of life wishing you could do it over again? Don't wind up with egg on YOUR face. Remember to look past what's only skin-deep and find value in the golden center that's been cooked just right......it helps perfect the recipe for the legacy you leave behind.
THE PERFECT HARD-BOILED EGG
Place your eggs in the pot you wish to boil them in. Cover them with water and sprinkle with a touch of baking soda (this helps the peeling process!). Bring to a rolling boil. Cover and remove from heat. Let them sit for exactly 13 minutes. Pour out the water and cover with cool water. Let sit 3 more minutes. Rinse with cold water again, letting the cold water run over the eggs for another minute or two. Eat right away or refrigerate and save for later.