Fresh Eggs…

There is a sign for eggs pointing down a dirt road.

Chicken and duck eggs are for sale.

One evening as twilight was nudging the day sky we turned off the main road and drove down to investigate.

There were roosters in the yard, among other things,


The family had just returned from vacation and a friend had picked up eggs for her, about 70 a day, and they were piled in egg crates all along the kitchen counters, scores of them.

She was cooking dinner but stopped to fill her sink with water and wash our dozen eggs.

I wanted to tell her not to bother, I like the  straw and tiny breast feathers that add character to the cacklefruit and offer further proof they are free range!

She is waiting for her USDA license so has to do everything by the book.  The fact that her husband, a Hendry County police officer, was standing in the living room watching ‘America’s Most Wanted’ kept us all law-abiding citizens late that afternoon.

She told me eggs will keep longer unwashed,


they have a cuticle that protects the inside from the outside.

Without the bloom she was carefully washing off for me in hot water bacteria seeps in through the porous shell and the egg suffers and rots sooner than it needs to.

Washed, they keep for about 45 days in the fridge.

Unwashed they keep very well on the counter.

I remarked that I buy my eggs in England off the shelf,

“That’s because they don’t wash eggs in Europe,” she said.

Sure enough I looked it up and she is so very right!

In Europe, Grade A eggs are not washed. According to the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service:

“This practice is a result of research done in the early 1900s that indicated washing eggs before storage resulted in unpredictable and sometimes deleterious results. However, the length of wash time, cleanliness and temperature of the water and the proper use of sanitizers varied widely in these studies.
Older egg production books do not recommend washing eggs at all. In the past, it was important to protect the cuticle because refrigeration was not always possible.”

My son’s chickens,


Light Brown Leghorns and Barred Plymouth Rocks, have just started laying eggs in his tomato patch!

He sent me a photo of two in his hand,


I commented,

“Looks like you have one egg short of an omelet.” to which he replied,

“About three short, these are tiny!”

He won’t have to worry about how long they keep, as far as I can tell, he’s eating them as quickly they’re laying them!


“Isn’t the point of having chickens to eat their eggs?” he asked.

Of course!

I like looking at mine all gathered together at once, in this instance in a hand crafted palm bowl Hubs made,


many more than a handful, not strictly a clutch and most definitely enough for an omlete and a very moist Bakewell tart!



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Larry Cheek

2014-08-22 08:48:48 Reply

You two are amazing!

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