Tag Archive for eggs

Hard Boiled, Farm Fresh Eggs

  
“Don’t try hard boiling them.”

“You can’t hard boil fresh eggs.”

“Fresh eggs need to sit at least a month before you can hard boil them”

My son’s favorite type of egg is hard boiled. Egg salad sandwiches are a staple in this house. Not to mention hard boiled eggs make a great baby toy (with supervision, of course). 

I can’t help but chuckle when people tell me you can’t hard boil eggs. I’ve never had an issue with hard boiling eggs. That might be because I was taught by my mom, who was taught by her mom, who….well, you get the idea. The point is that I didn’t learn how to boil eggs from a cook book but from family teaching one generation after the next, meaning I was taught how to boil fresh eggs without realizing it, where as recipie books teach how to boil store bought eggs that are at least a month old. 

“Enough gabbing! How do you boil the damn eggs?”

1. This might seem a bit obvious, but make sure you look over and clean the eggs that you need to. Farm fresh eggs may have some chicken poop or shavings attached. It’s completely normal, but you don’t really want to be eating that. 

2. Line the bottom of whatever pan you’re using with eggs and then fill two inches above the eggs with cold water. The water level is important. You’ll be boiling your eggs for a while and don’t want to have your pot run dry. 

3. Turn the water to high and walk off, checking it ever my few minutes. Don’t sit there and wait for it. A watched pot never boils. ;-)

4. Once the water is at a rip-roarin’ boil, put the timer on for 20-30 minutes. Now WALK AWAY but stay in earshot of the timer. Yes, you keep the burner on high. Yes, I said 20-30 minutes. 

  

5. When the timer goes off, check them. How do you know if their done? You’ll have one or two eggs with cracked shells. That’s your signal. 

6. Drain the pot or move the eggs to another non-plastic container. The eggs are still super hot and have the potential to melt plastic. Fill the container with enough cold water to cover the eggs. 

7. Quick cool the eggs. This can be done multiple ways. You can keep draining and refreshing the container with cold water. I’ve had success putting the container in the freezer. Or, if it’s cold out – sub 40F – stick them, pot and all outside. I’ve also heard of old timers putting individual eggs in snowbanks. (I don’t recommend doing this with white eggs.)

  
To shell the eggs, I suggest using a spoon or other implement (I use my wedding ring) to tap around the shell until you find a spot where the shell easily cracks inward. That’s where an air pocket stationed itself while the eggs boiled. If you start shelling from this point, things go easier than if you randomly pick a spot. Another trick I’ve heard, but have never tried, is to add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water. 
Enjoy those eggs and let me know how things work out!

Hatch #1

This past Sunday, the 14th, seven eggs went into the incubator. I candled them yesterday, on day three, and all seven have veins! I am beyond excited! While this development may not be constant and we may lose some throughout the incubating period, it’s exciting to know our boys are doing their duty. Here’s to the nail biting wait of the next candling session on day ten. 

Fall is here!

IMG_0542

Lots of exciting things have been happening around this homestead, but as is the case, it’s been leaving for very little time to write in this blog. So here’s a lovely picture of our new collection of eggs! At least two, possibly all three, of our Rhode Island Reds are laying. The Barred Rock might be as well, but it’s a bit difficult to tell with how she’s been acting.

Looking forward to sharing all the projects, goods, and info with you!

We’re Expecting

Chicks_1_2013

That’s right. Tonight we’ll be bringing home octoplets, if all goes smoothly. We decided that a good starter meat/layer combo for us would be speckled sussexes. They’re known to be very docile, which is great since this will be our first time raising them from chickhood. The game plan is to keep one, possibly two, for layers and have the rest butchered this fall. Here’s hoping my emotions don’t get too tangled up in these birds. It’s easy for others to say “don’t get attached” where they’re not the ones raising them.

Chickens, GMOs, and Doing What We Can

As we try to take more steps in becoming self-sufficient/local-sufficient homesteaders, one of the ideas on our plate for this year is raising chickens to have slaughtered by a local butcher. As much as we would love to raise the chicks all organic there is a huge problem: organic feed is super expensive and would really make it so raising these birds would not be feasible. So, unfortunately, they will be getting a run of the mill grain from our feed supplier that is not certified organic. However, these boys and girls will have much more love, attention, and freedom than any chicken you could buy at the grocer’s. They will have fresh air, room to run, and a place to sleep that isn’t a 1ft x 2ft battery cage with five other roommates.

Given the most recent, and disturbing, news that the FDA is right on the horizon to approving genetically modified salmon, I feel that we’re in an even bigger time crunch than before to set our priorities straight and eat even more local and home grown as possible. The idea of eating an animal that is a new species, created by science, and the repercussions on both human and Gaian health we have no idea about is something out of a nightmare! How anyone could see this as acceptable is beyond the realm of this family’s ability to understand. It looks like, unless we can be promised that our fish is non-genetically altered, we’ll have to either take up fishing or find that local as well. For now, I’ll be picking the brains at the local Hannaford to see as to what the plan is for if and when the GMO salmon hits the market.

In the meanwhile, let’s talk chickens.

Right now we’re trying to figure out what breed we want to order as a dual purpose bird. Our layers are all roughly around two years old. (These girls will live out the rest of their lives as the “old ladies” as we originally got them with the idea of them being pets, not being eaten later….or at least I did. Joe says differently.) So, depending on what it looks like we’ll have for room, we’ll be keeping one or two of the birds that we get specifically for laying. The others will be freezer birds. The only stipulation that Joe has placed on the chickens is that he prefers a pea comb. Well, that doesn’t leave us many options – pretty much just some more Aracunas. However, here are soem of the single-comb varieties that we’re debating on. (All photos from mypetchicken.com.)

Speckled Sussex

Chentecler

Delaware


Another idea would be to order two of what we want for layers, and the rest (probably six more) as a meat only bird.

Any ideas?