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Eggs sit in an egg carton in Washington, DC, August 19, 2010.

Cooking hard-boiled eggs can be frustrating. Sometimes they peel so nicely. Other times you're nicking away at that shell, chip by tiny chip. And once you finally get the shell off, the egg may have an unappetizing grey ring instead of yummy bright yellow.

With Easter approaching, here is a tried-and-true method to get those hard-boiled eggs to behave. It's surprisingly easy.

1. Choose eggs that aren’t super fresh. If you didn’t take your eggs from under a chicken, you’re probably good, considering shipping times of the modern supermarket.

2. Set eggs carefully in a pot and cover with cold water.

3. Heat until water boils.

4. Cover pot and remove from heat.

5. Let the eggs stand in the covered hot water for 18 minutes. (Remember, no longer on the hot burner.)

6. Run cool water over the eggs. You can ice them if you're in a hurry.

And you're done. Time to start coloring!

See www.eggsafety.org for tips on making sure any eggs you eat are safe.

Margot Hovley's first novel will be published by Covenant Communications in 2012. Find her popular self-reliance blog at www.mynewoldschool.com or read about her writing adventures at www.margothovley.com.