So it’s almost time to hunt for eggs. Are you type of bunny that hides the eggs the night before? Or do you follow the rules and leave eggs out of the refrigerator for no longer than 2 hours? I have to admit I haven’t followed the two hour rule. It’s less of a dilemma now, I don’t think Katie and Andrew believe in the Easter Bunny anymore, if we are all together and I’m hiding eggs, I really don’t have to worry that I’ll get caught in the act and they will figure out that the bunny is really Mom or Dad. Katie hasn’t been home the last couple of Easters so Andrew has had to hunt for eggs on his own, the eggs he seemed to most enjoy finding were the plastic eggs that had dollar bills tucked inside. For those of you who know Andrew that should come as no surprise.
Anyway, I thought I’d do a little research about eggs and egg safety and here’s what I found:
The size of eggs is based on the weight not the size or dimension. For example, jumbo eggs must weight a minimum of 30 ounces per dozen and medium eggs have to weigh a minimum of 21 ounces.
When chickens lay eggs (we’re talking hens here) a protective coating is put on the outside of the egg by the hen, I took this to mean, it happens as the hen lays the egg, I don’t think the hen has a little spray bottle of protective coating. So when eggs are “washed” at the plant, a special detergent is used and the hen’s protective coating is replaced by a thin spray coating of mineral oil. I’m guessing the eggs I sometimes buy at farm markets may not have been sprayed with mineral oil. I’ll be checking on that.
So, here was the surprise for me, if you hard boil eggs, they should be eaten within a week. Once an egg has been boiled its protective coating (either hen applied or hen house applied) is gone. The pores of the shell are unprotected and bacteria can enter more easily.
Don’t let your eggs sweat. Here’s the reason, if you take your cold eggs out of the refrigerator and let them sit on the counter in a warm kitchen for a few hours, they’ll sweat and moisture promotes bacteria.
Older is better for cooking hard boiled eggs. The fresher an egg is, the more difficult it will be to peel when hard boiled. The air cell in an egg gets bigger the longer a raw egg is stored. The air cell is found at the large end of the shell. As an egg ages, the egg itself contracts and the air space expands, making it easier to peel once it’s hard boiled.
Don’t keep eggs in the door of the refrigerator. Generally the door is the warmest area in the frig.
Cloudy egg whites mean the egg is fresh, a clear white means the egg is on its way to becoming a senior citizen.
A green ring on the outside of the yolk is OK. It means the egg was either overcooked or there’s a lot of iron in the cooking water.
When you find blood spots in an egg it is caused by a rupture of a small blood vessel in the yolk ovulation, perfectly OK to eat this egg
A hen can lay an egg about every 25 hours
To protect yourself from salmonella bacteria, the bacteria we worry about with eggs, make sure you always cook eggs until the yolks and whites are firm and avoid tasting raw cookie dough or cake batter with eggs. (I’m not very good at following these 2)
So here’s a recipe that’s pretty, delicious and a little bit healthier than most deviled eggs. They are delicious without being pink too, so if you don’t want to wait the 24 hours to have pink eggs, you will still enjoy these.
Pretty in pink deviled eggs
Liquid from a 16 ounce can of beets
¼ cup cider vinegar
12 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled
¼ cup plain non fat yogurt
2 tablespoons low fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
2 tablespoons finely chopped capers
1/2 cup finely chopped radishes
½ teaspoon salt
Alfalfa sprouts to garnish, optional
Peel eggs and place in leak proof container with lid. Pour liquid from canned beets and vinegar over eggs, add water to completely cover eggs. Refrigerate eggs in beet liquid for 24 hours. Shake or stir eggs several times to make sure color is absorbed evenly onto eggs. If eggs are tightly packed into container the liquid may not soak in.
After 24 hours remove eggs from liquid, pat dry and slice lengthwise and scoop yolks out of eggs and transfer to mixing bowl. Mash the yolks with a fork. Mix in mayo, yogurt and mustard. Mix in chives, radishes and capers. Garnish with sprouts.