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Old 07-29-2017, 10:16 AM   #1
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I Like Eggs

Nosing around in blogs and forums today, I came across an interesting piece about eggs. Eggs are funny. In Europe, they do not refrigerate them. In the US, it is recommended that they do get refrigerated. That I knew, but how necessary is it. I think the bottom line about eggs is that s long s you keep them in a cool dry place and at a constant temperature, they will last. That article said that refrigerated eggs will last three to four weeks. I agree, but as I go through about three dozen eggs a week, I've never had the opportunity to test it.

I grew up on a dairy farm, and once we sold that when I was three years old, we moved to a country home. It had a shed. I also had an older sister. She was in 4-H. 4-H was a country thing - a club that boys and girls could join to enhance or increase their skills in home life, gardening, cooking or animals. The four H's stood for Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. My sister took on animals, I went to cooking. Her animals consisted of thirty baby chicks that grew into hens. The roosters were culled out at infancy by the seller. Agway comes to mind. The roosters went on to be oven stuffer roasters in another venue. Jenny, my sister, was into it for the eggs.

I think I was about seven at the time we had those birds. I learned a few things about them. They are not cuddly beings. If a bird is on a nest at egg gathering time, you may get pecked. I cracked and broke a lot of eggs trying to get one out from under an old biddy. It was a peck and jerk reflex. They are also stupid. I bring the food and water and they never seemed grateful about that. You can see that these birds did become part of my responsibility, too. That's how it is in family life.

If you've read my article on 'Amateur in the Kitchen', you will know that I started cooking at an early age. Seven, actually, with a mishap in making whoopee pies. So, with this early start in baking, I got used to really fresh eggs. I have a few things to impart to you about them.

According to the article, I mentioned earlier, eggs will last for three to four weeks. Then, if they smell bad, well, they are bad and throw them out. I think that was kind of obvious. But after years of chickens and eggs, knowing which one to use for fried eggs and which to use in baked goods is handy. A really fresh egg has a white that is cloudy. As it ages, the white clears. A really fresh yolk is deep yellow and sometimes more orange than yellow. When popped into a hot skillet for fried eggs, that yolk will stand up with a well-rounded dome. A yolk that lays down flat in the pan has aged. Each egg when laid has an air sack at the pointed end of the egg. As the egg ages, the air sack becomes larger. It becomes so large that the egg will float in a glass of water. Yes. This does affect the taste of that breakfast egg. No. It is fine for baking. I make a lot of deviled eggs. An air sack that is large will change the shape of that deviled egg and make presentation awkward.

If you want to smell your egg to see if it is bad, do so cautiously. A bad egg will reek of sulfur dioxide. Think catalytic converter odor, or someone with really bad gas. It is unmistakable. You do not have to stick your nose into the dish to get a whiff. You'll know immediately.

I had real experience with bad eggs. A childhood friend's grandparents owned a chicken and egg ranch next door. When they retired and sent the last of the chickens to market, the barn was left empty for several months. This friend and I explored the ranch and came upon several eggs that were never gathered. It was August and it was a hot one. We gathered those eggs, hid behind a huge oak tree and threw eggs at passing cars. We were caught of course and punished accordingly. But the smell of those rotten eggs permeated the neighborhood for a long time.


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Old 07-29-2017, 12:09 PM   #2
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I've been buying (or trading honey for) backyard eggs for the last year or so. I made a cake last week and, while I don't always break the eggs into a separate container before adding to the batter, last week I did. And there was one bad egg. I'm going to do that from now on

It's my understanding that Europeans don't remove the cuticle from eggs, which is why they don't refrigerate them. Commercial eggs in the US are required (I think) to wash the eggs and remove the cuticle; without it, it's easier for pathogens to get into the eggs.

CWS, one of our members, raises hens. She will probably chime in before long.

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Old 07-29-2017, 12:25 PM   #3
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Mother in law gives us about 96 eggs every 2 weeks. Trade sone with the neighbors for spaghetti squash and tomatoes. Still have to find new recipes for the rest.
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Old 07-29-2017, 12:33 PM   #4
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According to the American Egg Board, eggs will last seven times longer under refrigeration vs. room temperature storage.

A fresh egg has a firmer more gelatinous white and won't spread out much when broken onto a plate. An older egg has a looser/more watery white and will spread out more.

I understood that the yolk's color was related to what the hen ate, not the age of the egg.
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Old 07-29-2017, 02:00 PM   #5
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Here is the real reason why, it easiest way of telling why.
For the love of Cheese!
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Old 07-29-2017, 04:19 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by CakePoet View Post

Here is the real reason why, it easiest way of telling why.

Well, it's ANOTHER reason. One reason does not cancel the other.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 07-29-2017, 05:17 PM   #7
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I like eggs.
I made some hardboiled eggs yesterday with extras for today and tomorrow. I like hardboiled, 'just done', almost partially softboiled and I like them when they are still warm and tender.
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Old 07-29-2017, 06:15 PM   #8
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I have also raised chickens for eggs (and some for meat).

Andy you are correct in that the yolks are different colours due to the food. Chickens that get to eat only chicken feed and don't get out to get grass or bugs or what ever moves that free range chickens do will certainly have paler yolks.
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Old 07-29-2017, 07:55 PM   #9
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We also had chickens. It was my job to make sure they got fed and watered twice a day. A chore I wasn't fond of, but it was better than slopping the pigs.

One day I got what I thought was a brilliant idea. I took some elastics and cut them in half. I buried them in the dirt where the hens like to scratch around and made sure the dirt was packed down really good. They would pull on the elastics thinking they were worms. After pulling hard enough, the elastics would snap back at them and hit their beaks really hard. All of a sudden my mother complained to my father that something was wrong with the chickens. All the eggs were bad when she went to use them. They went out and sure enough, they saw what the problem was. All of a sudden I heard my father yell my name. Not just my first name, but my middle name also. And we all know what that means.

I no longer had to feed the chickens. I did have to slop the pigs for a whole month with no help from my sister.
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Old 07-29-2017, 08:39 PM   #10
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I love eggs, too. I buy an 18-pack carton about every 2 weeks from the local farm stand, and use most of them in that amount of time. I don't have anything to trade for them, and am happy to pay the couple of dollars extra for fresh eggs rather than the grocery store price for old eggs. I always save the cartons and give them back to the farm stand guys.

edit - they're always washed, so they go right into the fridge. It's rare that I come across a bad egg.

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egg, eggs

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