Monday, May 16, 2016

Eggs, To Refrigerate or not to Refrigerate?


I should call this, "A Week in the Life of"...or "Photo Gallery." 

First, though, the chicken egg question. Whether we grow chickens or buy store eggs most of us have heard this question: "Should we refrigerate eggs?"
Well, should we?
I have found the answer. It's Yes and No.
When the eggs are washed. yes. Not washed? No.
A hen produces a cuticle—sometimes called a bloom—that covers her egg shell. The bloom protects the porous shell from losing moisture. The United States requires that eggs be washed, so they need to be refrigerated.  Europe  requires that eggs are not washed. The warm eggers say the eggs taste better, and that eggs ought to be warm for baking. (You know few people make buttery flaky croissants like the French. And they use raw milk as well.. Imagine.)

However, room-temperature eggs ought to be used within a week. Washed or unwashed, an egg will stay fresh in the refrigerator for three to five weeks.  One day out of the refrigerator equals about one week in. If the eggs are dirty, of course, wash them, if not let them be. (You can always rinse them before cooking.)


From My Hens...



Here’s a test to see if an egg is fresh. Put Two Tablespoons of salt into two cups of water. Place in the egg. If it sinks to the bottom and stays there it is fresh. If it floats from the bottom at an angle it is starting to age. If it floats throw it out.
Regarding bacterial invasion, studies say refrigerated or not, the results are the same. However—this is important:  Once refrigerated, do not leave an egg out of the refrigerator for more than two hours. It will sweat, allowing bacteria to penetrate the egg shell.
You know an egg shell is porous for it allows oxygen and carbon dioxide to pass through the shell for an incubating chick. If you have seen a chick hatching you might have noticed the network of capillaries on the inside of the shell--rather like a placenta for the chick.
The birthing process for a chick is long and arduous, taking hours, pecking, breathing, resting, finally breaking the shell, and wiggling out to dry and to rest. What a process. The complexity of it is mind-boggling. First, the chick breathes inside the shell, you know the air space inside the egg shell--that flat space of a boiled egg? That space holds air the chick breathes days before hatching, before he picks a hole in the shell, and can breathe outside air. Carbon dioxide build-up inside the shell jars the chick into action--I better get out of this shell quick.

Well, it’s been  a quiet week here on the farm*...except for the flowers laughing.
*[Farm: one city lot, two 5 x 5 foot raised vegetable beds, a lawn forward and back, two dogs, two cats, one daughter, one grandson, one husband,  one blog writer,  and three hens.
A farm? Not really. Besides my animals are pets, there’s a difference.]
From the Meadow 

We've been wondering what the white flowers blanketing fields are...
Meadow Foam 
The oils are used in beauty products.



Meadow Foam in vase

To the garden:
Strawberry leaf
I was so excited to see this I had to take a picture. Theis is a strawberry leaf, and normally in pictures we see water droplets from dew or rain. These droplets, the pearls around the periphery of the leaf, come from within the plant. It is called transportation. The plant is giving up water instead of taking it.


Chives


To the Forest...
"Mother's Day"
Forest floor. Wild Geraniums

Wild Iris




To the bonfire...
And finally a recipe for Mother's day: Two daughters, two grandsons, one son-in-law, one husband, one bonfire, one Christmas tree's final Harrah, some forest debris, marshmallows, and weiners.




El Yummo



Then today, Saturday
It's not so quiet, the rain on the car roof sounded like a Gatling gun. Sweet Pea and I were on our way to Puppy class but ended up postponing it because she has Kennel Cough. First Lafayette had it then Sweet Pea. Like kids, they pass around colds.  Thus, I am out at 10: 00 Saturday morning with my laptop, and found Starbucks to be hopping. People were standing in line, reading, using their computers. Eugenians do not let a little (or a lot) of rain keep them home. I should drive by Saturday Market to see how the Vendors are doing, swimming probably.

But hark, above the pinging of rain on the roof, I hear the melodious voices of flowers singing in the shower.

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