Tuesday, March 20, 2012

two science lessons i learned in my kitchen

Today I decided to hard boil some eggs. And since I live with a scientist, boiling eggs in this apartment is...well, a science. I add salt and vinegar to the water, and bring it to a rolling boil before carefully lowering the eggs in to prevent cracking.

Shortly after I put the eggs in today, I heard a faint crack. I was sad, but I knew that the vinegar would keep the egg white from getting too messy. (science) Anyway, remember that cracking noise. (foreshadowing)

Then I got caught up in other science-y things (pinterest) and forgot about the eggs. Fifteen minutes later, I sprinted to the kitchen and began rinsing the eggs in cold water. They felt a little slimy to me, and as I was feeling for the leaky point with my fingers, this happened:


As I was puzzling this phenomenon (are they dying my eggs?!), I heard a gunshot in my kitchen. YES. I heard a GUNSHOT in my kitchen. Not literally. But it sounded like a gunshot. Smack dab in the middle of my confusion, this had happened:



We often leave our pots and pans on the stove to dry. Apparently the glass of this lid became unevenly heated, increasing its thermal stress and causing it to shatter. After I closed my mouth, I had to deal with the very complicated clean up. The lid kept making creepy crackling noises...it's still going in the other room.

And the egg? Not dyed. The explanation for that seems to be that my vinegar dissolved the alkaline pigment that forms on the outside of brown eggs. Most of the shell is actually white, and the color comes from just the surface pigment. Vinegar in the water can break that pigment down so it rubs off.

And there you have it. Two science lessons in mere minutes. And now I'm staying out of the kitchen for awhile.

11 comments:

  1. WHOA! Hope you had your science goggles on, lady!
    That's wild! (Also, glad it wasn't a real gunshot).
    I live with a scientist too. I usually just throw eggs into a pot, pour water over them to cover and boil for 15 min, uncovered.

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  2. Hi Clair! Sooooo glad the lid shattered in a civilized manner! This comes shortly after John put a brown egg in straight vinegar (as a result of my pinning it) and the same thing happened, the egg layers dissolved, brown layer first. Love ALL recent posts, as usual!
    Love you,
    Mom

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    1. Yah! I saw that pin! How crazy.

      Love you too!!

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  3. oh boy - if it's any consolation, here we say that breaking glass brings you luck (scherben bringen glueck)!

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  4. Aaahhh! A gunshot sound?! I would have cried.

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  5. It really stinks that you lost your pot lid but the cracked glass looks really interesting!

    And thanks for the lesson about vinegar and eggs!

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  6. at least u taught us something new with your story and u were not hurt. ;)

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  7. what this is crazy!?! i agree with anna. i would've ran into my bathroom and sobbed.

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  8. Wow, who knew that boiling eggs was so scientific... I'm definitely going to steer clear of boiling eggs for a while.

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  9. Very cool! Good to know too. We also leave our pots, pans and lids on the burners while drying (no room on the drying rack). I'll be more careful about it in the future.

    Oh, and as another person living with a scientist type, I too have been subjected to many an egg boiling experiment... ;)

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  10. My scientist is a biologist so we don't do egg boiling experiments but I do go to him with everything else. Biology means you know EVERYTHING about life science, right?

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Thanks for making me smile. =)