'Tis the season to boil eggs and color them brightly in celebration of Easter. Around our house it's always been a family time. A time when Jack and Anna, my son and daughter, argue with my wife Jill about the perfect Easter egg.

My job in this chaotic bonding moment is to make sure the eggs are boiled and ready to be decorated. That means the pressure is on to insure perfect eggs with no cracks. There is nothing worse than having a busted shell ruin your perfect masterpiece. How do I do it?

I have a couple of methods I can recommend.

The first way is truly a method. Find a pan large enough to hold all of the eggs you want to boil in a single layer. I then cover that layer of eggs with cold water. The operative word is cold water, not hot from the tap but cold from the tap. Bring that pan of water to a rolling boil for one minute. I then remove the pan from the heat and wait. You want to wait until the water has cooled enough for you to handle the eggs. That usually is 20-30 minutes depending upon your threshold of pain. Your eggs are perfectly cooked for eating later and there are no cracks in the shell.

The second way involves an added ingredient to the egg boiling process. If you add a teaspoon of vinegar for each egg that you are boiling to your pot before you turn the burner on you can have flawless eggs as well.

I still suggest the one layer method because the eggs don't get bumped around as much. If  you must have eggs layered on top of each other then use the vinegar method. The acid in the vinegar interacts with the proteins in the egg to seal any cracks that might form quickly. Who knew we'd find a way to work science into the whole Easter egg thing.

My Mom once told me that eggs that had been in the refrigerator longer did better than fresher eggs. I guess there is something about the cold storage that tends to compact the inside of the egg creating less force on the shell. This will also reduce the chances of the shell fracturing during the boiling process.

Regardless of which way you choose to go I hope you and your family will make dying Easter eggs a tradition of time spent together. By the way, just because the shells don't crack doesn't mean they won't rot if you hide them in the living room and forget where you put them.

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