I stood in my kitchen this morning holding an egg and really missing my mom. I was thinking about the time, years and years ago, when I called to ask her how long to boil eggs to get them to come out as good as hers. I hit the jackpot that day because two of my aunts were there. They proceeded to launch into a discussion that they revisited for years about the best technique.
Each of them had a totally different method. One dropped the eggs into a rolling boil (“What’s a ‘rolling boil’, mom?” “You know, a rolling boil, when the bubbles get just right.”) and left them for so long. Another started them in cold water and turned them off as soon as the mysterious “roll” was achieved. And, I can’t remember what the other one said — but it was completely different.
As I was holding that little egg in my hand, I realized that I hadn’t attempted to hard boil one in years. My partner was a great cook and loved doing it. Who was I to deny her of that pleasure? In fact, everything in the kitchen is so much “her” that it’s been hard for me to even be in there for the past two years. But, this morning, I really wanted a hard boiled egg, and I could not think of one drive-through facility that would produce one for me.
So, I thought, how hard can it be?
Which brings us right back to why I was really missing my mom! Gooey centers, green around the yolk, shells that wouldn’t come off with a chainsaw — none of my attempts even came close to that perfect egg. And, to tell the truth, even though they all produced great results, it wasn’t even my mom’s method that was the best. I’d have to call her and steer the conversation around to all those second-rate suggestions to get her to tell me again what my Aunt Ann had said. Hers was the best, but there was no way I was going to tell my mom that — I may not be the best cook, but I’m not stupid!
So, are you all thinking that I’m going to come up with some parallel about different routes to the same goal? Tie in this trip down culinary memory lane with my mom and my aunts to gays and straights, Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives all wanting the same thing but coming at it from different places?
Well, you would be wrong.
I just want to know how long to boil this egg!
I’m thinking that I may go over to my favorite blog and ask Margaret and Helen. They’re the same age my mom would be — I bet one of them probably uses the exact method that I’m looking for.
Or, maybe one of you? All suggestions welcome!
(Good thing my brother doesn’t read this blog — he thinks we are going to give my sister-in-law the day off and he and I cook Thanksgiving dinner together. This egg business might make him nervous. But, I actually can cook a turkey — I just can’t boil an egg…)