This week, the kids and I headed to Two Bear Farms, where Bruce Miller has over 250 chickens, all free range, organic and all natural. No hormones, chemicals or pesticides are ever used. Bruce gave us a tour of the property and we really enjoyed hanging out with the hens. It was pretty cool to see how big our chickens will be once they are layers. We have had our 9 chicks for 5 weeks so far, and they have already grown to 4 times the size they were when we first got them!
The coolest thing of the day at the farm was pulling the eggs right out from under the hens… and they were still warm. I am so excited for our fiture with fresh eggs everyday!!
Vivianna and Matteo with the chicks at a couple days old:
One sexy chick and her egg of the day at Two Bear Farms…
Brand new farm fresh eggs won’t peel easily. We tried the other day and it was a disaster. For the most success, 2 week old eggs or older work best. You can tell the day of the year the eggs were packaged by the 3 digit number on the side. All USDA inspected eggs have this numeric indication, which ranges from 001 (January 1), to 365 (December 31).
- As eggs age, the yolks flatten out and the whites become thin and watery. You can tell when you crack an egg into a hot pan if the egg is very fresh or not by checking the white. If it holds together tightly, it is very fresh. If the white thins spreads out and is thin, it is older (this does not mean unhealthy or bad, however). We eat older eggs all the time.
- A splash of white vinegar and a teaspoon or so of salt in the water may help with both coagulation of the albumen (the white) of any eggs that crack, keeping it together and making it less messy. Mark disagrees and actually makes fun of me for it, I’ve read it may be a wives tale, but I don’t really care. I do it anyway because it doesn’t hurt anything, and it makes sense to me. (I’ve also read scientific reports about protein denaturation and how the acids in vinegar).
- The color of eggs (white, brown, green) is just due to the breed of the chicken. Color has no significant bearing on the the flavor of the egg. So spend more money on the brown ones only if you like the fancy color better.
- Storing eggs on their side (lay the carton on its side in the refrigerator) if you want the yolks centered for deviled eggs.
- Spinning an egg on the counter will help if you can’t remember which ones you have already boiled. A raw egg will wobble like a weeble-wobble. A cooked egg will spin like a top.
- Claudine Pepin (her father is Jacques Pepin, so she learned from the best) recommends poking a hole in the base, the flatter part, of the egg with something thin and sharp like a needle There is an air pocket here and it is said this helps for peeling. Just make sure you lightly poke, don’t go all the way to the yolk, just through the shell into the membrane.
- Overcooked eggs result in a yolk with a green ring and whites that are very rubbery.
How to boil an egg perfectly…
- Place eggs in a pan with cold water. Cover eggs by at least an inch.
- bring water just to a boil over high heat.
- turn them way down, to a very light simmer for 10 minutes. (8 minutes will give you a softer yolk, 12 minutes will result in a very firm yolk)
- turn off the heat and remove, placing the eggs in ice water for about a minute. This will stop the cooking.
- either remove and roll each egg on the counter under your hand to crack all over, or pour off the water and vigorously shake the eggs in the pan to crack the shells.
- put them back in the ice water for 5 minutes to cool. The mistake we often make is to leave them at this step.
- they must be peeled now for perfect removal of the shell.
They will be cooked to a golden yellow, with tender yolks and whites (not rubbery)