Variations on a Theme: How to Make Hard-Boiled Eggs

by Miranda Larsen

From the kitchens of New Orleans restaurants and beyond:

• Fill a pot with generously salted water and your desired amount of eggs (usually one dozen).
• Finagle and barter with other cooks for a spot on the stove around the various other saucepans. Bring to a boil.
• When you hear someone yell, “Whosever’s eggs these are, they’re boiling!”, leave what you’re doing and kill the heat. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and set a timer for ten minutes.
• When the timer goes off, use a slotted spoon to transfer the eggs into an ice bath.
• When they cool, peel, dry on paper towels, and place in a labeled container.
• Bring all of your tools to the dishwashing station ASAP.

From the kitchen of an aspiring chef on her day off:

• Pour wine into glass and don whatever souvenir apron your family member/friend bought for you on their travels. Maybe tonight it’s the one with a gumbo recipe stamped on the chest, or the one from Paris striped with the French flag colors and illustrates a kitten wearing a beret and holding a baguette in front of the Eiffel Tower.
• When you’ve decided you want some readily available hard boiled eggs for quick snacks, or you need them for garnish for an obscure Andalusian cold soup, take out five eggs (you totally have a rationale for this), and place them in a Pyrex bowl by the stove. This is convenient.
• Fill a pot with generously salted water and place on the stove as you run through the Sopa de Salmorejo recipe in your head.
• Bring to a boil as you pour another glass of wine, then surreptitiously remove the cat’s fingernail clippers from the drawer and place in the apron pocket. The cat drew blood today and it’s high time she got clipped. This is called “multitasking”.
• After soothing the clipped cat with treats and brushing her hair off your body, check the pot. It’s on a rolling boil, and you’re on the right track, until you spot the Pyrex bowl of eggs and curse loud enough to chase the cat away. Drop the first two eggs in the boiling pot and watch them crack when they hit the bottom, then use a slotted spoon to ease the others in.
• Kill the heat, and set a timer for fifteen minutes.
• When the timer goes off, use the spoon to remove the eggs and place in the ice bath. You did remember the ice bath, right?
• Wait five minutes in illogical fear before peeling the ugliest egg and slicing it clean down the middle.
• If the yolk is bright yellow and set, you did it! Gold star! If only your superiors could see you now, and how you saved the eggs! Curse in celebration.
• Peel the rest of the eggs, place in a container, store in the fridge. Do the dishes tomorrow.