Here are some of the things on my list for us to discuss:
The story about Ruth Reichl’s trip to Paris, her trying on an outrageously expensive dress that fit her like a dream, and what happened next.
Deb Perelman’s experiment with an autumn squash pasta bake (that looks delicious).
My “Fait Tout” pan.
What I learned, eventually, from that experience with my mother at Bergdorf Goodman, decades ago.
Things I’ve read since the last time we did a reading roundup.
Carbs, in general.
And a few other things, including how the whole #artharder thing is going.
But tonight I had to deal with some other things, and I have to get up early in the morning to make a perfectly cooked soft-boiled egg for my daughter, because when I asked, “What do you want for breakfast before you take a big test?” she said, “A perfect boiled egg,” and what she meant was firm white, runny yolk — a 7-minute egg.
So tonight, I’m going to bed. And tomorrow, I’ll write about some of those things on the list.
After I make an egg.
And some coffee.
The big floofy dog says, “Sweet Dreams.”
Here’s what I believe, based on my lived experience:
If you want to get to know someone quickly, play tennis with them. One match will tell you everything, if you pay close attention.
Likewise, if you’re in a hurry and want to assess someone’s cooking skills, ask them to prepare eggs to your particular preference and specification — hard boiled, soft boiled, poached, scrambled, baked, basted, fried (over easy, over medium). I promise you, anyone who can prepare eggs to order can cook.
So, it follows that learning to prepare eggs is an excellent way to work on cooking skills. Soft-boiled eggs are a great place to start.
Type “soft boiled egg” in a search bar, and you’ll find dozens of primers, each promising the “perfect” approach. If you have nothing better to do and want to experiment, then you could spend a weekend trying all those different approaches until you land on the one that works for you. In the end, that’s what matters; find what works for you, and then master it.
What works for me, when preparing soft-boiled eggs for myself or my family, is this:
Bring some water to a boil. (I use the trusty and ancient Revere Ware saucepan that was my mother’s, and I fill it about three quarters of the way with water.)
Turn the heat to medium, and use a slotted spoon or a spider strainer (which is what I use) to lower cold eggs, straight from the refrigerator, into the boiling water.
USE A TIMER.
We are seven minute egg people in my house. We like our soft-boiled eggs firm enough to peel all the way and slice in half over toast or on a salad (or just in our hands, with a bit of salt). So I set the timer on my phone to seven minutes fore I even out the eggs in the boiling water. As soon as the eggs are in, I press start. While the eggs are cooking, I prepare a bowl of ice in the sink.
If cooking only one egg, then be quick about taking the egg out at the seven minute mark, plunging it into cold water/ice bath to stop cooking. If cooking more than one egg (though no more than four at a time, ideally), then be looser with the timing because the eggs will need a few extra seconds of cooking time to set.
Soft-boiled eggs will hold at room temperature for a few hours (if your people are sleeping in on a Saturday morning, say), or they’ll keep in the refrigerator for several days — though the experience of eating them warm, straight from the pan, will obviously be lost.