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Just a light diary for those making hard-boiled eggs to color for Easter. Since it turns out I've been cooking them wrong my whole life (resulting in cracked shells and black yolks), I thought it worth sharing how to make them right.

Bear with me, this took about 30 years to get right. The biggest problem is the name hard-boiled; it's a misnomer. The correct term is hard cooked; you'll understand why.

1. Buy the eggs at least a week in advance, and leave them on the counter. Older eggs peel far easier, and don't worry about them going bad fast. The French never refridgerate eggs...and the nation as a whole hasn't suffered ill effects.

2. Carefully place eggs in large pot, and add water until twice the height of the eggs. Simple, right? Now just let the pot sit out for an hour or so until the eggs and water are roughly the same temp.

3. Put pot on stove on high heat, and wait for the boil. Here's the trick: as soon as it boils, get it OFF the heat. For gas stove, just shut off; for electric, carefully move off the burner.

4. Let sit in hot (no longer boiling water) for 12 minutes or so. Since the heat is now off, no worries about overcooking. After the time has passed, do the spin test; put egg on pointed end and spin. If it stays spinning upright, it's done.

Let cool, and color or peel as normal. By not really boiling the water, the shells are far less likely to crack, and the gentle cook method doesn't really let it overcook.

Stupidly simple, but since the common name is hard-boiled, everyone usually gets it wrong. All it takes is a bit of planning ahead. Since Easter is next weekend, this weekend is the time to buy the eggs. Hope this helps anyone planning for the holiday...or anyone who like egg salad or hard cooked eggs.


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