A lot of cool-looking new kitchen gadgets don’t turn out to be all that useful. My SaladShooter is in a drawer somewhere, because unless you slice/shred a fair amount at a time, the extra work to assemble it, disassemble and wash it is as much trouble as the work it saved. My wonderful Pampered Chef foaming soap dispenser stopped working and no amount of cleaning would fix it – but now I don’t need it anyway because I can get a foaming soap dispenser, complete with foaming soap, at Wal-Mart.
We got some kind of device at a white elephant exchange that was supposed to make it “onion petals.” I like onions rings, but never got around to trying the thing. Instead we tried to sell it at a yard sale, and then gave it away to a thrift store. Other gadgets sit in drawers or in a box in the basement, ones I’ve held onto but haven’t used in so long I don’t remember where they are.
But I think I’m going to get more use out of my Cuisinart Egg Cooker. I asked for it for our anniversary last month, and my husband took me shopping to get one. We looked briefly at the one advertised on TV, then picked the Cuisinart instead. My experience of “As Seen on TV” products has not been all that positive.
I finally got around to making space for the egg cooker on the counter, where it has to share room with the toaster and coffee maker and waffle iron, all of which get used fairly regularly. Then I set it up, and read the instructions. I had wondered how in the world it knew how long to cook the eggs – that was after all my reason for buying it, because I always end up forgetting to set the timer when I boil eggs or not hearing it when it goes off.
I had seen an egg timer at Bed Bath & Beyond that was shaped like an egg and went in the water with the eggs, and changed color as the eggs cooked. I thought about buying it, but I suspected it would only work properly if the eggs were a standard size (and I buy whichever size is the best buy any given week), plus I would have to remember to look at it. The egg cooker, on the other hand, has an audible signal when the eggs are done, one that won’t stop (like a timer) until I turn it off.
The key turns out to be the water added to the cooker. I don’t know what role the water has in cooking the eggs, but it does function as a timer. Not a timing method I would ever have thought of! A special beaker is marked with how much water to put in based on how many eggs you cook and how done you want them. When the water is all gone, the cooker announces that the eggs are ready.
The beaker also has a sharp point in its recessed bottom, for piercing the eggshells before cooking. I’ve read about blowing the insides out of an egg in order to decorate the shell, and just recently about a magic trick which also requires an empty egg shell. But I had never tried piercing an egg with a pin, and was skeptical about doing it without ending up with broken egg all over my hands. I don’t know about with a typical straight pin, but this beaker’s built-in pin works great.
I haven’t actually eaten the eggs yet – first I have to decorate them to look like dragon’s eggs for Al’s party tomorrow. But I’m looking forward to having a steady supply of hard-boiled eggs for snacks for the family.