How do you tell your mom how awesome she is? It doesn’t seem enough to just say it. A card, or flowers, or brunch…none of those things is really my mom (also, being four states away makes brunch plans difficult). So for my mom on Mother’s Day, here’s how to make a soft-boiled egg.
Lest that sound completely random (more random than anything else I write? Probably not), there’s a story. Two years ago, my mom and I went to Italy (luckily my mom happens to think I’m a good travel buddy). On our first morning at the hotel, she spotted some contraption with simmering water and a bowl of eggs among the rest of the breakfast treats–how very European, we thought! My mom’s near-immediate response was to tell me how she used to love when my great-grandmother would make soft-boiled eggs when she was little, served in tiny egg cups with tiny spoons.
One egg and a few minutes later, my mom tap, tap, tapped the top of the shell open…to a nearly raw egg. Unfortunately there was no sign or anything about how long to leave the eggs for the desired doneness, so oops. We laughed and tried to figure out how to hide the fact that we clearly failed at apparently the most basic of cooking tasks. Ah well, we would get it right the next morning… and of course the next day ended up with a solid hard boiled egg.
I think we tried different variations nearly every morning of our trip and it became a running joke, but in my mind it was also a testament to just how memorable the women in my family are.
There was a lot about that trip–a lot about my mom in general–I could point out as a reason she’s amazing and inspiring. Her confidence in me–my ability to hike nine miles a day and more recently her confidence that I can do a 10k with her–makes me feel like I can do anything. I aspire to be in as good a shape as she is!
She got me into cooking and showed me how good it feels to share good food with good people; she’s (nearly) a certified master gardener, I’m proud when I don’t kill my houseplants and love growing my little pots of flowers every year. My mom got her executive MBA while working full time with three kids under 13, and was a senior executive at a Fortune 1000 company until she decided to leave on her terms and go after her passions. She inspired me to get my Masters degree and while I may not aspire to her level career-wise, damn it, my mom kicks ass (sorry Mom) and I love bragging about her.
My mom is the funniest person I know, and knows that sometimes you just have to take the crap life hands you and laugh (Fine! Fiiiiinnnneee!). She has the best taste in movies, taught me how important a good hug and a good handshake are, always has my back (and has no problem telling me when I’m being an idiot), and is the reason I love to travel and be outside and can’t imagine moving too far from the water. Her home is my aspiration and inspiration.
This kind of derailed from my original story but I guess the point I’m trying to make is simply this–Mom, you’re awesome. And I finally figured out how to make soft-boiled eggs so we don’t embarrass ourselves the next time we’re in Italy.
This is my new favorite way to cook eggs–no dirty pans, set whites with gooey yolks just right for dipping. If you want to be really fancy (or if you have some languishing in your fridge begging to be eaten), serve with smoked salmon.
Bring a small pan of water just to a boil. With a spoon, gently place eggs in the water and set a timer for exactly 5 minutes. Adjust the burner to keep the water at a simmer. When time is up, drain the water, then refill the pot with cool water until the eggs are handleable.
Serve with buttered toast “soldiers.”