“The egg can be your best friend if you just give it the right break.”Julia Child
Welcome! Thanks for taking a peek in our kitchen! If you’re just joining us, here’s what you’ve missed of our Cooking Skill School so far:
- Skill School Week Two: 🍳COOKING🥕 ~Little Sous Chefs at Work~
- 🍋VEG OUT!🥬 (wash, peel, chop, zest)
- MEASURE UP!🥄 (in cups, spoons, and on a scale)
Cooking Week, Day Three: Let’s get CRACKIN’ with Eggs Three Ways!
Eggs are a perfect first ingredient for kids in the kitchen! What single food boasts as simple yet versatile as the humble egg? Join us today as we teach our kids how to cook eggs . . . three ways!
SKILL SUPPLY LIST:
- sandwich bread
- oil or butter
- salt and pepper
- cooking pot
- frying pan
- slotted spoon
- small pitcher/creamer or bowl
- milk or plain almond milk
VOCABULARY TO INTRODUCE:
- egg whites
Just because hard-boiling an egg is a staple kitchen skill doesn’t mean it’s a simple one. Hard-boiling an egg requires very careful following of instructions, that is if you want to do it properly of course. But this cooking task is a perfect one for kids to master early on for a few reasons. Firstly, hard-boiled eggs are relatively minimal and clean. Water, eggs, peeled shells. That’s basically it. Secondly, the transformation from runny and raw to solid and cooked is fascinating to kids. And thirdly, hard-boiled eggs lend themselves to lots of recipes: sliced and served on toast, egg salad sandwiches, deviled eggs, sliced in a cobb salad, etc. In this way, the hard-boiled egg is a springboard for all kinds of culinary skills.
*We followed and adapted this tutorial: Hard Boiled Eggs (+ Easy Peel Tips) | Downshiftology
As someone who has a very hard time keeping to a recipe (I blame my severe authority issues 😆 ) I have always struggled to make a properly hard-boiled egg. I know, I know! It sounds so stupid. I post homemade candy tutorials for crying out loud! But the truth is . . . I often crack when it’s time to make hard-boiled eggs.
Over the years, I have made lots of hard-boiled blunders:
- added cold eggs to the boiling pot = split eggs
- boiled eggs too slow or too fast = impossible-to-peel eggs
- cooked them too long = gross greenish-yoked eggs
- cooked them too short = raw eggs
Well, my friends, I have finally learned to submit to the egg-timer and properly hard-boil some eggs.
Here’s my adapted tutorial for hard-boiling with KIDS:
1.) Set the eggs out to reach room temperature prior to boiling! And explain to your child why we do this as I learned just recently from thescienceofcooking.com . . .
“The bottom, rounded end of an egg contains a small air bubble. As the egg heats up, the air inside the bubble expands. As the hot air pushes outwards, it puts pressure onto the shell, making it crack.”
2.) Bring a large pot of water to a boil (enough to cover the eggs by about an inch) . . . but don’t add the eggs!
3.) Prep an “ice bath” for the eggs: a large bowl filled with ice and water.
4.) Turn the heat down to a simmer and help your child submerge eggs carefully into the boiling water one at a time using a slotted spoon. Kids over the age of eight should be able to do this one on their own. Kids under the age of four may need to simply watch. Use your best judgment for including your child safely.
5.) Turn the heat back up and bring to a boil and cook eggs uncovered for twelve to fourteen minutes; twelve minutes for slightly soft yokes, fourteen for fully hard. (Yeah this is way longer than I always thought I was supposed to cook them 😆 !)
6.) Once cooked, help your child (using best judgment) “fish” them out and plunge them straight into the ice bath using a slotted spoon. Let the eggs rest in the ice bath for ten to fifteen minutes.
7.) Drain the eggs and set up a peeling station for your child as follows: bowl of hard-boiled eggs on the left, cutting board in middle, discard bowl at top, and cleaned egg bowl to the right.
8.) Walk your child through peeling an egg with these awesome peeling tips from Sugar and Charm! Honestly, these tips make it so easy, even our two-year-old can peel hard boiled eggs now!
- There is an air bubble on the “butt” or wide-bottom of the egg. Crack egg here first onto the cutting board.
- Roll the egg gently across the cutting board with your palm until little cracks cover the egg.
- Peel the egg from the bottom up.
9.) Rinse the eggs at the end to wash away any little shell bits.
10.) If you have an egg-slicer, kids LOVE using these little wire gizmos! Otherwise, you can allow a toddler or preschooler to chop the egg with a butter knife, and a child perhaps of four or older may be allowed to use his crinkle-cutter or small cleaver. Use your best judgment as always.
I have one major tip for scrambling eggs with kids: use a GIANT FLIPPING BOWL. You’re welcome.
1.) Rinse eggs prior to cracking if they are dirty or you if you are paranoid like me 😆 !
2.) If you want to let your child try cracking eggs . . . gulp, we’re all in this together . . . work on an easy-clean surface, take this task outside, or tackle over the bath tub 😅! Who says cooking has to be in the kitchen? Please know ahead of time: this will be messy. Your child will have some egg running down his hands. Egg white will drip onto your working surface. Breathe and carry on mamas and papas! We can do this.
3.) Assemble your station: a giant bowl, a bowl of eggs, a whisk, a small dish of salt and pepper, a creamer or small bowl of milk, and a tablespoon.
4.) Show your child how to crack an egg; hitting a hard whack in the center of the egg on the inside rim of the bowl. Explain to your child that too soft of a whack will not be able to crack the egg, but too hard of a whack will just smash it and send the egg flying everywhere. Next, direct your child to “dig” his thumbs into the crack and pull the two shell halves apart before discarding.
5.) Once all the eggs are cracked and in the giant-flipping-bowl, help your child fish out stray shell pieces with a spoon, fork, or already dirty fingers!
6.) Wash up. Take a deep breath, the worst is over!
7.) Add some milk or non-vanilla almond milk to the eggs (we like one tablespoon of milk per egg for a super fluffy scramble), a pinch of salt and pepper, and let your child whisk together.
8.) Heat a pan on medium-high and coat with oil. Allow the pan to get fully hot before adding the egg mixture. You may want to teach your child how to test the heat level with his hand. Please note: be careful with spitting oil! Have your child stand off to the side while the oil is in the pan without the eggs, or have her wear safety goggles.
9.) Help your child pour the eggs into the hot pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Next, direct your child to “pull” the eggs from the side of the pan inward on all sides. Then, instruct your child to separate the eggs into a scramble and serve just when cooked or slightly browned.
~IN A BASKET~
“Egg in a Basket” . . . “Sun in a Window” . . . “Egg in a Window” . . . I’ve heard all three. But no matter what you call them —they are delicious and a favorite of kids.
1.) Set up the following: a cutting board in center of work station, a “crinkle cutter” or small cleaver on top, a plate with a few slices of bread on it to the left, and an empty plate to the right.
2.) Demonstrate for your child how he can cut a square hole in a slice of bread; pressing down with his cleaver into the bread in a box shape, them flipping the bread and finishing the job as needed on the reverse side. Then, direct your child to “poke out” the window of bread and place both pieces onto the right hand plate.
3.) Heat a frying pan on medium-high and wait until hot before coating in oil or butter.
4.) Help your child as needed to place both the small cut out “window” of the bread and the bread with an open “window” or “basket” onto the frying pan and immediately crack an egg into the hole. The yoke will probably break if this is your child’s first or fourteenth time cracking an egg. Frying eggs is not an easily mastered skill. It’s ok. It will still be yummy.
5.) Direct your little chef to sprinkle both bread and egg with salt and pepper.
6.) After about a minute or so, help your child flip their “egg in a basket” first loosening it on the sides, and then fitting the entire face of the spatula beneath before one quick and confident flip! Your child may need you to guide his hands for this step.
Your child’s first “Egg in a Basket” probably won’t be perfect. But I bet the proud smile on his face certainly will be.
Tune in tomorrow for Day Four of Cooking Week: 👨🏽🍳TINKERING WITH KITCHEN TOOLS and APPLIANCES!
Thanks so much for reading!
Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~