Tools & Tips: Eggs

fresh farm eggs

fresh farm eggs

I’m up to my eyeballs in eggs. It’s not just the dozens we have been boiling and dying, but my eggshell seedling project means we have been doing a lot of scrambling, tossing over sautéed kale, frying them up sunny-side and whisking egg after egg to cake batters and banana bread.

Here are a few tips I’ve learned over the years when it comes to eggs:

Use fresh eggs for baking because the fresher your eggs, the more volume they create when whipped, making for moister, fluffier cakes and cookies. When baking, it also helps the end product to bring your eggs to room temperature first.

Use older eggs for hard boiling happiness. If your eggs are a little older they will peel easier because as the egg ages, little air pockets create space between the egg white and the shell.

water for eggs

If you need to peel a mass of eggs try this method: After boiling, scoop out cooked eggs, drain the hot water out the pan. Next, put the eggs back in the pan with some ice and cool water. Lastly, a little stress reliever—shake the hell out of the pan smashing the eggs and breaking the shells, then pour a glass of wine for yourself and peel with ease.

We are hyper vigilant about egg safety in this country, so I love going outside the U.S. and seeing eggs stored out on a counter in a warm grocery store. I still follow the standard of storing the eggs in the middle of the fridge where it’s coldest. I never use the designated egg area— that’s where I keep all my butter. Oh, but those slightly sketchy room temperature eggs give me a thrill and tempt me to rebel against our chilly methods.

I like to buy my eggs at the farmers market. But often I’m there with bags loaded and girls tugging on my dress and I worry the eggs will get smashed in the process. There are times when you really miss the stroller years where you had all those compartments for storage and a place to corral the kids for a while.

My second choice for egg buying is (surprise!) Trader Joe’s. You have a better chance of buying fresh ingredients in stores where there is a high turnover. Our TJ’s on Milpas is always packed and while the parking lot craziness sucks, it does mean you get good eggs. I like the cage free brown eggs.

You can tell if an egg is fresh if it has a thick white layer surrounding the yolk.  Also, if you put a raw egg in a bowl of water, if it’s fresh it will sink to the bottom. Fresh eggs can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks beyond their package date with significant quality loss.  Still, fresher is better.

So you’ve got the eggs, you’ve hardboiled and dyed them, now what to do? I’m planning on making these deviled eggs found on the always great Food 52.