All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2017

Sunday, July 18, 2010

how fresh are your eggs?





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.
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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?
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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!
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What I'm reading:
The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett, my favorite fiction writer!

10 comments:

Martha said...

Interesting -- I've never done that -- but we get our eggs from a farm as well -- I'm sure old farm eggs are still fresher than store eggs!

katrina said...

I agree, Martha! A few times I've tested store bought eggs and most of them tipped right up.

momgateway said...

...I learned this principle years back but I've never really bothered to check the eggs I get from the store ...thanks for reminding me about this...

Barb said...

Hi Katrina! Whew! It's been a busy last couple of weeks (not to mention HOT!!), but now that I've caught up on your blog I am going to make your tabouli salad today!! It looks sooooo refreshing!

And...your photos are so beautiful! You obviously have a special gift for photography - I love them all, but I really love the photo of the eggs in the water in the white bowl, and the flowers - always gorgeous!!

How are you surviving the heat? It may be a bit cooler here today - much to my relief!

katrina said...

momgateway - that might prove interesting!

katrina said...

Hey, Barb - thanks for your always kind words!
It's still sweltering here, and how I managed to get some kind of sinus problem or cold, I have no idea. But the weather sure makes it difficult to feel comfy, doesn't it? Glad you liked the tabouli and - stay cool!

kelly said...

Hmmm -- I think I knew this about eggs, but would be sure to find that all my eggs floated. Hopefully not! My mother's in NY right now near NYC (she's a full time motor home traveler) and so I've heard about the incredible heat. I hope it slacks up soon! In the mean time, maybe some granita?

katrina said...

Ah, Kelly - wish ( not for the first time) I was in California!
Humidity kills me every time, and granita? My only longing is for a wee bit of freshly cooked lobster and a little cucumber sauce - but even that is hard to find in the landlocked NH hills. Hope your Mom is doing ok in this weather!

Jen said...

Thanks for the tip as we also get our eggs from a local farm.

katrina said...

Glad it was useful, Jen!