Thursday, December 15, 2011

and the BEST way to boil an egg is.....


I've wanted to solve the mystery for years.  There are so many ways your mommas do it, but really, what the best way to boil an egg?  With the help of facebook, I asked the world "what's the best way to boil an egg for easy peeling."  As I suspected, I received a lot of answers.  10 different ways to boil an egg, according to my facebook friends, but still which one is the best?  I chose to enter those hot waters alone.

8 eggs were chosen from the same dozen.  4 variations were used to boil the eggs.   2 eggs were boiled for each of the 4 methods.  All eggs were boiled in a stainless steel pot with 6 cups of water.


Method 1:  Put cold eggs in cold water, bring to a boil, turn off heat.  Rest in water for 10 minutes.  Remove from water, set in a bowl to cool.

Method 2:  Put cold eggs in cold water with ½ tsp baking soda.  Bring to a boil, turn off heat.  Rest in water 10 minutes.  Remove from water, set in a bowl to cool.

Method 3:  Put cold eggs in cold water, bring to a boil, turn off heat.  Leave eggs in water for 10 minutes.  Remove from water and set in ice water until cool to touch. 

Method 4:  Put cold eggs in cold water with 1 T of vinegar.  Bring to a boil, boil for 10 minutes.  Remove from water, set in a bowl to cool. 


Method 1: For both eggs, the shell peeled away from the egg easily, but in many pieces with minimal tearing.  Good taste, good texture

Method 2:  For both eggs, the shell peeled away from egg with slight difficulty, in many pieces with slight tearing of the egg.  Good taste, good texture

Method 3: 1 egg peeled away in large pieces with difficulty and had more tearing than any other egg.  The second egg, the shell peeled away with great ease in 4 large pieces with zero tearing.  Both eggs had great taste and great texture

Method 4:  For one egg, the shell peeled away with ease in large pieces, with no tearing.  The second egg, the shell was difficult to remove with maximum tearing.  Good flavor, terrible rubbery texture.


With much disappointment, the answer is still unclear.  The two easiest eggs to peel were from different methods (Method 3 & Method 4).  One egg from Method 3 was very easy to peel and one egg from Method 4 was easy to peel; while one egg from each method was difficult to peel.  Because flavor and texture are also important when considering an egg’s overall value, METHOD 3 is chosen as the best way to boil an egg.  So, until further studies are conducted, I suggest next time you need hard boiled eggs, have a bowl of ice water ready to place your eggs in for cooling. 


Future studies may find more information by using eggs from a variety of expiration dates, have more eggs per method used, or test other methods suggested. 

Thanks to Jesse Clark, Tess Jordan, Charity Jolly, Dana Rogers, Sally Smith, Michael Quercia, Shea Beal, and Jenni Brinegar for suggestions on how to boil eggs.  Thanks to Ammen for all the assistance and tasting, and last, but not least, thank you Ella for handling the 8 eggs that I ate.  ;)   

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gluten-free Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin lattes, pumpkin beer, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pie: until this year, I haven’t really jumped on the pumpkin craze during the holiday season.  But now that I’ve discovered this pumpkin bread recipe, I’m already planning which bed the pumpkins will be planted in next year.

We had three pumpkins for Halloween and only carved one so, I had two pumpkins to bake and a whole lot of leftover cranberries to use.  The first time I made this recipe was only an experiment, but it was so delicious I've since made it 4 times.  I even bought another pumpkin this week to make loaves for Christmas gifts.

Gluten-free Pumpkin Bread
The pumpkin is so moist and flavorful that it makes for a great gluten free baking addition.  

Makes 2 loaves

1 ½ cups rice flour
1 ½ cups sorghum flour
½ cup tapioca starch
5 tsp baking powder
2 tsp xanthum gum
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp all spice
½ tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 cups pumpkin puree
*1 cup pecans
*1 cup cranberries

* optional

Preheat the oven to 325, and lightly oil loaf pans.  

Mix the dry ingredients and set aside.

Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time.  Add pumpkin and mix.  Fold in dry ingredients.  Do not over-mix, fold in nuts and cranberries.

Pour into prepared pans and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. 


Why gluten free?  Even if you don't have celiacs disease or are gluten intolerant, it's not a bad idea to choose gluten free options. Gluten, and specifically wheat, has been overemphasized in the American diet and maybe why wheat is a common allergy.  Even though you may not be allergic to wheat or gluten, you may still have reactions.  Some common symptoms for being "sensitive" to gluten are: joint pain, skin rashes, irritability, moodiness, and bowel problems.  

When you eat a variety of grains, you also consume a variety of nutrients.  For instance, quinoa and amaranth are higher in protein, while oats contain beta-glucans that help lower cholesterol.  

Pumpkin is a low-calorie vegetable though, it's a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  It's particularly high in Vitamin A and other carotenes.  Vitamin A and carotenes are well-known to improve night-vision and prevent age-related eye diseases.