Unless you raise chickens in your backyard, which I don't and I really wish I did, how do you know if your eggs are fresh? Although store bought eggs now have an expiration date stamped on the cartons, I continue to doubt mass suppliers of our food products.
Once I have picked up my eggs from the supermarket, I like to check to make sure the eggs are close to being as fresh as the date shown on the carton. This determines whether I need to use the eggs up faster than I first thought. If the eggs prove to be close to their prime, hard-boiling them or baking up a storm takes care of them quite quickly. Some say old eggs can be eaten without any ill effects .... others suggest feeding them to the pigs or tossing them. I believe it comes down to your own personal preference.
In appearance, fresh eggs are rough and chalky whereas old eggs are smooth and shiny. On the inside, fresh eggs will have a nice, plump yoke and the older ones will have a flat yoke and watery egg-white.
A quick test will also tell the tale. Fresh eggs will sink and stay horizontal on the bottom of a glass of water while an old egg will float.
If I decide to hard boil some of my eggs this is how I do it .... my fool proof way to the perfect hard boiled egg!
1. Place fresh eggs gently in an empty pot.
2. Fill the pot with enough cold tap water to cover the eggs completely by approximately one inch. Using hot water will crack the eggs when they are taken from the refrigerator.
3. Place the pot on the stove and turn heat to medium. If placed on high heat, the eggs could bounce around and break.
4. Add just a pinch of salt to the water. Doing this will ensure the eggs will be easier to peel.
5. Put on the lid to the pot and bring the water to a good, rolling boil. Then turn the heat off but leave the covered pot on the burner.
6. Let the pot sit as is for 10 - 15 minutes. Do not start the timer until the heat is turned off. Less than 10 minutes, the eggs will be runny and more than 15 minutes, the eggs will be discolored and could be stinky.
7. Now check to see if the eggs are hard boiled ..... test one by whirling it on a counter top. If the egg spins fast, it is hard boiled .... yes, it really does work. If it spins fast, place the eggs in cold, running tap water or ice water. This will stop the cooking process and will help to separate the egg from the shell.
There you have it! It works for me every single time. When I peel my egg, I always peel it under cold, running water. Now I think it's time to make some devilled eggs!
Remember to give your loved ones a hug!