May 31, 2014 -Tess Pennington -The Sleuth Journal –
Health, Nutrition, Food, Eggs
Our chickens have been in egg laying overload now that the temperatures are warming up. In fact, I’m getting so many eggs that my egg basket runneth over. This is a good problem to have!
Many argue on whether or not to wash the bloom off the egg. It’s entirely your preference. If you leave the bloom on, the eggs last much longer. A con to this, is that the eggs aren’t always clean. In fact, many times, the eggs are streaked with feces. It’s hard for me to want to cook with these streaked eggs, so I wash mine off with water. This, in turn, removes the blooms, so we have to use them up. On average, fresh eggs can last a week unrefrigerated. Any time after that, they should be refrigerated.
1. Freeze Your Eggs
If your girls produce a large amount of eggs at one time, then you can freeze eggs for use during the slow egg laying period. It is not advised to freeze eggs in the shell. The best method to freezing eggs is to freeze in small quantities so you can thaw only what you need. An easy way to do this is to put them in an ice cube tray. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer container and label how many eggs are in the bag. As with any frozen food, it is best to thaw eggs in the refrigerator and use them as soon as they are thawed. Only use thawed eggs in dishes that will be thoroughly cooked.
Whole Eggs: To freeze whole eggs or yolks crack them into a bowl and gently stir to break up the yolk somewhat. Try not to incorporate air into the eggs. Label the container with the date and the number of eggs. They can be kept frozen for a year, and should be thawed in the refrigerator the day before you intend to use them.
Egg Yolks: To inhibit yolks from getting lumpy during storage, stir in a 1/2-teaspoon salt per 1-cup of egg or yolks. If using for desserts, use 1-tablespoon sugar or corn syrup per 1-cup yolks or whole eggs. Label the container with the date and the number of egg yolks.
Egg Whites: Raw egg whites do not suffer from freezing (cooked egg whites are very rubbery). No salt or sugar is needed. Break and separate the eggs one at a time, making sure that no yolk gets into the whites. Pour into trays and freeze until firm. Label the container with the date and the number of egg whites. Use up extra egg whites in boiled frostings (i.e., 7-minute frosting), meringue cookies, angel food cake, white cakes, or meringue for pies.
Hard-Cook Egg Yolks: Hard-cooked egg yolks can be frozen to use later for toppings or garnishes. Carefully place the yolks in a single layer in a saucepan and add enough water to come at least 1-inch above the yolks. Cover and quickly bring just to boiling. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, in the hot water about 15 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain well and package for freezing.
2. Barter Your Eggs
Because many of us are on a path to be more sustainable, start practicing your bartering skills and barter your eggs for services or goods. If one dozen eggs cost $4-5 at the store, then supply someone with enough eggs to pay for a service.
3. Be a Good Neighbor
We try and help our friends and neighbors out by giving them fresh eggs during the holiday months. Let’s be honest, we can always use an extra dozen eggs during those holidays where you are cooking up a storm. This helps establish a relationship with our neighbors and helps us practice “the neighborly way.”
4. Cook Those Eggs
Some other ways we use up our plethora of eggs is by making recipes that incorporate multiple eggs. Some recipes include:
Angel Food Cake
Amish Egg Noodles
Custards and puddings
Homemade ice cream
When I asked some Ready Nutrition readers what ways they use their eggs up, some of their responses were:
”I have successfully stored 30 dozen in water glass without refrigeration in a fermentation crock for a year. Mostly I boil them up and feed them back to the chickens mashed with the shells in the winter. They like the warm breakfast. Otherwise we do tend to eat a lot of egg dishes like frittatas, quiches and casseroles.”
“Dehydrated, and stored for later. 2 dozen eggs, cracked, whipped and scrambled, and cook well done. 10 hours in the big dehydrator until complete, then ground fine in the ninja.”
“Eggs rubbed in mineral oil will store at room temperature for longer periods of time.”
“Omelettes, casseroles, frittatas, quiche, egg salad…..deviled eggs, hard boil, breakfast burritos…”
“Donate to a local food pantry to help those in need.”
“ Always make a pound cake….6 eggs required. You could make in loafs, freeze and give as gifts.”
My family’s current path in life is sustainability. Adding chickens to our small farm has been a great way to save money, use chickens bi-products (meat, eggs, feces as garden conditioners, bones for broth, etc.) and practice sustainability. Our 17 hens are very happy and healthy chickens. And, when they’re happy, their egg supplies increase. This, in turn helps our family stay healthy.
Make the best use of your egg supplies. Remember, that the egg shells can be added to the garden, compost pile, or worm farm to turn into rich soil conditioners.
What ways have you used eggs when your hens have over supplied?