My family and I live on an acreage just south of Traer. We are not farmers, but we do live on an old farmstead. We have a chicken coop, a hog shed, and a corn crib on this property. My husband, Jeremy, would have loved a barn, but the people that owned it originally buried the barn many years ago. With all these out buildings, Jeremy decided that we should have some livestock. Our first purchase were meat production chickens, and we have expanded from there with hogs and laying hens.
I wasn’t excited about any of this. I was from the country, but not farm country. Jeremy grew up on a working farm, which still has grass-fed organic cows being raised on it today. Farming is in his blood. And since I love him and signed up for this when I married him (there must have been some kind of clause in our marriage agreement that I didn’t read because I was so in love that it didn’t matter!), I have now become a part-time farmer’s wife.
Are Your Eggs Fresh?
Now that you know how we came around to being chicken farmers (HA!), I would like to take some time to explain how to know if they are fresh or not. I’ve always been told that you must eat eggs from the store within the date on the box (which is about two weeks or so), but farm fresh eggs last much longer.
But how can you tell if they are fresh or not if they have no date on their shell? (Insert laughing smiley face here!) The reason you would want to know if your eggs are fresh or not is because some hens don’t always lay their eggs in the nice nesting boxes your husband spent hours building for them. Hence, the fresh egg test. There are several out there, but these are the two that I have found work for us.
1. The Smell Test:
The best way to tell if an egg is fresh: crack it open and smell it! If it smells rotten or funny, throw it out.
Tip: Always make sure you crack each egg into a bowl by itself. If you crack a rotten egg into your cookie dough or mix, it will ruin your whole batch!
2. The Water Test:
If an egg is at the bottom of a container of water, the egg is considered fresh. Eggs that are standing up on one end are getting older, but considered still safe to eat. If an egg is floating, it is past its prime freshness, but could still be edible. That is why you need to do a smell test. I would personally use up all the eggs that floated first.
How to get the PERFECT boiled egg
I have tried for YEARS to figured out how to make the PERFECT boiled egg. I just recently figured it out! First off, make sure the eggs are a good week to two weeks old. I have tried with fresh eggs, but they have always turned out terrible. Here is how it’s done:
- Put the eggs in one layer in the bottom of a large pot and put in just enough COLD water that it covers the top of the eggs.
- Place the pot on the stove and turn the burner on high. When the water is at a hard boil, cover the eggs with a lid, turn on a timer for 15 mins, and shut the burner off.
- Get a big enough bowl to dump the hot eggs in and fill it with ice halfway up. When the timer goes off for the eggs, drain the hot water off, dump the eggs on top of the ice in the bowl, and cover with cold water.
- Start to peel the eggs one by one, making sure to rinse them after you get the shell off. The shell should just slip right off.
- Put them in a lidded container with a paper towel in the bottom to help dry up the moisture. Keep them in the fridge so they can cool down more, and eat these within the week.
(Remember: everyone’s stoves are different and cooking times can vary.)
Deviled Eggs are one of my favorite things to eat during the holidays, but I’m always a little leery, because there are so many different recipes out there, and I’m kind of picky when it comes to deviled eggs. First of all, you can make these however you like. My family’s favorite is my Classic Deviled egg. It consists of mayo, ground mustard, vinegar, and the yolk of a boiled egg. They are sooooo good. (You can find some of my favorite egg recipes at the bottom of this post.)
Here are a few hints from me when making your deviled eggs.
- Always clean your knife between cutting each egg in half. It will make the process go smoother without a bunch of the yolk sticking to the knife.
- Use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to beat up those egg yolks with the mayo, mustard, and vinegar. It gets the middle nice and creamy.
- To make your own piping bag, put a zip-lock bag into a cup and pull the edges of the bag over the cup. Then fill with the yolk mix. When it’s ¾ full, seal the bag, snip off the end, and pipe into the halved egg. You don’t need a fancy piping bag, but you could always use one to make the egg look prettier.
Here is my own recipe for eggs! Enjoy!
Amber’s Deviled Eggs
1 dozen eggs
6 Tablespoons Mayo
1 teaspoon dry yellow mustard
1 teaspoon vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
Ground pepper to taste
Paprika to sprinkle on top last
Any other garnishments you’d like.
(Side note, I don’t really use measurements anymore, I just go with it!)
- Make boiled eggs. (See process above.) Chill.
- Cut eggs in half and push the yolk out into your mixing bowl.
Add mayo, mustard, vinegar, pepper, and salt to yolks. Beat on high till smooth.
- Put yolk mix into a ziplock bag and cut the corner. Pipe into halved eggs.
- Sprinkle with paprika and garnish with any other toppings, such as an olive or a slice of banana pepper. (My brother-in-law gets credit for that idea–it’s delicious!)
Remember, hard boiled eggs are great source of protein and are high in Vitamin B-12, A, & D. Hard boiled eggs are good plain or mashed up with a dash of salt and a splash of mustard too!