on extreme egg consumption

08Aug08

We go through a lot of eggs around here. Every so often, when I’m going through the grocery checkout with my ‘buy one get one free’ set of 18-packs of eggs, I feel a little awkward. The cashier probably assumes I’m feeding a big family, but I know that it’s just the two of us. We just like eggs, is all! Don’t judge me!

Part of the reason we go through so many eggs is that when I make egg salad, I make enough for at least four people with big appetites. Don and I are both huge fans of egg salad, so we’ll make dinner out of it and then both take some for lunch the next day. It works out nicely, but it uses a LOT of eggs. We’re also fond of Sunday brunches, and so are our friends, who often come over for french toast, eggs, bacon — the works. Eggs, eggs, eggs. In any case, we had an egg salad night this week; I’d just been to Costco and reluctantly picked up a double stack of 18-packs there, because we were out of eggs and I wasn’t going to the regular grocery store for a while. All I can say is, stick to the grocery store eggs (or your organic farmers’ market eggs, you hippies), because Costco vacuum seals their egg cartons together and you can’t look inside to see if they’re cracked or not. I think I threw out seven or eight cracked eggs, at least — which is a huge waste of money, no matter how cheap I got them for (and for what it’s worth, it wasn’t any cheaper than the grocery’s buy-one-get-one deal, which they have almost all the time). There were still plenty available for egg salad, though. Phew!

Egg Salad

This is another recipe where you can add things you like. Don likes it with celery, and I’ve heard of other people who like to add capers or other salty bits (check out the comments section on Heidi’s egg salad post for lots of interesting suggestions). I personally like it plain — and my favorite thing to do with it is to make a sandwich out of it with nothing but sliced pickles to accessorize.

20 eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1.5 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/8 cup fresh chives, chopped finely*
1 tablespoon dried dill
salt and pepper

The most effective way to hard boil eggs is to stick them in a pot in cold water, then pop the pot on the stove and bring it to a hard boil (really bouncy bubbles). Once it’s boiling, cover the pot and take it off the heat. Let the covered pot sit for at least ten minutes (I confess that when I made this egg salad I got distracted watching the Barefoot Contessa and my pot of hot water and eggs sat for at least half an hour — makes no difference). This technique always, always results in perfect hard boiled eggs — never overcooked, never gray, perfect yellow yolks every time. Try it, you’ll love it.

Run cold water over the eggs for about five minutes to cool them down and stop the cooking process. Then peel and chop the eggs (I use an egg slicer, which makes weird little rectangular chunks of egg but saves me a good twenty minutes and a lot of cussing). Add all other ingredients and mix gently to combine. Chill for at least half an hour to cool everything down before serving.

*If you don’t have chives, just use about the same amount of minced onion. I just happened to have chives growing like crazy in my herb garden.

On photography: All three of the shots in these posts have something different going for them, and they’ve all got different flaws, too. I love the warm, sunlit feel of the first one — that’s the light-feel I’d love to have in all my shots. There’s a window above my kitchen counter, and I took that with the cutting board placed right under it (which is where I do my chopping anyway). The sun was streaming in, and it must have been just the right time of day. When I went to post-process it, the auto-adjuster wanted to take the light back down to around where the second photo is. It might have been more accurate, but I declined. I like it the way it is. But honestly I’m not in love with the composition of that one. And that, I think, is where the second photo shines. I absolutely love the composition of the second photo; there are twenty peeled hard-boiled eggs on that plate! But I don’t love the lighting on that one like I do the first — it was taken about a foot to the left, and it made a huge difference.

The last photo is, of course, the finished egg salad. I’m not really in love with this shot at all. But I really wanted a ‘final product’ shot, and this was definitely the best of the lot. I hate the lighting, although the macro came out decently. I just feel like the light makes it feel grainy and old, like something scanned out of a book from the eighties or something. Oh well.

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One Response to “on extreme egg consumption”

  1. Jamaila… shooting food is soooo hard! If you don’t do it right, it all looks like the dog’s dinner!

    Glad you finally made it to the Waverly Market. Those dahlias are spectacular!!


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