Anybody who can boil water can cook Easter eggs. This sounds reasonable but it's wrong.

Never boil hard-cooked eggs. Even when eggs are not going to be decorated, high temperature should be avoided; it makes the whites rubbery and tough.

To prepare Easter eggs with bright-colored, completely cooked yolks, good flavor, tenderness and almost no cracked shells, try this method: Let the eggs warm to room temperature and gently place them in a pan of warm water. Or put eggs directly from the refrigerator into cool water. Use a deep glass or stainless steel saucepan (aluminum may discolor) and be sure the tops of the shell are completely submerged.

Place the pot over medium heat and let the water come almost to the boiling point. As soon as bubbles begin to break the surface, turn off the heat. Allow the eggs to stand, covered, on the burner for 20 minutes. Then quickly chill them under cold water and refrigerate until needed.

Once colored, the children's creations are edible, of course. But they should be treated like food instead of holiday ornaments or toys. Cooked eggs ought to be stored in the refrigerator.Those sitting out in a warm room several days, or carried around the house by little people should be discarded with the rest of the Easter decorations.

Here are some good ways to use up left-over Easter eggs.

RICH POTATO SALAD

(6 or 7 servings) 5 or 6 medium potatoes, boiled and cooled 8 hard-cooked eggs 1/2 cup celery, finely diced 1 tablespoon dill pickle, chopped 1 tablespoon sweet pickle, chopped 2 tablespoons peeled cucumber, diced 3/4 cup mayonnaise 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1/2 teaspoon celery seed 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard 3/4 teaspoon salt Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Peel potatoes and cut into large cubes. Peel eggs and dice 6 of them.

Combine potatoes, diced eggs, celery, pickle and cucumber in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, celery seed, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir until well mixed. Fold mayonnaise mixture into vegetables. Store salad, covered, in the refrigerator at least 45 minutes before serving. Slice the remaining 2 eggs and use as a garnish.

ASPARAGUS-EGG BAKE

(4 or 5 servings) 1 pound fresh asparagus spears, or 1 package (10 ounces) of frozen spears 11/3 cups (uncooked) medium egg noodles 3 tablespoons butter or margarine 3 tablespoons flour 11/3 cups milk 1 cup grated or cubed Cheddar cheese 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 pinch cayenne pepper 5 or 6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced

Wash and trim asparagus. Cook in salted, boiling water until almost tender. Or cook frozen asparagus according to package directions. Drain the spears, reserving pot liquid. Add 3 cups of water to the pot liquid and bring to a boil. Stir in egg noodles and cook until limp but still slightly firm. Drain well.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk, stirring, then cheese, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring, until the cheese melts and the sauce is smooth. Place half of the asparagus in the bottom of a 11/2 quart casserole. Cover with half the noodles then half the eggs.Spoon over some of the cheese sauce. Add the remaining noodles spears. Pour over the rest of the sauce. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and lightly browned. Or assemble the casserole ahead and refrigerate until mealtime. This is a good main dish for brunch or supper.

SAVORY DEVILED EGGS

(12 egg halves) 6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and halved 1/3 cup mayonnaise 1/2 teaspoon (scant) dry mustard 1/4 teaspoon prepared mustard, preferably spicy 1/4 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar 1/8 teaspoon salt Paprika for garnish, if desired

Remove yolks from the eggs and place in a small bowl.Mash with the tines of a fork until completely smooth. Stir in mayonnaise, blending well, then all remaining ingredients. Stuff the egg whites with deviled mixture. Cover eggs and chill well before serving. Garnish with additional paprika. Recipe may be doubled if you like.

HERBED EGG DIP

(About 11/2 cups) 4 hard-cooked eggs, peeded and coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons softened cream cheese 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced 11/2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced 1/2 teaspoon fresh dill weed, minced 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard 1/2 teaspoon celery salt 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce Fresh ground black pepper to taste

In a bowl, mash the chopped eggs until almost smooth with the tines of a fork. Alternatively, place eggs in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and chop until very fine. Stir cream cheese and mayonnaise into the eggs, then add all remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Correct seasoning, if necessary, and serve with raw vegetables. The herbed egg mixture also can be used as a filling for party sandwiches. CAPTION: Picture, no caption