Monday, June 30, 2008

Eating Locally: Preserving Eggs?

We have discovered that when you have 14 of these:

you get about a dozen eggs a day. This time of year anyway!

Brent & I were talking about what we ought to do with our surfeit of eggs and he suggested we find some ways to preserve them for the time of year when we won't have so many.

As I do in most situations I turned to Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living. Carla confirmed that hens lay more eggs in March through June than the rest of the year combined; that we can expect a shortage in December and January and a glut in the spring & early summer. She had a lot of recipes for pickling eggs and also suggested turning extra eggs into egg noodles. I haven't been adventurous enough to try the pickled egg recipes although the egg noodles sound good.

We were really interested in how we could just use the eggs as eggs later in the year. Drying them sounded drawn out & involved. Rubbing them in grease & packing in salt had its merit but we were lacking a five gallon bucket of salt. Freezing got our vote as the easiest method we could try because we alraedy had everything we needed.

Carla says to break them and mix them together without really whipping them. Then add either 1 T. of sugar or 1/2 tsp. of salt to each cup of whole eggs. Freeze them and label them as to whether they are intended to be used in sweet or salty recipes later. Another idea was to freeze them in ice cube trays and consider each cube to be about equivalent to half an egg. That sounded easy to me!

And it was--until it was time to get them OUT of the trays! Cracking an ice cube tray of eggs is nothing like cracking an ice cube tray of ice. Cracking is really a misnomer because they didn't want to "crack" at all. It was like having an ice cube tray full of jello.

Brent finally figured out a method involving hot water and force to get the egg cubes dislodged!

Now we have a dozen frozen "sweet" eggs. Tonight we'll try "salty." Until the excess in our fridge goes down a bit we'll keep experimenting with egg preservation methods.

I guess we can't tell you how it works out until our shortage season begins. Barring any chicken massacres or catastrophes, we'll give a full report on our preserved eggs come December!

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