November 13, 2011

Freezing Eggs

A coworker of mine, who has three hens in her Portland backyard, shared a neat idea with me. A couple months ago, when the eggs were still plentiful, I was chatting with Chris about how unfortunate it is that we have so many eggs in the summer when it's too hot to bake and not enough eggs in the winter when I love to bake. Chris said, you should just freeze your eggs. Really?! Freeze them?! Chris assured me that as long as you don't try to fry them, it's the perfect way to save the summer supply. I didn't do it though. I didn't freeze any. I sold all our extra eggs.

Then, as I have been complaining about for weeks now, the chickens all molted and we ran out of eggs completely. Thankfully they are laying again but only one to two a day ... or so we thought.

Today Jeremy and I were doing some chores. We trimmed up sheep hooves. We added straw to the pole barn. Jeremy also raked up the hay that gets dropped as we carry squares to the sheep. All of sudden, from in the barn, Jeremy yelled "Momma, get in here!" Oh lord, what's wrong. I started imagining a rat's nest or dead raccoon. Jeremy said, as I walked in to the barn, "I was going to put the hay into the bin." The bin is where all the racked up hay goes, so it was a 3/4's full. "Check out what's in the bin."

I hesitated, not want to see anything gross. It wasn't gross. It was 13 eggs. 13!! Now, I had done a thorough sweep of the barn a few weeks back just to make sure we weren't missing any eggs. I'm sure I checked in the hay bins; well, pretty sure. I piled the eggs in my upturned sweatshirt and took them to the house.

One by one, I cracked them into small custard dishes. Checking each to make sure it was fresh enough to keep. Out of 13, only one had cloudy whites and an odd odor - that one went to the compost. Then I poured two eggs into each dish, put lids on and into the freezer then went. We'll see how well it works to freeze, thaw and then bake with the eggs. If it does work, I will make sure to freeze a couple dozen next summer so we don't run out in the winter.

Update - Freezing eggs totally works!  But the yolks have a strange consistency when frozen and thawed.  What works best, is if you whisk the yolks and whites together before freezing. Then pour into the small custard dishes and freeze.  One custard dish equals roughly two eggs.  The thawed eggs work great in baked goods and pies, but not scrambled or in an omelet due to the weird consistency.  You can't tell at all in baked goods.

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