Q. If hard-boiled, decorated Easter eggs are on a serving plate along with other foods in an Easter buffet, does that mean you can select one to go along with your other food and eat it with your meal? I just experienced that situation. I chose not to pick up one and neither did anyone else, but I just want to know for future reference. If I did put one on my plate to eat, how would I properly eat it? I think it would really be messy trying to remove the shell, and then what do I do with the shell?
A. Yes, if the serving plate with the hard-boiled Easter eggs was among all the other buffet food items, it meant the eggs were a part of the buffet. You and anyone else could have picked up one and placed it on your plate along with your other food selections.
As to how to eat it, the answer is: with extreme care and attention to detail. I can tell you I would have to really love hard-boiled eggs to tackle this one myself in public.
A reasonable amount of “open” space needs to be reserved for this type food item so the egg can be de-shelled without allowing the egg to touch other foods before beginning the de-shelling process and to preclude getting shell pieces into the other food on your plate.
Try this process:
- Hold the egg steady with the left hand in the open space. With the dull edge of your dinner knife, crack it against the top, flatter edge of the egg. Replace the knife onto the top edge of your plate, with the blade facing you.
- Pick up your teaspoon and, using the back edge of the tip of the bowl, insert it into the center of the crack you have just created. Still holding the egg with the left hand, gently move the tip of the spoon towards the edges of the egg shell, breaking it away from the egg, onto the plate. Continue this method as you turn the egg in your left hand.
- After the egg is completely de-shelled, use the teaspoon’s side edge to move the shells together as best you can, onto the outer edge of the dinner plate. preferably above the 4 o’clock position so that your resting fork’s handle will not touch the shells.
- Place the now-used teaspoon on the saucer of your coffee cup if you have one; otherwise, place it next to your used dinner knife at the top edge of your dinner plate, making sure a portion of the handle remains on the edge of the plate and not touching any other food on your plate.
- Pick up your fork and knife. With the fork in your left hand, place the fork into the egg, tines down, to stabilize the egg while you use your knife in your right hand to cut two or three slices of egg.
- Replace the knife to the top edge of your plate. Switch the fork to your right hand. You now may begin eating a slice of the egg, and the other foods on your plate.
Tip: If you would rather eat a bite or two of the other foods on your plate before you attack this egg, you might want to do so. Besides, it will draw less attention to what you are doing if, by this time, others are busily engaged in eating their food.
Q. Thank-you notes are supposed to be handwritten. Isn’t the envelope supposed to be handwritten as well and not a printed label?
A. Yes, you are correct. The envelope should be handwritten as well.