Put the eggs, along with enough water to cover, in the pan.
Put the lid on and set the pan on the fire.
On a slow flame, let it come to a boil.
Turn off the gas.
For half-boiled eggs, keep them in the water just a minute more, for hard-boiled eggs about 5 minutes more.
Remove the eggs from the water, using the tablespoon and hold under running cold water to stop the cooking process completely.
Put as much water as would be needed to cover the eggs into the pan.
Cover it and set it on the fire.
As soon as it comes to a boil, gently slide the eggs in.
The best way to do this is by putting them, one at a time, into the tablespoon.
Since you will be introducing them to very hot water, it is best to have them at room temperature.
In case you have forgotten to take them out of the refrigerator earlier (a distinct possibility, I'm sure) you could prick them with a pin in the blunt end to minimise the risk of them cracking on contact with the water.
If it just isn't your day, and this still happens, quickly drop a teaspoon of salt or a little vinegar into the water.
This seals the white and stops it from seeping out of the shell in unseemly designs!
Lower the heat and let the eggs simmer for 3 minutes (for soft-boiled eggs) and 6 minutes (if you want hard-boiled ones).
Remove from the water with a tablespoon and hold under cold running water to stop the cooking process completely.
Note: If you are boiling a large number of eggs, the first method is safer.
If you have boiled more eggs than you need and have to store them, mark them before you put them back in the refrigerator.