My sister-in-law Tami's great-gramma was quite the prankster. She had what I know to have been flaming red hair in her day (as does her favorite, Tam), and the vibrant personality to accompany it! So the day around Easter time that she posed the question to me, "Do you know how you get a square egg?" I pondered the obvious.
"Uh, a square chicken?" I quipped. "Or, a chicken with a square laying apparatus?" (Most politely put.) But really, considering I've never considered the pending anomaly, the short answer was, "No."
She smiled and produced in her hand, yep, you guessed it. A perfectly squared egg! With Easter approaching rapidly, I thought of you, dear readers, as I pose the very same question, "Do you know how you get a square egg?"
No, they're not from Rhode Island Reds, or Barnvelders, or Sussex. Not from Araucanas, Plymouth Rocks or Rosecombs. Not even Brahmas, Sumatras or White Rocks. (Pun intended!)
The mysterious answer lies in the names such as "The Egg Cuber," "Vintage Square Egg Maker," "Egg Deformer," "Square Egg Press" or "Bento Box Eggs."
These "Avian Egg Machines" fulfill a niche sought after by a more "free-range chicken keeper." (If you know what I mean!) My experience, with what I'll call my Egg Cuber, was sheer delight as I duplicated Great-Gramma's inquiry of me to my daughter, nieces and nephew one Easter before dinner.
Picture their little faces complete with their eyes popping out and jaws on the table, as I explain the fleeting answer and process: (1) First you choose one (or many) of the "Avian Egg Machines" listed above, and put in the freezer for the time it takes to hard boil some eggs.
Hint: If you use slightly older eggs and add a pinch of vinegar to the water, they peel easier.
(2) Peel, and while eggs are still warm, remove presses from freezer, unscrew the egg press and take out pressing plate. Make sure base plate is flat. Insert one peeled, warm, hard boiled egg into press. (3) Place pressing plate on top of egg. (4) Screw lid on until egg is square. Chill press in ice water, fridge, or freezer for 5 to 10 minutes for optimum results. (5) After chilling, unscrew lid and push bottom plate up to remove a square egg!
Now, unless you have a "flock" of egg cubers, you'll need some time to "incubate" enough for an appetizer (they fit perfectly on crackers), or enough for a bowl of potato salad. But, the process is only half the fun! Enjoy the cackles of joy as they emanate from your kitchen (or your great-gramma's!) Revel in the fact that now your square eggs will no longer roll off the plate on the way to the table, roll off your dashboard during a truck pull, or not fit into your Bento box! Because after all, this Easter you can prove, "It's Hip To Be Square!"