Saturday, August 15, 2009

Eating the eggs

In my last post, I mentioned that we ate one of the eggs with a crack in it. Being novices to owners of egg laying hens, this seemed the right thing to do. I learned later that this probably wasn't such a good idea. Oops. At least none of us got sick!

Without being too graphic, chickens have one single hole, called a "vent", where everything comes out of (both eggs and poop). The egg thus comes into contact with chicken poop bacteria. While you aren't using the shell in your food, the shell does come into contact with your hands, the bowl (if you crack them over the edge of it), and possibly even some of the egg, as it slithers into your bowl or cooking pan.

Arguments rage over the proper way to sanitize eggs. Some say that you can wash them with cold water and a soft scrubby, some that you should use hot water and antibacterial soap or even bleach, and some say just wipe it off with a cloth. When an egg is laid by the hen, it comes with a protective layer on it to keep bacteria out. When you wash the egg, you are removing that protective layer. Most people agree that if you do wash the egg, you should do it just before eating it. So that's what I've been doing. I'm most comfortable with hot water and a small amount of dish soap.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Deliciosos Huevos

The 9th egg arrived today. 9 eggs in 10 days! All except number eight have been a very light uniform brown in color. Number eight, which I discovered cold this morning, was a rich, dark brown with speckles, which led us to the conclusion that it was from a different breed entirely than the ones we've received thus far. Three egg laying hens, that's exciting! Hopefully the other two will start feeling the urge soon, too.

We've been saving them up. Hadn't eaten a one yet. None of us wanted to deny the other the pleasure of eating the first egg(s) from our very own chickens, so we have been waiting until we have a suitable number to make a batch of scrambled eggs for all of us to share.

Number nine, picked out of the nest box minutes after being laid, we discovered had a crack in it. Well, this one had to be eaten right away! Daughter scrambled it up real quick (heck, it was still warm) just before we had to walk out the door. Another surprise, it had a double yolk! Although we each only had a few bites, they were delicious! I'm sure it was more the idea of it, but it seemed more flavorful than your usual egg. I'll wait until the next batch (this weekend) to see if the flavor really is better.