Saturday, 15 November 2008

Egg Advice - Mostly Good Advice

Egg Advice - Mostly Good AdviceEggs from your own chickens are simply the best! You know exactly where you stand in terms of how that egg was made. A daily fresh source, no chemicals and of course always tastes much better than shop or supermarket eggs; most people have to buy them.It was a sorry day when bylaws werre introduced stating that many urban areas in the UK are banned from keeping chickens, I think this may be something more to do with pushing sales of eggs from major producers more that environmental issues. Think of all the waste that would be saved if every family have chickens in their yard, but that' another story.

I have found so many tips of eggs, most of these tips are for eggs purchased from third parties. Although there are standards in the egg industry and having worked within the food chain industry, all is not as it sometimes makes out.

Egg Advice - Mostly Good Advice

Tips are given from many sources and sites some tips better than others. Additional comments are made alongside, but I take no responsibility or confess to being an egg expert other than my own long and considered experience from farming. I take the common sense route from that experience.

  • After removing the eggs from the refrigerator, use them immediately.
  • When baking, it's best to use medium to large eggs; extra-large eggs may cause cakes to fall when cooled.
  • Always use moderate heat and controlled cooking times for eggs if too high they will end up tough.
  • Put a tablespoon of vinegar to the water before poaching eggs helps keep the whites from spreading.
  • There is nothing wrong with eggs that have a blood spot on the yolk.
  • Don't eat cracked eggs or eggs that have been out of the refrigerator for more than two hours. (I think this tip is a bit too over the top!!)
  • Fresh eggs will sink at once in a bowl of salted water and lie at the bottom; a bad egg will float. The reason is there is less of an air pocket in fresh eggs older eggs will have dehydrated.
  • Brown eggs have thicker shells, this will make them a good choice for boiled eggs for the simply reason they don't crack as easily.
  • Mark older eggs with a pencil to reminder you to use them first so you always have fresh eggs on hand.
  • Egg Advice - Mostly Good Advice
  • To keep eggs as fresh as possible, always store them with the pointed end down in the box.
  • Look for the 'Lion' mark on the eggshells and egg box (UK only) - it shows that the eggs have been produced to the highest standards of food safety - (So they say!)
  • Buy eggs from a reputable retailer where they will should been transported and stored at the correct temperature (recommended at below 20°C.)
  • Keep eggs refrigerated after purchase.
  • Store eggs in their boxes as the eggs are porous keeping them away from strong-smelling foods.
  • Make sure you use eggs by the 'best before' date shown on the egg or box - for Lion Quality eggs, this guarantees that they are fresher than required by law. (Again the best before date to me is another way to get you to buy more, if they are stored correctly you can keep and use them well beyond the best before date.)
  • Wash hands before and after handling eggs.
  • Discard dirty or cracked eggs, (Not entirely in agreement, they can still be used as long as they are not stored for any length of time.)
  • Eat cooked egg dishes as soon as possible after cooking. (Don't burn you tongue!)
  • Adding a little soy sauce to the water when hard-boiling eggs will tint the shells and make it easier to tell them apart from the white raw ones. (Surely you will be eating them straight after cooking!)
Finally, I make my own mayonnaise, you just can't beat it (well actually you do have to beat it!)

The recipe is given here:

Homemade Mayonnaise

If you didn't already know, mayonnaise is full of preservatives if bought from a shop or supermarket. If you make your own, it will keep in the refrigerator for a up to a month.

Egg Advice - Mostly Good Advice 2-3 eggs
1-tablespoon mustard (Dijon type)
Oil (most types I use sunflower)
Lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
Freshly ground pepper

Place the egg yolks into a food processor and add the mustard, a little salt and pepper to taste. Then squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Next, process on low speed until it begins to run smooth. Very slowly add a trickle of oil with the processor running until the mixture turns into a creamy, smooth mayonnaise. Finally, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator - You will never go back to buying mayonnaise again.

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