The Norman Transcript

Features

October 3, 2012

Slate: The physics of cracking an egg

Sometimes the most useful cooking tips can be found in classic movies. Consider Billy Wilder's 1954 romantic comedy, "Sabrina." Suffering from the pangs of unrequited love, young Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn), a chauffeur's daughter, is sent to Paris to train as a chef at a Cordon Bleu-type academy. One day's lesson concerns the proper way to crack an egg. "An egg is not a stone," the instructor admonishes his charges. "It is a living thing. It has a heart. So when we crack it, we must not torment it. We must be merciful and execute it quickly, like with the guillotine."

It's all in the wrist, the chef insists. He proceeds to demonstrate, holding an egg gently between thumb and forefinger before rapping it sharply against the edge of a bowl with one swift stroke: "One, two, three, CRACK! New egg!"

This is the classic one-handed egg-cracking technique favored by chefs, if only for its virtue as a time-saver, given the large number of eggs the average Parisian chef must crack on a given day. (The French do love their soufflés.) But opening an eggshell between the fingers and thumb of one hand requires precision and practice, and most neophytes, like Sabrina, end up with a hand full of crushed egg.

Fortunately, there are alternative methods that get the job done perfectly well. My mother taught me to crack the egg on the rim of the mixing bowl before gently pulling the two halves apart with both hands, while my husband prefers to tap the eggshell gently with the dull edge of a knife. Others might favor striking the egg against the edge, or the surface, of a countertop. If a recipe calls for egg whites — a nice fluffy meringue, for example, or a vintage whiskey sour — extra precision is needed in whatever technique you choose: Ideally, you want two equal halves of the shell so you can pour the yolk back and forth from one half to the other, letting the egg white run off into the bowl.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • Helping cat with first veterinarian visit

    Dear Dr. Fox: A stray kitty adopted me a couple months ago and has since been tamed enough that I have found a vet to neuter him and do some much-needed dental work. My fear is that the poor boy will be so traumatized by this ordeal that ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Veterans Corner needs volunteer to drive residents to OKC VA

    Veterans Corner volunteer of the week David Sudduth has been with us for the last eight years. He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force who served during the Vietnam War. David and his wife, Carolyn, have had their home in the Newalla area ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Low-cost and free cell phone options for thrifty seniors

    Dear Savvy Senior, What are the cheapest cell phone options available today to seniors living on a shoestring budget? I only need it for occasional calls. — Seldom Calling Senior Dear Seldom, For financially challenged seniors who only ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Harrah residents at home in restored vintage camper

    Sulphur — David Wiegert was quick to help a couple of newbie campers at the Buckhorn Campground on Arbuckle Lake in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. What Dave offered was badly needed advice on setting up travel trailers, where to ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Historic quilt from Noble on auction block

    An alert quilter and teacher is concerned about a vintage quilt from Noble that’s being auctioned on eBay....

    July 20, 2014

  • Bark for Life brings pets into fundraising

    Local American Cancer Society member and Norman Regional nurse is at it again, raising awareness for cancer patients with an event that gets people moving. “Bark for Life” is a noncompetitive walk that will be from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Deadline for entering United Way’s The Ride extended

    Kids ages 3 to 8 are getting ready to roll on their decked out big wheel tricycles in an effort to raise money for the United Way of Norman. The Ride, a big wheel race organized by First American Bank and other local businesses, is ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Fundraiser set

    The Apple Gold Group, a franchisee of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar, will host a flapjack fundraiser July 26 at Applebee’s, 500 Ed Noble Parkway in Norman....

    July 20, 2014

  • Sculpture brings tornado-torn community together

    After the May 20 tornado tore through Moore in 2013, hundreds of families were left to pick up the pieces. And it was in these old, shattered pieces of people’s homes and scattered debris that two local artists found something new....

    July 20, 2014

  • Keep toddler’s hair short to help end hair-pulling habit

    Q: Since our daughter, now 2 years old, was born, we have lived with my parents. Being the first and only grandchild, she has been the center of attention. Several months ago, our son was born and we moved into our own home. Almost ...

    July 18, 2014