It all started with a gadget in a catalog.
No, it really started before that, when I was deciding what to take to a potluck. A salad? Nah. There’d probably be a lot of those. Dessert? Probably too many of those, too. Deviled eggs? Perfect!
So I boiled up a batch of eggs, plunged them into ice water to loosen the shells, and started peeling. Well, “peeling” isn't quite the right word. More like “mutilating.” The shells clung to the inner membranes. The inner membranes clung to the whites, big hunks of which tore off, no matter how carefully I tried to separate shell from white.
There was no way I was taking that mess to a party. So I made egg salad for lunch and whipped up a pan of brownies for the potluck.
After that fiasco, I took a scientific tack, reading up on egg cooking and peeling and following all the tips: choose older eggs rather than fresh ones, add baking soda to the cooking water, make the ice bath icier. No good. Peeling was still tedious and disastrous.
Then I saw it—the gadget in the catalog: The NEGG® Easy Hard-Boiled Egg Peeler. It’s a simple cylinder with bumps on the inside and caps on either end. You remove one cap, pour in a little water, drop in a hard-boiled egg, replace the cap, give the whole thing a few vigorous shakes, remove the egg, and voila! the shell slides right off. The online video made it look so easy, with the whole shell slipping off in one or two pieces.
Of course I had to have one! Ray obliged by getting me one for Christmas and even let me pick the color (yolk yellow, naturally).
Now let me say right here that I am not being paid to endorse the NEGG® (which stands for Naked Egg, in case you were wondering). Nor am I turning this blog into a product review. My intention is not so much to praise the product as to celebrate a simple pleasure.
Because that—along with un-mutilated eggs—is what we’ve gotten from this little gadget. Admittedly, it took us a few batches of eggs to get the technique down. I even emailed the company, asking for tips, and got a reply from none other than Bonnie Tyler, NEGG® inventor and CEO (Chief Egg Officer), advising me to roll, pinch, and push the shell, rather than picking at it.
Now, Ray and I have a ridiculous amount of fun boiling up eggs and taking turns peeling them with our handy little egg shaker.
That’s when we look at each other and say, “We really need to get a life. We used to ride motorcycles for fun. Now we’re peeling eggs?”
But you know what? Anytime you can find joy in everyday activities, I think that’s a good thing. Especially when the result is a tasty snack!
What simple, silly thing gives you a lift?
In my last HeartWood blog post, I ruminated on work spaces and what to call them, and I took you on a tour of mine, henceforth to be known as my studio. I was happy that several readers took me up on my invitation to share photos and thoughts about their own work spaces. Here's what they shared:
Katherine Myers, Crafter, Claremore, Oklahoma
My space, sometimes called the craft room, sometimes the sewing room, is a lot more cluttered than your lovely space. The clutter is really made up of reminders of my crafting journey, from a crewel Beatrix Potter character I did in high school to whatever I’m currently working on. My mother’s old Singer is still the one I use, and a patchwork doll quilt made by my grandmother covers a back up machine. There’s a schoolhouse wall hanging courtesy of my daughter and rugs hooked from recycled wool. Also a spinning wheel I’m determined to use! And yarn, lots of yarn, for knitting. And I can look out the window and see hellebores in bloom right now!
Sandra Bernard, Author and Musician, Newaygo, Michigan
My space is my dining room table, which is piled with papers and books and snacks and Kleenex and CDs and the last 4 days' mail and a box of clean paper for my scribbles. Typing on the computer for my more creative moments just doesn't work--it's an old brain to pen habit.
Mark Winston, Professor and Senior Fellow, Centre for Dialogue, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC
Written from the heart,
from the heart of the woods
Read the introduction to HeartWood here.
Nan Sanders Pokerwinski, a former journalist, writes memoir and personal essays, makes collages and likes to play outside. She lives in West Michigan with her husband, Ray.