New England has been frozen ( wrong word!) in this relentless, sizzling heat for three weeks. The humidity has been between 97 and 100% - not baking weather, or, for that matter, eating weather. It's also a time to change into your cape and become the Kitchen Policelady. No more leaving the quiche out for an hour; extra handwashing while handling sliced turkey or ham from the deli; no leaving the milk out - and time to test your eggs.
My eggs come from two local farms, so I trust the sources. The egg cartons are not stamped with a "use before" date, because the farmers reuse the cartons. While I often leave eggs at room temperature in the fall and winter, in summer weather they go straight into the fridge. But then I often find two half used cartons. How do I know if any of the eggs are too old?
The old fashioned way still works best for me - place the eggs in a large bowl of cool water. If any of the eggs float or bobble, they get thrown straight into the trash. If the ends tip up, but don't float, I put those into one carton labelled "baking" - I know they're still safe, but they aren't as fresh as the ones lying on the bottom of the bowl.
I know - you want to know why, right? Each egg comes with a tiny bubble of air in an air sac located at the fatter end of the egg. As the egg matures, the air sac gets bigger and bigger and the egg floats. You can find out everything you ever wanted to know about eggs here. So happy ( and safe) sizzling summer, everyone - and enjoy the beauty of the daylilies!
What I'm reading:
Donald Hall, Selected Poems 1946-2006
The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi Durrow
The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett, my favorite fiction writer!