Trina Machacek: Egg appeal |

Trina Machacek: Egg appeal

By Trina Machacek

About a dozen times a year I do something with hard boiled eggs. I am blabbity-blabbity years old so that equates to more eggs than one chicken could lay without putting her egg laying self into an old hen’s home.

So after all those eggs one would think I would have come up with the perfect way to peel a hard boiled egg without said egg coming out looking like it had already been eaten! But nope. I’m still looking for the utmost perfect way to, time after egg, have a perfect sphere of cooled smooth white be the end product of my efforts.

There was a time when I didn’t even know how long to boil an egg to reach perfect hardness. When I was 18 I lived away from home working as a phone operator with a gaggle of wonderful women who were all well into their middle ages. They knew everything. So I picked up the phone and called my boss Marie, who I suppose was near 50. She answers her home phone with a lilt in her voice that I just loved. I asked her after the niceties that we phone operators always showed for each other, “Hey Marie. How long do I have to boil and egg to get a hard boiled egg?” Silence. Tick. Tick. Tick.

Now this woman knew every thing about life as I had asked her many silly girly questions before. Then this soothsayer whom I had gone to, to learn how to place an overseas call and how to get the ear wax out of my ear piece, all important things… She says to me, “Hang on kid, hang on let me go ask my mother!” We never outgrow the need for mom.

I’m always excited when I see a notation of someone coming up with the newest, best, easiest, most successful way to get the insides of the egg out. I never did buy any new tool or machine to do this job. I mean come on I am not an ostrich that lives with my head in the ground so someone can pick my pocket. I have tried the boil with salt and/or a titch of cider vinegar. Suggestions to let ‘em sit over night, or start at the big end no start at the little end. That last one is directly from Gulliver’s travels for sure. HAHA

The peeling is not so appealing when you look at it scientifically. I mean come on ripping the shell off of something that if a human hadn’t stepped in, would have become a baby bird. All yellow and fuzzy and cheep, cheep cheeping and pecking at the ground. We do it all the time. But! Yes a fuzzy “but.” But let’s not dwell on all that.

Here is my latest way to peel what the chicken leaves in her nest each morning. I like to do the shelling before the wonderful little orbs cool off. Yes I have found, quite by accident that peeling the egg before it cools off very much just happens to work. Well this newest way seems to work anyway. I was in a hurry and needed to make a batch of deviled eggs for a dinner and of course I was late.

So I boiled eggs the appropriate thirty minutes, which Marie’s mother had taught Marie and me so very long ago. Took the pan to the sink and poured off the boiling water and began to cover and cool eggs with cold water to start the peeling. Tick Tock Tick Tock the clock was counting down. I couldn’t wait so I just started before they were cooled. And it was amazing how the shells fell away under a trickle of warm water. Hey my hands do not do well under running cold water so just for comfort I adjusted the water to warm. I’m here to tell you that out of like two dozen eggs all but three were devil egg material. Apparently some discoveries are made from mistakes and necessity truly is the mother of invention.

Now I need to figure out how to keep that boiled egg smell from cross contaminating the pies and fresh baked rolls that are done the days before any celebratory dinners. As Gilda Radner used to say, “It’s always something.”

Trina lives in Eureka. Her book, They Call Me Weener is available on Or email her at to find out how to get a signed copy.