Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ask Mary: Easter Eggs

Dear Mary,
What is the best way to prepare Easter eggs?
Ann Marie

One Easter, when I was about three years old, my mom’s beautifully decorated Easter eggs caught my attention. Sitting in a nice basket, they looked like a delicious treat. So, I crawled up onto the table and stuffed them into my mouth. Imagine my mom’s surprise when she came into the room to find the remains. She still talks about how pleased I seemed, egg shells and all.

It is an Easter tradition to dye eggs. I’m not sure how the tradition started, but we’ve being doing it almost as long as we’ve been celebrating the holiday. Of course, though children may admire the beauty that is a decorated egg, they will probably prefer the ones with coins and chocolates hidden inside. But that’s another story entirely!

I was taught this trick for boiling eggs by one of my chefs in school, and believe me, I was thrilled to discover that there is actually a trick to doing this. If the eggs are not going to be eaten, any boiling technique will do.

However, if you do plan to eat them, and want to make that perfect boiled egg, I suggest you take out the number of eggs you need and first put them into a cold pot of water. Then turn the fire to high until the water boils. Once it is boiling, reduce the water to a simmer (practically no bubbles) and cook the eggs in there for another eight minutes. Turn the fire off and let the eggs stand for another 15 to 20 minutes before removing them.

This technique makes for a perfectly cooked egg with a pretty yellow yolk. Just dye, decorate and serve! Terrific!

Have a great Easter! And happy dying!