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Boiling an Egg

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by nick909, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. nick909

    nick909 Lead commenter

    Having decided between us this morning that the baby growing inside Mrs909 has now fully developed and is now merely putting on weight, we've assumed that a soft boiled egg isn't going to cause any problems, and so had some for breakfast.
    It occurred to me though that boiling an egg, despite the cliche of not being able to do one being synonymous with being unable to cook, that it's actually not especially easy to boil an egg well, unless you've got your technique pretty well set in stone
    Lots of things make it even more complicated, such as the size, freshness and temperature of your eggs, and even the altitude at which you live apparently making a difference (although I assume we're talking sea level vs Andean differences, rather than fenland vs lake district differences).
    My method is to add room temperature eggs, which should be at least a week old (fresher ones tend to get poached), to swiftly boiling water which has had a dash of vinegar added (to stop any potential cracks from leaking too much), and then setting the timer for 4m50s exactly. Once they've come back to the boil, I then turn them down to a lively simmer, so they don't bounce around too much. They are then whipped out in the same manner that a fly-fisher might land a large trout. This invariably works perfectly, but there are still times when, mysteriously, it doesn't.
    We had two eggs each this morning, and whilst one of mine and both of my wife's were perfect with a firmly set white and a soft, but unctuous, orangey yolk; one of mine was undercooked and distinctly 'snotty'. And there's nothing worse than a snotty egg, is there?
    I assume that everyone on here will have a slightly different technique for soft boiling an egg, which is why I'm interested!
    So. How do you cook yours?
     
  2. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Put simply, I don't. I cannot stand boiled eggs. I'm only just getting used to fried ones.
    Mr EG does like a boiled egg from time to time but only a hard boil and not a soft one.
     
  3. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    My mother used to put vinegar in the water (for poached, too) but I don't like teh flavour it gives.

    O/h likes his eggs hard, so I put his into cold water and bring it to the boil. When it is boiling fast I add eggs for the rest of us which I have had sitting in water from teh hot tap since the first ones went in.
    I then put toast in teh toaster set on #4. When the toast pops the eggs are ready! I haven't timed it, but this method works for me when I use uniform eggs.
    My trouble is that I buy the "odds" from the egg lady at the farmers market and they are a variety of sizes with a variety of shell thicknesses, so I put the bigger ones in first, wait 30 seconds and put in teh medium ones, 30 seconds later I put in the little ones (that my daughter prefers) and teh thin shelled ones!
     
  4. Si N. Tiffick

    Si N. Tiffick Occasional commenter

    I use largish eggs from the farm (the hens are getting old now). I use them straight from the fridge (ah, don't get me into the in-or-out-of-the-fridge debate, my mum kept them in the fridge, so I do too, that's all there is to it). I put a pinch of salt in the the boiling water, bring it to a rapid boil and lower the eggs in, biggest one first and so on, then start the timer for precisely 6 mins 40 secs once the smallest one is in. I don't bother pricking the eggs any more though my mother always does.
    C and I like our egg whites reliably cooked though, I can't bear the slightest bit of transluscence in the white. This means the yolk is maybe not as soft as some may prefer. I rinse them briefly under the cold tap before putting them into egg cups- stops me burning my fingers peeling them!
     
  5. If I'm back at my mum's i have a set routine.. boil the water til there are big bubbles, then turn down to a simmer. As you turn it down, put the timer on for 5 minutes. Once the timer goes, out they come and into a holder and serve with soldiers.
    Now in my kitchen I have silly hotplate things so the above doesnt work, so I cheat and use one of those fancy egg timer things that you put in the water with the eggs. When it tells you it is soft boiled, I take the eggs out. Perfect every time. :)
    JSY x
     
  6. Crikey, I can't remember. I can remember mine doing sumersaults fairly early - you feel like your belly goes...woooooooooooooah. That tickled. It kind of bubbles inside.
    Kicking - I think at about 4 to 5 months?
    I noticed it sooner with the second kid - I could also then tell the difference between the sumersaults and me just having a bit of wind!
    You definitely notice the kicks - and when they start punching as well, you wish you had no stomach or bladder [​IMG]
     
  7. Mine kicked around 19 weeks, felt like I'd drunk loads of champagne and had bubbles in my tummy!
    Congratulations EG and Mr EG too [​IMG]
     
  8. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    I felt #1 at 15 weeks (felt like I had eaten a packet of peanuts and was suffering the ensuing wind!) and #2 at 12 weeks because I knew what to look out for!
    They talk about "fluttering" and "butterflies" - mine was more akin to nervous stomach/overeating of wind-giving food .......but its a fab feeling and unmistakable once it happens!
    I am so excited for you: my whole family knows already!!
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
     
  9. Si N. Tiffick

    Si N. Tiffick Occasional commenter

    Congratulations- brilliant news![​IMG]
     
  10. nick909

    nick909 Lead commenter

    We chose to be quite careful...perhaps too careful...but Donna was clear that she wanted to do everything "by the book" with the first one at least. Her rationale was that she didn't want there to be anything she could blame herself with if anything went wrong, and I couldn't help but respect her decision.
    She's mainly missed the soft eggs, mould-rinded cheeses and rare meat.
    The only other things are the things she hasn't fancied, such as brassicas (metallic flavour, perhaps meaning she's getting enough iron), and chillies which have had the most bizarre effect - making her feel drunk and euphoric, but then vomiting. She's totally off wine as well, as it's too acidic, which has been a bonus really as it would have been hard for her if she'd been missing it. She will enjoy the odd half of lager though.
    I think any dangers associated with these foods (and I think they are very remote indeed) tend to apply to the earlier stages of pregancy. Once the baby's organs and various parts are developed, it's less of a concern, and so the odd glass of wine or rare steak won't cause any problems.
    I still tend to think there seems to be too much advice out there at the minute. It seems to change every few years as well. Think about it - if unpasteurised cheeses, pate, rare steak, raw eggs and red wine were likely to cause that many problems, the French would have been wiped out thousands of years ago!
     
  11. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Tell me about it! Ever since we announced I was pregnant, I've had friends texting, emailing, FBing all the things that I cannot eat. Its so bloody confusing!
    As for rare meat, that is something I've started craving today. I could just eat some nice beef carpaccio...mmmm!
     
  12. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    well, if you know the source of the meat and can guarantee that it is fresh and infection free............
    (a pregnant friend in France is encouraged to eat rare meat 3 times a week)
     
  13. Si N. Tiffick

    Si N. Tiffick Occasional commenter

    Absolutely, my mother was told to eat liver when she became anaemic during her pregnancy with me- now you're not allowed within 10 feet of liver when pregnant. Similarly, my best friend's mother was advised to (and indeed did!) drink a half pint of stout every day during her pregnancy, presumably for the iron again. Can you imagine this being advised now?! Funnily enough, my friend and her sister, who was also incubated with Guiness, both enjoy a wee half of stout as adults!
    I really missed cheeses,and pate, and my beloved chicken livers, and there's something offensive about expecting anyone to eat cooked to deathmeat and hard cooked eggs. I gave up eggs for the duration as they were so disappointing. As soon as I got home from the hospital I made myself some wobbly achoori and sent my husband out for pate and cheeses!
     
  14. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    I'm not a faddy food eater and I'll even eat food past its sell-by date (shock horror!) but if I did eat rare meat and something happened to the baby I'd feel eternally guilty. What is that about?
    Considering the amount of alcohol, fish, soft cheeses .etc. that I've consumed in the past 10 weeks before realising I was pregnant, you'd think a bit of rare beef would be the last thing I was worrying about!
     

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