Eggs, even with shells on, are flying off grocery store shelves this week. Plastic candy-filled eggs are popular, but hopefully will never replace old-fashioned boiled and colored eggs for Easter.

Knowing how long to cook boiled eggs can be challenging. Egg size is an important variable, and smaller eggs need less time in the water bath.

Place the eggs in a singular layer in a pan. Cover the eggs with cool water, one inch over the eggs. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Immediately turn off the burner and cover the pan. Remove the pan from the burner.

Let the eggs sit undisturbed for 8 to 15 minutes, depending on the egg’s size and desired hardness. Cool the eggs under running cold water. Eggs may be eaten immediately or kept in the refrigerator to color or use in recipes.

For easier peeling, cool hard boiled eggs quickly in cold water or an ice bath and store in the refrigerator. This helps to firm up the whites which, hopefully, will pull away from the shell.

Hard boiled eggs certainly can be cooked the old-fashioned way. For this method, eggs are simmered over medium heat for ten minutes and then cooled immediately.

Folks continually seek ways to make hard boiled eggs easier to peel. The old wives’ tale of putting baking soda in the boiling water has not been proven effective in scientific trials. There are, though, some suggestions worth trying.

Some cooks use eggs that are at least a week old since older eggs tend to be easier to peel. Some folks put a teaspoon of vinegar in the water, believing that will help release the shells from the cooked whites.

Boiled eggs that are not going to be colored should be slightly cracked all over while still hot. This can be done by holding each egg with a potholder by rolling or tapping on a clean counter, and then quickly cool the eggs.

For eggs that will be dyed, immediately cracking after cooking is not desirable. These should be chilled in the refrigerator until coloring time. After coloring, chill again in the refrigerator.

There are many ways to enjoy boiled eggs besides eating them whole. Egg salad makes great sandwiches. Deviled eggs are popular, but the term seems counterintuitive on Easter.

For Christians, Easter is a religious holiday, so eating a dish named for the devil seems wrong. Some folks substitute the term “stuffed eggs.”

The culinary term “deviled” refers to adding spices or red pepper to otherwise bland foods. The practice of adding spices to yolks and stuffing the white dates to ancient Rome.

For Romans, beginning a meal with stuffed eggs was so common that a phrase for a complete meal translates “from eggs to apples.” Commonly, apples were served for dessert.

Eggs are a nutrition dense food in that they are packed with nutrients per caloric intake. Hard boiled eggs are super nutritious in that they have no added fat.

A large egg has about 78 calories per 5 grams of fat with slightly over half a gram of carbohydrates. With 6 grams of protein, an egg has no sugars but no fiber either. Eggs are rich in choline.

Choline is attributed to improving memory and cognition. It is considered a metabolism booster and a protector of heart health. Anyone pregnant or having cystic fibrosis may receive added benefits.

Most of the fat and protein in an egg are contained in the yolk. Folks who only eat whites are missing much of the nutrition eggs offer.

Whichever way you enjoy eggs during this coming week, keep them chilled as much as possible. Have a Happy Easter!

(Janet Miller is a freelance writer specializing in family faith. She offers Family Prayers and Activities: Weekly Guides on compact disc for families to explore the Bible together. Email

Janet Miller

Janet Miller is a freelance writer specializing in family faith. She offers Family Prayers and Activities: Weekly Guides on compact disc for families to explore the Bible together. Email