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  Last week, Hilary Adams-Paul, also known as The Domestic Diva, and I, held a few cooking demonstrations at some of RAFFL‘s Grow a Row sites. Unlike some of our farm to workplace events, the focus was on the basic techniques to building a salad, rather than working through a recipe. There were many useful tips bestowed upon our audience as they constructed their own salad through a session of hands on chopping. Check out this compilation of peeling, cutting, coring and dicing techniques over at the Kitchn to get some similar ideas. We used a wide variety of in season ingredients and the results were impressive, as well as delicious.

Incorporating proteins into a salad is vital in order to reach full meal status, as we have striven to do all through July.  Eggs are satisfying way to incorporate that protein. I don’t eat too much meat and don’t usually keep much of it on hand that I could easily add into a salad. However, I do always have a supply of eggs in my fridge. They cook up quickly and offer a multitude of options.

Hard boiling is one method that can be completed in about 15 minutes. Hilary demonstrated her hard boiling method with ease. Though the technique might sound simple enough, I see people, and even restaurants, serve hard boiled eggs with grey yolks all the time. While there are logical concerns about cooking eggs all the way through, it doesn’t mean you need to overcook and remove all of the delicious flavor in the process. Knowing how to

Before you begin, note that the fresher your eggs, the tougher it will be to peel them. Hilary suggests poking the top of the eggs, before boiling, with a pin. This releases some of the water in the membrane that would otherwise evaporate over time.

Start by placing the eggs in a sauce pan and cover with cold water by about an inch. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, allow the eggs to remain at a boil for two minutes. Shut the heat off and let the eggs stay in the hot water for 10 minutes. This is based on a standard large egg. If they are larger, add more time, while smaller eggs require less time. After 10 minutes, it is important to immediately stop the cooking by placing the eggs in an ice water bath or running under cold water.

If the first egg you crack open is not cooked enough to your liking, place them back on the stove in boiling water for another minute and repeat the cooling process. However, if your egg yolk is not completely solid, it’s still fine to eat. You just have a soft boiled egg – like in a fried or poached egg with a soft or runny yolk.