I'm still trying to gain headway with my apple abundance. If you've been reading my blog, you know that I have made apple cider, apple coffee cake, apple pie filling, applesauce, and dehydrated apples over the course of several weekends. Today I dehydrated another batch. Still got more to go. A reader suggested making apple butter, which would make good Christmas gifts. I may still do that. I guess all I can do is to keep plodding along.
Along with an overage of apples, we get about 8-9 eggs a day. At least, that's the eggs that I find in the hen house. I occasionally find clutches of eggs in odd places, like under the tractor mower attachment. We let our chickens free range during the day, and then put them up at night. So, since we don't go through that many eggs on a daily basis, we have way too many. DH sells some to a coworker, and I have mentioned that I have eggs at work, but no one seems to want them. So, here we are with eggs coming out our ears. Not to mention that I have gotten very creative in the frig.
Finally, after 17 years, DD17 is eating eggs. But, only if they are hard boiled. So, if you raise chickens or are lucky enough to have access to fresh eggs, then you know how frustrating it is to hard boil a fresh egg. See, it just doesn't work. Why? Because the eggs are fresh and the yolk and white take up the whole inside of the egg. So when you hard boil them and then go and try to peel one, yeah, they don't peel. The white is still kind of attached to the shell. The egg will kind of have shell and white come off in grotesque chunks. Not the kind of egg you want on your deviled egg party tray this Christmas.
For the best hard boiled eggs, you need to age the eggs. I mean, they need to be hanging out in your frig for 4-5 weeks for the best results. And put them in the carton with the narrow end down. This way, some of the white evaporates through the pores of the egg. This leaves a little air pocket in the larger end of the egg. You can check to see if your eggs are ready for hard boiling by putting them in a pan of water. If they lay flat on their side, they are too fresh. If the large end floats up a tad bit, or really sticks up in the water, they are perfect. That means there is an air pocket. Now, if your egg totally floats, get rid of it! It has spoiled.
For perfect hard boiled eggs, put them in cold water and check that the big end stands up a bit in the water. Next, bring them to a boil. When the water boils, turn off the heat, but leave the pan on the burner. Set the timer for 16 min. When the time is up, immediately chill with ice water. You will find that your eggs will peel smoothly because that air pocket allows space between the white and shell. Your yolk will be fully cooked but will not have that nasty greenish-gray coloring around the yolk. That is from over cooking your eggs. I should mention that the 16 min. is for large to extra large eggs. If you have medium eggs, cook for 15. min. I have found that this method works for me every time, although, I do on occasion, get that one egg that just refuses to peel.