Saturday, January 17

What to DO With All These Eggs? Need Ideas!

I live in a small town. We have no health food stores. In fact, since the local expansion to Super-Walmart, we now have very little else; other grocers in the city closed down not long after S-WM made their mark. There is a teeeny grocer a few doors down from me, fortunately, but that's it.

So on the internet, people are always waxing on about organic this and that. I laugh. Ha ha! Like I'm going to find organic stuff ANYWHERE short of driving an hour up Interstate 44, over the state line and into Joplin Missouri, a relatively large city that locally appears to famous for an interesting combination of things, such as "having the only halfway real (if mostly chain) restaurants in 100 miles" and "having the largest gay/lesbian population in the Midwest" and "having actual health food stores and metaphysical bookstores."

(How the middle one got in there I don't know, but I attribute some relation to things like the first and last to it. Some degree of 'thinking outside the box' like health food stores and metaphysics does seem to parallel that culture, if my coworkers, based in San Francisco, are any clue.)

So when I find something in Wal-Mart that is organic -- rare, but it does exist -- it costs a small fortune. Too much for a single mom to easily splurge on without feeling more guilty about the money than about the non-organic butter.

So Regina Wilshire's advice to me previously had included really trying to find organic sources of eggs, butter, etc. in particular (high-fat foods). (I guess since toxins store in fat, this probably makes sense.)

One day I was standing in Wal-Mart pondering eggs. This had become a really major philosophical endeavor. There were various designations on eggs. Free range? Organic? Omega-3? I read the boxes carefully. It seemed to me that the ones most pushing how gloriously healthy the eggs and chickens were, had a rather narrow parameter for that. In my head I imagined some employee in muck-boots walking past chicken cages holding out a polaroid in front of the bars of a field under the blue sky, and this qualifying them as 'free range' -- "they saw field and fresh air daily!" or something.

While pondering deeply, some woman nearly ran her cart into me. I was not distracted from the important task of deciding whether ANY of the eggs were worth the substantial price more than "plain" eggs though, and I pondered without interruption, until my stepmother said, "HEY!" and broke my trance.

"Good grief! Must be FASCINATING reading," she observed, as I stood with two cartons of eggs in my hands.

"Which is better?" I asked. "And why do they all cost so insanely much? Does it really cost that much more to NOT torture chickens for eggs?"

She shrugged. "I have no idea. I buy the Omega-3 because they're healthier."

I pondered whether I should buy the free-range because I want animals to be treated well. But reading the fine print bothered me. I finally gave up altogether, after another look at the prices, and bought the typical eggs.

I was reading Craigslist online later on and what should I see, but an ad for organic eggs from someone with chickens. Now, it's not very near me, but I was going to the city at least sometimes back then (before my car died, sigh!) so it was an interesting chance. I worked out a visit, and I went to see the fellow.

He's an old navy guy, long retired, permanently on oxygen, living alone in a trailer house out in the middle of nowhere, on about 5-10 acres. As my kid and I walked toward the house, several of the stars of this show came to see us, clucking and fluffing and pecking in the grass and dirt. In the grass leading to a big field next to the house, I saw a duck waddling around.

The son of the fellow living there said, "My dad opens the barn door in the morning and they follow him out, walk around all day in the field and around the property, and in the evening they follow him back in again. He has corn in the barn in case they are still hungry, so they do eat that grain, but they also eat lots of bugs and things like that. The eggs range from off-white to darkest brown."

He was asking $1/dozen. Now given the eggs in the store are more than that, and they are crap comparatively, that didn't seem fair to me. I told him I'd pay him $2/dozen. And a month ago, seeing how the prices had gone up for eggs in the stores, I started paying him $3/dozen. If he were selling them IN a store he could get more than that. I am not averse to the price. They're good stuff. AND in spring through early fall, he has (unfertilized) DUCK eggs too! They're light green, large and awesome.

Every two weeks I buy whatever he has. This is in part because I know he needs the money, and this way he doesn't have to worry about finding someone else to sell to. Usually he was getting about 3-4 dozen a week, and the kid and I on lowcarb can go through a dozen a day between us. But my car blew a headgasket that is not fixable, I haven't money for another car, which has made it hard for me to get to him. He has driven out to me and I pay him extra for that. And I haven't been eating very many eggs in some time.

The eggs last a LONG time. WAY longer than I've ever seen a store egg last.

So today I bought what he had, which went back to end of December since I hadn't had a car to get to him (his son brought them to me).

Look at this picture. This is what I had in my fridge when he came. IN ADDITION to THREE DOZEN I had in a pan on the stove boiling.

To which I have now added TWELVE AND A HALF DOZEN MORE!

(No comments about my PROCESSED FOOD refrigerator there -- it doesn't always look like that, I swear. ;-))

OK, so I have several dozen in the drawer, 12.5 dozen in the fridge, and 3 dozen boiled. I can probably give away 6 dozen of the new ones to family. But that still leaves me with like 12 dozen left!

What the heck do I DO with all these eggs?? I mean it's only humanly possible to eat so many eggs at once!

Idea #1: I've decided I'll get some more yogurt and half&half, I have lots of frozen berries, and I will make more fruity-shakes with a little protein powder and a few eggs -- I could go through a few like that daily.

Idea #2: Since I just got my new container of organic non-hydrogenated palm shortening, I can have fried eggs. If I make a few strips of bacon, and then add some shortening, it's awesome for bacon-grease-fried-eggs... yum. OK I can go through a few like that daily.

Idea #3: No. I'm so sick of scrambled eggs I could vomit. So that's out.

Idea #4: I'm thinking if I made a quiche (or three??) that had onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, cheese and herbs -- lots of them -- I could freeze that, right? I've only kept those in storage containers in the fridge and nuked them. Do eggs freeze??

Idea #5: Deviled eggs. I can only eat so many of those though, and the kid doesn't like the white part so they're wasted, so not that one.

Idea #6: Egg salad. I can do a little of that, but we can only eat so much of that and it's a little carby and VERY caloric thanks to the mayo. Can you freeze egg salad??

What else?? Do you guys have ideas for what I can do to USE THESE UP in a way that maybe stores them for the future -- or at least gives me some way to ingest them I'm not sick of?

(If I chopped up the boiled eggs and dehydrated them, then what? Could I use the powdered eggs in some way??)

PJ
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17 comments:

Shelly said...

What a bounty! I've made egg "muffins" with the eggs and cottage cheese and veggies. I don't have the recipe handy, but I found it online. They freeze very well and heat up in a minute for a quick breakfast or snack.

kamafood said...

Gah! I'd faint if I saw organic eggs around here for $1 or even $2 per dozen. Then I'd buy them all immediately. You're right to wonder about how organic or cage-free those eggs in Wal-Mart really are. They might be, but it's very easy to manipulate health food terms. You really have to research the company. Your farmer sounds like gold.

I have dehydrated eggs - they have a very odd texture when rehydrated, but they aren't bad and they make good emergency food. If I had that many eggs, I'd do what Shelly above said and make tons of flax muffins, then freeze them.

I'm also extremely fond of this recipe: http://www.eggsaladgourmet.com/smoked_salmon_egg_salad.html (Assuming you like salmon)

Anonymous said...

Love your blog. I'm trying to get motivated to get back to low carbing myself. Strangely enough, you can freeze the eggs. I had no idea you could do this but saw this idea on another blog of a couple who has their own chickens. She has no trouble cooking with them in all the ways she uses fresh eggs.

http://whatscookingamerica.net/Eggs/FreezingEgg.htm

Molly in Georgia

PJ said...

Egg muffins -- good idea!!

I actually don't like salmon but I bet someone reading this blog does so it was worth mentioning. :-)

You can freeze raw eggs, wow - who knew?? I'm probably going to do some of those.

I wish I could make an angel food cake with them but that isn't lowcarb LOL.

Anonymous said...

Coconut flour muffins will probably freeze. Sara used to make some egg muffin thing that froze well. Both those can be well flavored to disguise their egg base.

Good grab and go food for Ry.

I modified a recipe for dairy free eggnog that would practically be a meal with a few more eggs and you can use all a/s to reduce the carbs. Its posted here: http://coloradospringsrocks.wordpress.com/2008/12/26/eggnog-success/

Pumpkin custard can be made using 1 more egg than called for on the can and subbing coconut milk for the evaporated and a/s. Pumpkin is both low carb and nutritious. I like it for breakfast.

Coconut almond cookies freeze beautifully.

Cholula sauce really alleviates the tedium of scrambled eggs.

We can go through 3 doz in a week without even trying.

bats

Anonymous said...

You could make egg custard for the sweet tooth that's also really healthy and chockfull of eggs, so it will substitute as a meal.

As far as freezing eggs, my mom uses ice cube trays when she has leftover separated eggs, then just pop them into a ziploc bag in the freezer. They defrost in seconds when submerged in hot water. Since you can freeze both the yolks and the whites separately, I cant see anything that would prevent them from being frozen together?

Good luck.

gharkness said...

Quiche freezes, yes. Egg salad - NO! You don't want to freeze anything with any significant amount of mayo in it. (Where are you getting the carbs in egg salad? I just use eggs and mayo - OK maybe I don't have any imagination, but that's what my mom used to make for me, so I like it, and no carbs to speak of at all).

Flax bread uses lots of eggs. PLUS I just made a wonderful french toast casserole this morning: total usage of eggs: 5 for the flaxbread and 8 for the casserole. And it is SO GOOD! Recipe based on Laura Dolson's flax bread at about.com.

nonegiven said...

If I had that wide of a choice, I'd pick free range over organic or omega 3. Omega 3 means they feed the chickens grain with flax, organic means they feed the chickens organic grain. Free range means the chickens actually have access to some food other than grain. Recently I've been paying $1.25 for a dozen medium eggs at the store, last year for a while they were more like $2.50 because some egg farm where the store got their eggs had a fire burn down a barn full of layers. (I'm also in OK.)

In the winter I usually eat close to 3 dozen eggs per week just for frying for breakfast. In the summer time I drink more protein shakes for breakfast but not when it's cold. I love deviled eggs, I don't think I've ever made egg salad but I make various meat salads with eggs in it. I use well drained dill relish or no sugar added sweet relish and mayo with the chopped meat and egg. I could use onion but raw onion gives me a tummy ache so I don't. You can't freeze that, I've never tried freezing it without the mayo, that might work. I make meatloaf that has 3 eggs and shredded cheese in it and freeze it in slices so I can nuke some when I want it. All low carb: Pumpkin pie - 4 eggs, Myra's blueberry muffin's - 5 eggs, cheesecake - 4 eggs would all freeze, I think. Lately I've been making meringue cookies with egg whites. I saved up the egg whites in the freezer in a container, they whipped up fine after I thawed them. I'm thinking I could eat two eggs plus 2 yolks instead of 3 whole eggs fried so I have a steady supply of whites for that. I have never tried making quiche, I don't think I've ever even tasted any but I will try making the egg, sausage and cheese breakfast muffins I've heard about various places sometime when I get a round tuit. I've heard you should use a silicone pan for those.

My DH, isn't low carb but he needs something for breakfast he can nuke. I make biscuits, sausage patties and cheese omelets and freeze breakfast sandwiches with one biscuit, one sausage patty and half an omelet, that might work with an oopsie roll or Laura Dolan's flax bread instead of biscuits.

I think boiled eggs last a long time in the fridge as long as the shell isn't broken and if you want to use raw eggs in a shake or smoothie you just need to check carefully for cracks and wash the shell before you crack it. I think Dr M D Eades wrote about that in her blog or it might have been her husband when passing along a recipe.

Vikki said...

If you beat them together you can freeze egg just as is. Egg whites freeze perfectly alone. If freezing egg yokes add a pinch of salt and beat a little.

If you have favorite quiche recipes, just mix them up pour in a freezer bag and freeze flat. Once frozen you can stand them up on end so they don't take up a lot of room in your freezer. Then just thaw and pour in your quiche or pie plate and bake as usual.

Custards also freeze ok. So beat up a dozen or so, add your cream and seasonings pour in freezer bags just like the quiches. You can use the custard to make baked french toast with flaxbread or other low carb breads.

I sure wish I could find a deal like that. I'm on a fixed income and have to go with the regular stuff.

btw, the reason they last so long is that the eggs we get in the grocery store are already a month old. Just thought you might want to know.

Enjoy your windfall.
Vikki

FIT LIL FIDDLE said...

Eggs freeze fine if you whip them a bit with a fork and add a pinch of salt. We did it all the time when we had our own chicks!

Marnae said...

We have chickens and lots of eggs, so every few days I make a low carb angelfood cake using almond flour or protein powder and splenda with the egg whites. I found the recipe online and it's wonderful and easy. Then I use the yolks to make bavarian cream to put on the slices of cake. It's really fabulous and very low carb.

Twisted Cinderella said...

I like a low carb egg "danish" where you combine a little cream cheese, splenda and egg and microwave it for a few minutes. It is really yummy!

Emla said...

Hi, just found this page with google and I didn´t take the time to read the whole post, just wanted to give a tip for you´re egg-question. I just finished my low carb breakfast and it´s so tasty to boil some eggs (not too hard, they have to be a bit creamy inside) and shop them and mix with some majjo and cottage cheese.
Regards /Emelie, sweden.

FIT LIL FIDDLE said...

Marnae~ I'd love that recipe!!

Janice said...

Try dipping hard boiled eggs in low sodium soy sauce instead of salt or mix in some wasabi(Japanese horseradish) and soy sauce for a different taste. Also I make egg salad with some chopped up green olives(omit the salt in this dish, olives are salty enough). Very tasty.

Dick said...

I love to throw them at my bosses house in the middle of the night! Just kidding! You have touched on just about all of the things I like to do with eggs except a couple I can think of. I love deviled eggs but they are labor intensive. I always keep fresh hard boiled on hand for salads, egg drop soup is good with left over white chicken and a tidge of curry. You can use them as a binder in casseroles that bake at 350 or higher. I love chicken or tuna salad with hard boiled eggs, over medium on top of a hamburger (no bun)and if you are tired of the same old scrambled eggs add just a teaspoon to two eggs of mayo for really smooth scrambled. Also get your pan really hot first and use just a little butter to coat the pan before adding the eggs but be careful not to burn the butter.

As for organics - I don't know how old you are but I have been eating regular eggs all my life (59 now) and I would be afraid to go organic. I have spent my whole life building up resistance antibodies to non-organic and I'm afraid now if I were to change I would be suseptable to new bacteria.

You already know how all these new sanitizing products, anti-bacterial wipes hand soaps, etc is causing new strains of bacteria to emerge, strains we have not seen nor are resistant to. I have the same concern about organics. Too expensive for one thing and just how do you tell a real organic veggie from a non-organic one. We have to trust the grocer on this one but what a nice little profit someone could make selling non-organic foods as organic. I just wash everything thoroughly and keep the prep area clean of other foods that can contaminate. Good luck with your egg dillema.

Anonymous said...

i use eggs in a protein shake. 3 eggs/1 ou cream cheese [or could use heavy cream]/vanilla/splenda can add several fresh strawberries to it and couple cubes ice are optional-place in blender....you'll never know you consumed an egg! THAT'S THE POINT, RIGHT? it's a nice breakfast or snack also.