Shelling out

When I wrote my first cookbook, “Deviled Eggs: 50 Recipes from Simple to Sassy,” I found out some things. That deviled eggs are beloved across this great nation was not a surprise. What was surprising was the level of hostility expressed for a simple part of the process that ends in the plate of creamy loveliness.

People hate eggshells.

I cooked about 350 eggs while testing recipes for the book, and I don’t wake up screaming, imagining that I’m drowning in bits of crushed white stuff. Take them off and move on, I say, like bad shoes.

But I must be better adjusted than many cooks. When the book came out, a friend gave me a contraption that was supposed to hold the egg while it cooked and make the shell come off easier. Other people swore to me that sticking a pin in the end of the shell before cooking makes the peel come off like a buffed soap star’s shirt.

I did not understand the shell obsession until today. Today a friend sent me this link to the Eggie. The Eggie is a Christmas ornament-shaped plastic, two-part container. You crack the whole egg into the container, which takes the place of the shell. Then, sit the containers in water and cook the eggs.

They found some mighty unhappy egg peelers for the accompanying video. They look more like they’re scooping dog poop than cooking, and practically break down in tears over the shells. They’re probably tired, since the narration stresses that it’s taking them all day to peel the eggs. I never thought about that. Now, my eyes are open. I think of all the ways I could have more profitably spent the enormous amount of time that peeling eggshells has consumed in my life – making quiche, watching “Chicken Run”… Wow.  And with the Eggie, I could also enjoy the challenge of finding storage for all these little covered cups and searching for the lids, and the use of energy and water to wash them.

How could I have been such a fool? Arise, egg peelers. You have nothing to lose but your shells.