Anybody who has ever tried to hard-cook a very fresh egg knows that there's always one problem you come up against - they're impossible to peel!  The albumen (that thin "skin" between the shell and the egg white) wants to stick.  This means that when you go to peel the egg, the shell clings to that albumen for dear life which will make it nearly impossible to remove the shell without removing chunks of egg with it, resulting in a hard-cooked egg that looks like somebody used it for target practice.

Most people will tell you to just use older eggs (about 7 to 10 days) and that's a perfectly good solution to the problem.  But what if you don't want to wait more than a week to cook your eggs?  The solution is simple:  you quick-age your eggs!  All you need to do is store your eggs at room temperature for 24-48 hours.  Boom!  You've got aged eggs. 

If the thought of storing your eggs at room-temperature freaks you out, here's some food for thought...  Most commercially-produced eggs are washed before they get packaged.  Eggs have a natural coating when they come straight from the hen that protects the insides from bacteria, but when the eggs are washed this coating is removed and the eggs are more vulnerable.  Farm-fresh eggs still have this natural armor and can stand up to the elements better than a store-bought egg.  What's more is that if you ever feel unsure, you can immediately tell if your egg has gone bad by the way it behaves when you submerge it in water:  If it sinks, it's fresh, if it stands straight, it's less fresh but still good, and if it floats, throw it out. 



Perfectly Hard-Cooked Fresh Eggs
makes 12

1 dozen farm-fresh eggs, kept at room temperature for at least 1 day
water

Place your eggs in a large pot (large enough so that the eggs aren't over-crowded).  Cover the eggs with water and bring to a boil.  Immediately remove from heat and cover.  Allow eggs to cook for 14-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, fill a clean sink or a large bowl with water and add about 5 cups of ice.  When the eggs are finished cooking, immediately place them in the ice water.  Allow eggs to sit in the ice-water for at least 5 minutes before peeling. 

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