Showing posts with label Eggs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eggs. Show all posts

Jul 15, 2017

More Egg Facts

Most eggs are not egg-shaped. Hummingbirds lay eggs that look like Tic Tacs, owls lay almost perfect spheres, and sandpipers lay almost conical eggs that end in a rounded point. Swift eggs are pointed, more like pine nuts than Tic Tacs. The most common shape, exemplified by a songbird called the graceful prinia, is more pointed than a chicken’s. Eggs of 1,400 bird species had measurements extracted from 50,000 photos. It revealed the left-field nature of chicken eggs.

Incidentally, if you dissolve an egg shell in acid, the naked egg will still retain its original shape due to the internal membranes.

Feb 3, 2017

Fluffy Eggs

A friend of mine, Jeff Flanagan passed along this quick scrambled egg tip. Instead of butter or spray for a pan coating, use a little olive oil.  Much fluffier eggs.

Jan 27, 2017

Wordology, Chalaza

When you crack an egg, there is the white albumen, the yolk, and that strange white string. It is called the chalaza, and its job is to hold the yolk in place in the center of the white. It is completely edible, but is sometimes removed during baking for aesthetic reasons.

More Egg Tidbits

To clean a dropped egg up off the floor cover it in salt to help it congeal, then clean.

The older the hen, the bigger the egg.

Eggs can stay good in the refrigerator for up to a month after the sell-by date on the carton.

Dec 4, 2015

Egg Terms

There are many terms grocers use to sell us eggs and many of them do not mean much. The one that most strikes me is 'vegetarian diet'. Since chickens are omnivores, feeding them a vegetarian diet is unnatural.

  • Farm fresh: Means nothing and is only used to make the eggs sound more appealing.
  • No hormones: Means nothing and is completely misleading, because it is illegal to give poultry hormones.
  • Free-range: Means the hens are cage-free, but only have "access to the outdoors." Usually a small screened off patio or enclosure.
  • Pasture raised: Pasture-raised birds spend most of their life outdoors, with a fair amount of space, plus access to a barn. Many are able to eat a diet of worms, insects, and grass, etc.
  • Cage Free: The hens do not live in cages. They usually live in aviaries: massive industrial barns that house thousands of birds. Each bird has, on average, 1 square foot of space.
  • All Natural: This phrase has no real meaning, because [conventional chickens] are raised in the least natural conditions.
  • No Antibiotics:  Antibiotics are rarely used in the egg industry.  However, chickens  raised for their meat do commonly get antibiotics to fend off disease and increase animal growth.
  • Vegetarian Diet: Chickens are not vegetarian. They are omnivores and in the wild, get most of their protein from worms, grasshoppers and other insects. Hens that are fed a "vegetarian diet" are probably eating corn fortified with amino acids.
  • Omega-3:  Hens are likely given a bit of flaxseed mixed in with their corn feed. This could possibly lead to higher levels of omega-3 in their eggs.
  • Organic: This means something more specific, and egg producers who use it are subject to USDA regulation. Organic eggs must come from hens that are free-range, fed organic feed (no synthetic pesticides), and receive no hormones or antibiotics (most do not get these anyway).

Jun 6, 2014

More Types of Eggs

There are many more types than the typical eggs we are used to for breakfast. I found a few to be interesting.

Shark eggs are strangely shaped eggs sometimes called a mermaid’s purse. These consist of an egg case in a thin capsule made of collagen. They often are square or rectangular with stringy or pointy corner horns, but can come in a variety of odd shapes. Shark eggs can wash up on the beach and are often hand-sized, although the largest recorded was over six feet (2m) long. Female sharks lay fertilized eggs onto the sea floor where they stay until they hatch, not needing any more attention from their mother. Some shark eggs contain several baby sharks which cannibalize each other before hatching to ensure that only the strongest baby survives.

Octopus eggs are soft, translucent and often stuck on overhangs of rock or coral. The females lay hundreds of thousands of eggs at a time and will stay to guard them against hungry predators until they hatch. This often takes so long that she begins to starve and some octopuses will eat their own arms to survive. Once hatched, they feed on microscopic organisms like plankton until they grow large enough to live on the sea floor as adults.

Fish eggs are released as unfertilized eggs until and the male injects them with sperm. In some species, the male and female might never meet each other. Most have nothing more to do with the eggs and leave them to develop on their own. Millions of soft eggs are laid at once, so hungry predators will usually not destroy all of them before they hatch. Some eggs are laid on secure surfaces like rocks whereas others drift freely in the water, sometimes for up to hundreds of kilometers.

We are familiar with bird and reptile eggs, which are internally fertilized eggs and most are protected until they hatch. Bird egg shells are made from calcium carbonate, which is also the major component of sea shells and pearls. For camouflage, some egg shells are colored or patterned with various other chemicals.

Dinosaur eggs sometimes contain fossilized baby dinosaurs inside. Dinosaur eggs have many shapes, such as elongated spheres, teardrops, and spherical. Some dinosaurs laid many eggs in a nest and protected them while others laid eggs indiscriminately before abandoning them. There are many types of dinosaur eggs, with the largest being over 23 inches (60cm) long and 7.8 inches (20cm) wide.

Sponge, jelly, and coral eggs are similar way to most fish. They do not have males and females. Instead, simple male and female organs both occur on a single creature, which release eggs and sperm into the water. Some reproduce asexually without male and female organs, by simply releasing some of their cells to grow directly into new individuals without needing to be fertilized.

Insect eggs are formed from stored sperm from a single mating, which is also used for subsequent fertilization. Insects will lay many eggs at once, and sometimes construct extravagant nests or nurseries for them. Some eggs are laid in water and the newborn insects spend the first portion of their life aquatically before emerging into the air. Many insects will care for their eggs after they are laid, with some ants and termites even controlling the humidity and pH for them.

Amphibian eggs are often laid in water, surrounded by a gel to keep them all together. When they hatch, the offspring are called ‘tadpoles’ and have gills, but no legs. They swim around like fish, although initially they also lack a mouth and live directly off the yolk left over from their egg by absorbing it through their skin. Eventually, tadpoles grow mouths, legs, lungs, lose their tail, and become fully adult. Some frogs carry their eggs to protect them or if there is not enough water available.

Platypus eggs are an anomaly as platypuses are mammals. They are warm-blooded, have hair, and produce milk. While the egg is still inside a mother, she supplies it with nutrition from her own body, similar to other mammals. Monotreme eggs are small, white, and spherical. They are laid in small numbers and are fastidiously cared for by their mother in her burrow until 4 to 6 months after hatching. Platypuses do not have nipples to produce milk. They sweat milk which their newly-hatched young drink.

May 23, 2014

Calcium Facts

Calcium is essential for human, plant, and animal nutrition. Animals skeletons get their rigidity primarily from calcium phosphate. The eggs of birds and shells of mollusks are comprised of calcium carbonate. Calcium is used as a reducing agent when preparing metals from their compounds; as a reagent in purification of inert gases; to fix atmospheric nitrogen; as a scavenger and decarbonizer in metallurgy; and for making alloys. Calcium compounds are used in making lime, bricks, cement, cheese, glass, paint, paper, sugar, glazes, as well as many others, including fireworks.

Calcium isn't found free in nature, but it can be purified into a soft silvery-white alkaline earth metal. Though calcium has been known for thousands of years, it was not purified as an element until 1808 by Sir Humphrey Davy from England.The element name "calcium" comes from the Latin word "calcis" meaning "lime". It is the 5th most abundant element in the Earth's crust at a level of about 3% in the oceans and soil.

Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption by the human body. It is converted to a hormone which causes intestinal proteins responsible for calcium absorption to be produced.

Calcium is the main component of teeth and bones and is the fifth most abundant element in the human body. Approximately one third of the mass of the human body is calcium after all water is removed.

The top three countries that produce calcium are China, United States, and India.

Mar 28, 2014

More Salt Facts

Salt is a terrific flavor enhancer, helping to reduce bitterness and acidity, and bringing out other flavors in the food.
Adding salt to bread dough controls the action of the yeast and improves the flavor. Bread made without salt will have a coarser texture and a blander flavor than bread made with salt.
Try sprinkling salt on citrus fruit, melons, tomatoes, and even in wine to enhance flavor.
Adding a little salt balances the flavor of sweets like cakes, cookies, and candies.
Boiling eggs in salted water makes them easier to peel.
Adding a pinch of salt (preferably non-iodized) to cream or egg whites before they are whipped increases their volume and serves as a stabilizer.
Salt is a mineral, so it can be stored indefinitely without going stale. It won't taste any fresher if you grind it with a salt mill.
Salt has been used for millennia as a preservative for meats, fish, cheese, and other foods. It works by absorbing moisture from the cells of bacteria and mold through osmosis, which kills them or leaves them unable to reproduce.
Salting slices of eggplants helps draw out the bitter juices.

Nov 15, 2013

Baked Eggs

Baked eggs are better because they are less sulfurous smelling and the texture of the finished eggs is creamier. Try baking them at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. You might enjoy the difference.

Sep 21, 2013

Cracking Another Egg Myth

The nutritional value of the egg and its yolk has been debated by nutritionists for years. Years ago, the egg received a bad reputation with regard to cardiovascular health, as one large egg contains approximately 187 milligrams of cholesterol. However, most research has shown that cholesterol found in foods isn't fully to blame for increased LDL cholesterol in the body.

“Eggs are an animal product, and they do contain cholesterol, but actually, cholesterol in foods doesn't affect our blood cholesterol as much as saturated fat does. Cholesterol in food, in general you do want to avoid, but it’s not necessarily the main culprit of high cholesterol." Lisa Cimperman, registered dietitian for UH Case Medical Center.

Compared to other animal products, the average egg actually contains relatively low amounts of saturated fats – approximately 1.6 grams per egg yolk. Additionally, various studies from the Harvard School of Public Health and the British Nutrition Foundation have found that eggs have clinically insignificant effects on blood cholesterol, and are not associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Many consumers are still concerned over the yolk’s fatty content, so rather than eat the full egg, they often eat just the egg’s albumin, the egg white. However, some dietitians argue it is important to consume both the egg’s fat and protein, as the combination can have positive health benefits for blood sugar.

“You want the fat, because it not only satiates you, but also slows the absorption of your food, so you stay fuller longer, and it won’t increase blood sugar. A lot of people have toast with just egg whites, but it’s giving them a quicker rise in their blood sugar, but if you have the yolk with it or a different form of fat like avocado, your blood sugar won’t rise as quickly, because it takes longer to break the food down.” Laura Cipullo registered dietitian. Egg yolks are a good source of vitamin A and iron, along with a host of other nutrients. Eggs are also good sources of B vitamin, thiamine and selenium. Eggs also pair very well with bacon.

Jul 19, 2013

Biggest and Smallest Eggs

The Ostrich lays the smallest egg for its size. Although the Ostrich egg is the largest single cell in nature, it is less than one and a half per cent of the weight of the mother. A wren’s egg, by comparison, is 13 per cent of its weight.

The largest egg in comparison with the size of the bird is that of the Little Spotted Kiwi. Its egg accounts for 26 per cent of its own weight. That would be the equivalent of a woman giving birth to a six-year-old child.

An ostrich egg weighs as much as twenty-four hen’s eggs. Can you imagine how much bacon it would take to go with an Ostrich egg omelet?

Oct 5, 2012

Five Handy Kitchen Tips

Keep your onions in the refrigerator. A chilled onion is easier to chop, and causes fewer tears.

If you use seltzer instead of tap water or milk, you get fluffier pancakes, waffles, and scrambled eggs.

To freeze berries, spread them on a pan or plate and freeze, then take out and put into freezer bags. That way they stay separate and not in one big lump.

Keep milk fresher for longer by adding a dash of salt into the carton right after opening it for the first time.

Take your eggs out of the refrigerator and let sit out so that when you begin breakfast the eggs are at room temperature. They cook better and make especially fluffy omelets.  For other dishes, eggs separate better when cold but whip better when warmed.

Apr 22, 2011

Fun Uses for Eggs

This is the time of year we all think about eggs, like decorating eggs with and for the children, deviled eggs, Easter egg hunts, and more. Eggs are very versatile and there are a number of uses for eggs that are worth mentioning, such as using eggs for shampoo and face cleaner.

Egg whites can be used in place of white glue for children's projects. Egg whites can be mixed with the other ingredients to make paper mache.

Cascarones, pronounced kas-ka-ron-ez, are a Mexican tradition used for Easter and other celebrations. It is an egg shell filled with confetti used to crack over someone's head and shower them with the confetti inside. Great fun and and always a surprise.

The Japanese are masters at carving intricate designs and pictures in egg shells, while the Ukrains dye elaborate designs using wax and dye.

How about a plant starter. cut the tops off of egg shells and put them back in the carton. Fill with potting soil, add a seed, some water, and you have useful plant starters, complete with tray.

If you have way too much time or way too much money, you can make or buy a Faberge egg.
There are thousands of other uses, but thought i would provide a few, just for fun.
A school in Seattle this year had the political audacity to call Easter eggs, 'spring spheres'. It didn't work, when the person brought in eggs, the children all said, "oh, Easter eggs." Eggzactly!