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You're About to be Redirected to the New Home of Ground Control to Major Mom: 3/28/10 - 4/4/10

Friday, April 2, 2010


I'm currently boiling eggs. I thought this would be a simple undertaking, getting the eggs in the fridge before dinnertime, so we can dye them after dinner tonight. It's an Easter tradition...I did it every year as a kid, my boys have a good time with it and I look forward to seeing what creations we come up with this evening!

The sad thing, though, is that I'm the only one in the family who likes hard cooked eggs. This year I'm boiling 18 eggs and I'm thinking all along, "What the @#$%^ am I going to do with 18 hard-cooked eggs?" More precisely:

"What the @#$%^ am I going to do with 18 hard-cooked eggs before they go bad????" I can only tolerate but so much egg salad, and I don't think my cholesterol count is going to appreciate me trying to eat 18 eggs in less than a week!

A bunch of us neighborhood stay-at-home Moms get together once a month for's crossed my mind to just put a dozen of them in an Easter basket and present it for this week's breakfast...except that they'd be rather old eggs by then.

This year, I decided I want to boil these eggs perfectly! This is the recipe I've elected to use this time around, and I think we have a winner! I've both overcooked and undercooked eggs. Most recently, I attempted Julia Child's "Perfect Egg" recipe. Instead of sending you to a link, I'm going to put it right here, so everyone can see how complicated this is:

The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

Recipe By : Julia Child, “The Way to Cook”
Serving Size : 1 Preparation Time :0:40
Categories : Cheese/Eggs Family Recipes

For 1-4 Eggs:
1 to 4 Eggs
2 quarts water -- * see note

For 12 Eggs:
12 Eggs
3 1/2 quarts water -- * see note

For 24 Eggs:
24 Eggs
6 quarts water -- * see note

Special Equipment: High (not wide) Saucepan with cover, Bowl w/ice cubes & water (large enough to completely cover eggs)

*note: water should cover the eggs by 1 inch, so use a tall pan, and limit
cooking to 2 dozen eggs at a time.

1. Lay the eggs in the pan and add the amount of cold water specified. Set
over high heat and bring just to the boil; remove from heat, cover the pan,
and let sit exactly 17 minutes.

2. When the time is up, transfer the eggs to the bowl of ice cubes and
water. Chill for 2 minutes while bringing the cooking water to the boil
again. (This 2 minute chilling shrinks the body of the egg from the shell.)

3. Transfer the eggs (6 at a time only) to the boiling water, bring to the
boil again, and let boil for 10 seconds - this expands the shell from the
egg. Remove eggs, and place back into the ice water.

Chilling the eggs promptly after each step prevents that dark line from
forming, and if time allows, leave the eggs in the ice water after the last
step for 15 to 20 minutes. Chilled eggs are easier to peel, as well.

The peeled eggs will keep perfectly in the refrigerator, submerged in water
in an uncovered container, for 2 to 3 days.

So apparently when I cooked the eggs using Julia's method, I messed something up, because I ended up with very difficult-to-peel eggs whose yolks were still liquid in the very center. Grosser than gross! I had only boiled 3 eggs to make a recipe of egg salad for a couple sandwiches, so at least it wasn't a huge loss.

But Emeril's recipe was spot-on! One of the eggs had a big crack when it was all done today, and when I peeled it, it was the most perfect yellow, with a shell that slipped right off...almost in one piece!

Anyway, enjoy a few pictures of our egg dyeing experience tonight.

From 2010 04 02 Dyeing Easter Eggs
The eggs on the left, missing the Eggland's Best "EB" stamp , are the hard-cooked ones. The stamp came off in the boiling water.

From 2010 04 02 Dyeing Easter Eggs
These eggs came from the organic pork farm right up the street from us. We buy our pork products from their little shop, which is only open on weekends. Last weekend, they offered a free dozen of eggs to folks who were buying their Easter hams. So these were free eggs :-)

From 2010 04 02 Dyeing Easter Eggs
From 2010 04 02 Dyeing Easter Eggs
From 2010 04 02 Dyeing Easter Eggs
From 2010 04 02 Dyeing Easter Eggs
From 2010 04 02 Dyeing Easter Eggs
This is one of the railroads Dave features on his model railroad.
From 2010 04 02 Dyeing Easter Eggs
This is another railroad Dave features.
From 2010 04 02 Dyeing Easter Eggs

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dave's Gastrointestinal System: Under New Management

***A note about this picture. I just stole the picture because I think it's funny. I checked out that website listed at the bottom and found that lawsuit they're proposing a bit far-fetched. Just my opinion.

Dave was diagnosed this week with lactose intolerance. Without getting too much into the healthcare debate, this diagnosis was a long time coming...Dave's been going through multiple referrals, tests and consultations since January. While his gall bladder surgery last September solved many of his problems, this issue emerged slowly this past winter, perhaps masked for some time by the other problems the gall bladder was causing.

This means looking at our family menu in a whole new light! Not only do we need to cut dairy foods from Dave's diet, but we also need to be aware of the many sources of hidden lactose: baked goods made with milk, hot dogs that contain sodium lactase, cold cuts, cereal containing whey, etc. Oreo cookies, for example. I found this nice list as a starting point.

First off, we are switching our household's milk. At first I was just switching our skim milk, from Land O' Lakes to Lactaid Brand Fat Free Milk. Dave enjoys cereal in skim milk, and we each drink 8 oz. of skim milk with dinner every night. He also uses skim milk to cream his coffee in the morning. So the skim would definitely have to switch. The Lactaid milk is your standard skim milk, but with the lactase enzyme added, which breaks the lactose sugar down into two simple sugars: glucose and galactose. It tastes sweeter than we're accustomed to, but definitely not bad at all.

I then realized that I should switch the 2% milk to Lactaid too. I prefer to cook with 2%, and my still-growing-like-weeds sons drink 6 oz. or so with breakfast and dinner every day. If I also switch the 2% milk, I can continue to use it to make pancakes, breads and mashed potatoes without problems for Dave. It's going to cost more, about double actually, but that's okay. I predict an extra $15-20 per month. One less trip out to eat.

Secondly, family meals now needs to have less dairy in its preparation. Probably a good call anyway, right? No more pizzas, lasagnas, enchiladas, pasta bakes, macaroni & cheese, and veggies with cheese sauce. I also need to keep tabs on butter used for things like mashed potatoes and pastries. We'll be having more Asian stir fries, and traditional grilled meats, with a steamed vegetable and starch offering.

And finally, our ability to eat out at restaurants will take a big hit. This is definitely a good thing! I'll get on these lazy streaks and want to just drop everything and go to a restaurant once or twice per week. BAD MAJOR MOM! I just did it on Sunday, I couldn't get Outback Steakhouse off the brain, I hadn't been in a very long time, and I convinced Dave that we should go. Mistake. It was expensive, and despite Dave's best efforts, we think some lactose sneaked into dinner somehow -- perhaps the bread? Or the Caesar salad dressing, even though it should be dairy free!

While at first I viewed this as an inconvenience, I had to stop for a second and think about my poor Dave. He has to watch his dairy intake with EVERYTHING now! Talk about inconvenient! He's been advised to cut ALL lactose from his diet for the next several months in an attempt to heal his GI system, which has been very very stressed lately from all this.

I see a trip to our local-but-not-really-local Whole Foods Market to stock up on some lactose-free dairy products and dairy alternatives, such as Tofutti ice cream, and perhaps some soy cheeses. I'm hoping I can find other Lactaid products at Whole Foods, too, such as their evaporated milk.

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