Category Archives: About How Long

How Long Does It Take To Boil An Egg

Eggs are versatile food items.  Hard-boiled eggs are a breakfast dish, is an ingredient in recipes that range from salad dressings to tuna salad, and even become tasty snacks.   Sliced, hard-boiled eggs garnish many dishes as well but the question often arises, how long does it take to boil an egg?

It might seem like an easy enough question but any cook who has boiled eggs only to crack them and find the yolks still runny doesn’t want to repeat that mistake.   Boil eggs too long and the eggs will begin to crack, marring the appearance for use in other dishes.

So the question remains: How long does it take to boil an egg? There are two answers and two methods.  Both work but some cooks prefer one to the other.

One basic method requires as little as fifteen minutes but the actual boiling time is much less.

For perfect hard-boiled eggs each time, follow these simple steps for success.

Begin with fresh eggs in good condition.   Check egg cartons for the sell-by date to confirm freshness – older eggs do not boil well and age can affect flavor.  Look for eggs that have clean, uncracked shells in a refrigerator case.  Store eggs in the fridge until time to use them.   There is no need to further wash eggs before use because thorough washing is part of the commercial production process.

Put the egg or eggs into a saucepan and cover with a minimum of one-inch cold water.   A single layer of eggs is necessary for even cooking.    Place saucepan on the stove, cover, and heat until the water boils.   Remove from heat, still covered, and let the eggs stand in the boiling water for fifteen to twenty minutes depending on the size of the eggs.   Drain water from eggs, rinse in cold water, and the hard-boiled eggs are ready to serve.

The second method is the more traditional method.  Begin the same by placing eggs into a saucepan and cover with water.   Place pan on the stove uncovered and bring to a boil.   Boil eggs for 5 minutes then remove from heat and cover.   Let eggs stand in the boiling water for another five minutes before rinsing with cool water.

Overcooking boiled eggs can cause a greenish ring to form around the yolk, something that looks anything but appetizing.

One more tip that experienced cooks know is that adding a tablespoon of salt to the water will make the eggs easier to peel when it’s time to prepare the eggs.

With these two time tried and true methods, cooking an egg could not be any easier!

How Long Should I Breastfeed?

Breastfeeding has been around since time began, nature’s way of ensuring our children’s survival.  It hasn’t always been “in vogue” but nowadays with our emphasis on “going green”, health and nutrition, and back to basics it is experiencing a revival.  A member of the La Leche League, encouraging mothers to breastfeed her children rather than bottlefeed after birth, now visits every new mother who delivers in a hospital.  This leads to the question, among others: “How long should I breastfeed?”

To begin, it is advised that your first breastfeeding session with your child take place within an hour of its birth if possible.  The first “milk” it will receive which lasts for three to four days after birth is called colostrum and is filled with nutrients and immunity builders that will protect your baby as he/she grows up.  In these first three to four days it is vital to breastfeed your child from 8-12 times a day or more, as often as he/she is hungry.  This allows the most value to be attained from the immunities available in the colostrum and also stimulates the production of the breastmilk that will follow. After having had to feed your hungry infant so often in the first few days you will indeed be asking the question “How long should I breastfeed?” again by this time, if only from lack of sleep!

The generally accepted minimum time for breastfeeding is from four to six months if at all possible. This number comes from both the La Leche League and the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Beyond that you can continue as long as you and your child are comfortable with and enjoy breastfeeding, even into the young toddler years as old as two or three.  Weaning is encouraged however by the age of three, though some mothers do breastfeed even into the fourth year.

For some new mothers there will be obstacles to breastfeeding that need to be overcome.  The baby may have difficulty latching on at first, breastfeeding may be painful for some, and you may experience problems establishing a schedule with your newborn. New parents may also find breastfeeding exceedingly time consuming as the baby must at first feed 8-12 times a day (as mentioned above), with each time taking up to 20 minutes.  Having multiples makes breastfeeding a logistical nightmare. The La Leche League is always available to help with any breastfeeding problem, look them up in your local directory.

Another hurdle some new mothers may face is limited maternity leave.  Should you face going back to work before you are ready to stop breastfeeding, you do still have options.  You could choose to buy or rent a breast pump and express milk to leave with your child during the day, returning to breastfeeding in the evenings.  Unfortunately, for some children this leads to “nipple confusion” and they refuse to return to the breast after being introduced to the bottle.  A better option if you have a chance (and a congenial boss) is to arrange to return home intermittently to breastfeed during the day, to work part-time or to work from home entirely.

So, how long should you breastfeed?  There is no real rule about when to stop breastfeeding.  Some babies lose interest in it on their own beginning anytime between three to twelve months.  This is typically evinced as a general fussiness and gradual refusal to take the breast when previously there had been no problems and the child had been nursing well.  At this time, depending of course upon age, you can begin introducing either the bottle or cup with formula.

However long you are able to breastfeed, it creates an incredibly close bond between mother and child. The experience will be missed on some level once it no longer occurs.  Once you stop, be sure to set up special time to spend with your child one-on-one to maintain that close bond.

How Long To Cook A Turkey

Although cooking a turkey is really not that difficult many cooks both novice and experienced feel challenged when confronted with cooking one.    Because turkeys are larger than most other meats, it may be the size that has cooks guessing and one of the most common dilemmas is the question: How long to cook a turkey?

It would seem that there must be a single simple and definitive answer but it just is not that easy.   The first thing to remember is that turkeys come in various sizes ranging from as small as 8 pounds up to 25-pound birds.  An eight-pound bird will cook much quicker than a large 25-pound turkey.   How the turkey is cooked and whether or not it is stuffed also add variance to the cooking time.

Although many turkeys on the market today are simply labeled “young turkey”, veteran cooks may distinguish between hens and toms.  On the surface, the difference between a hen and tom is just gender – hens are female, toms are male – but it is also an issue of size.  Hens weigh in at less than 16 pounds while tom turkeys are 16 pounds and above.    Some swear that the bigger toms have a better taste but others see no difference in taste.

So how does a cook know how long to cook a turkey?  A basic eight to twelve pound bird should take about three hours, allowing fifteen minutes either way.    An old rule of thumb calls for about twenty minutes per pound allowing for a hot oven with a temperature of 325 degrees Fahrenheit.   Using that rule, the time to cook a ten-pound turkey could be as short as two hours.   For those who prefer a well-cooked but not dry turkey, thirty minutes per pound is a more realistic estimate.

Although the twenty to thirty minutes per pound estimate can serve as guideline, novice cooks may also want to consult a cookbook.   Most cookbooks will have a table or chart with suggesting cooking times for turkeys of various sizes.   Many turkeys today will have cooking information printed on the outside wrapping as well.

The definitive way to know if a turkey has cooked to doneness is to use a meat thermometer inserted deep into the breast reads at least 180 degrees Fahrenheit.   Another way to determine doneness is to check the legs of the turkey.  Turkey legs that move with ease when lifted or twisted indicate a done turkey.

The best option to know how long to cook a turkey is to calculate 20-30 minutes per pound based on the size of the turkey before cooking the bird.   Using a meat thermometer to gauge if the bird is done confirms it, preserving food safety practices.

How to Grow Long Hair

Since the days when Rapunzel let down her long hair so that the Prince could climb to her rescue, women have wished for the beauty of long hair.   In many cultures, both men and women aspire to growing long hair but for those with short hair, just how do you grow long hair?

Patience is the first key to growing long hair.   Although there are tips and tricks that can enhance and inspire hair growth, growing long hair can be a slow process.   The first hurdle is making it through the in-between stage when hair can seem straggly.   Waiting through the awkward ‘tween period may be the hardest part of growing long hair.

How to grow long hair depends a great deal on the health of the hair.   Keeping hair in good condition with a good shampoo and conditioner can help to stimulate hair growth.  Hair products that include vitamins especially favor hair growth.   Hot oil treatments, now easily available in most discount and drug store hair care aisles, are another thing that stimulates new hair growth.  Always rinse hair in cold water for the ultimate shine and best health.

Although it may sound counterproductive, one of the best ways to grow long hair is trim a little from the length and sides.   Shaping the hair allows for a better look while the long hair is growing.   Trimming an inch or less from dead ends – remember that all hair at the end of the length is dead hair – can stimulate hair to grow new lengths.

Many people are firm believers that vitamins can also encourage and enhance growing long hair.   Vitamin B is rumored to have particular qualities that speed hair growth.   Many formulas are sold as “hair” or “hair and nail” vitamins.   Even a good, well-rounded multi-vitamin can add to overall hair health and thus encourage long hair to grow.

A good daily comb out and brushing can help kick start natural oil productions which in turn promotes hair growth, one more step on the way to long hair. Keep in mind, however, that brushing should be gentle and if tangles exist, comb as easily as possible to avoid damaging the hair.  Limiting the use of hair dryers and any hair tool (such as hot curlers or curling irons) can also help hair because heat tends to dry out the hair and limit growth.

Selecting the right kind of brush that stimulates the scalp and a basic scalp massage using the fingers also helps stimulate the scalp.  Natural boar bristle brushes are the best, recommended and used by many beauty professionals. Never use rubber bands to pull back hair because it breaks and damages hair.   Also, remember not to use metal hair barrettes for the same reason.

Since hair health can reflect overall health it is important to drink plenty of water, limit intake on caffeine and carbonated drinks, eat a healthy diet rich in protein, fruits, and vegetables, and get plenty of sleep.   Stress can stunt hair growth so relax and enjoy as hair grows out long.

These are ways that help to grow long hair.   A little time, a lot of patience, and some effort can result in the long, luxuriant hair of anyone’s dream.