Farm-raised chickens eat grass, bugs, ants, and sometimes a bite or two of leftovers. Commercially grown chickens never see a blade of grass, a bug, sunshine or rain. Little did the farmer realize that because their chickens were not force fed all kinds of high protein feed, hormones and chemicals, their country eggs have much less cholesterol and are therefore healthier.
Freshness also makes eggs better-tasting, much like garden-grown versus store-bought tomatoes. Store eggs are considered “fresh” as long as they have been refrigerated and not older than a month and a half. It was not always easy for the farmer’s wife to determine the freshness of eggs. The easiest method was to break eggs one at a time in a small dish and observe for freshness, a method still used today. For boiling eggs a different method was used. Generally, eggs that were cracked or floated when they were being boiled were discarded. Fresh eggs are almost impossible to peel when hardboiled. The whites are pressed so hard against the shell that bits of the whites came off with it, so grandma would use eggs that were a few days old for boiling. Store-bought eggs have been in storage long enough for some evaporation of the whites to take place and the shell comes off easily. The air space at the top of the egg is bigger with older eggs because as the egg whites deteriorate a gas pocket is formed, which causes the boiled eggs to float.
I often wonder what grandma would think if she were alive today and would be served cake that looked more like white bread than her delicious golden-yellow sweets made with her fresh farm eggs.
Comments about Les Vieux Temps articles are always appreciated. Please call (337) 754-9980 or e-mail email@example.com