Sunday, March 22, 2015

Dealing with FRESH eggs....who knew?...

It's been slow on the homestead while we deal with a return of cooler weather. I decided to get some eggs boiled for us, and the girls.  Then, I decided I'd do a little tutorial about fresh eggs.

Fresh eggs are SO much different than the eggs purchased in a store.  Store eggs can be weeks old. They boil so nicely and peel even better than fresh. BUT, the fresh eggs taste so much better  and I know what went into the chickens making them.  No chicken by-products, no hormones, and no stress.

I worked with a woman who raised her own eggs.  Her kids wouldn't eat them if they could see the yolk.  It was orange and they didn't like that.  She baked with her eggs.  I never saw the yolk color as a deterrent to eating fresh eggs, but I'm not a kid.  They're sometimes strange, huh?  

Now, sometimes my eggs have orangish yolks, but mainly they are just a darker yellow.  The biggest difference in fresh versus store, is the size of the air sac. It has practically disappeared in a store egg, so they usually stay on the bottom of the pan of boiling water, with a few maybe bobbing....

Here, I'm attempting to boil the eggs.  That air sac makes them practically float out of the pan.  Now, let me say that I hate over-cooking eggs and getting a green ring of sulfur.  It has taken me many tries to find the correct time to boil eggs up here in the mountains.  Everything takes longer to cook because of the altitude.  This made it hard to figure the correct timing.  Let's just say that Ziva has received a few overdone eggs.  

I watched "The Kitchen" on the HGTV channel last week. They did a segment on how to tell if eggs are still good.  Just put them in a bowl of water. If they float, they're bad.  HUH!!???  My eggs are super fresh and they float. Sorry, I don't think that advice was very helpful.

Peeling fresh boiled eggs is another problem I've had to overcome.  Older eggs (store bought) have aged enough that the inner liner has separated from the shell.  In fresh eggs, they are practically bonded.  So, you find that the peel won't come off easily and you are gouging the hard boiled egg.  Sometimes, the liner is tougher than the shells.  You can get the shell off, but the liner is heroically tough.  I've found that you can get around this problem by peeling from the air sac.  I roll the cooled eggs to crack the shell and pull off the shell from the air sac.  Then, get water to run under that tough liner (shown above). Then, everything slips away from the egg. OK, not every time, but usually.

They do look a little strange when peeled.  This egg is about average for showing the air sac size.  I've had a few where the air sac is half the egg.  Quite a difference from the slight dent in store bought eggs after cooking.  The yolk is never in the center of the cooked egg, either.  It's at one end, like above.  The yolk is right on top of the sac.  This makes fresh eggs a little less elegant when serving as deviled eggs.  

Here, I'm cutting some eggs up for the girls.  I had a little, flimsy, egg slicer which promptly went "sproing" one day.  One metal wire broke, probably because the eggs are denser, too.  Steve found me this Farberware slicer and it can handle a heavy load of eggs. 

I lay the egg one way and slice. Then carefully pick it up, turn it crossways and slice again.  Sometimes I can even get the egg to hold together enough to cut it one more time.  Ziva sits right next to me, hoping for spills.

So, I guess that's enough for now.  If you're in the mood for fresh eggs, I say it's time you get some chickens and start learning how much better they are than the store bought.  

OK, not better at peeling.....but...

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