Friday, July 29, 2011

Ranch questions

"How long will my farm-fresh eggs keep?"

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In a nutshell an eggshell (har har!), six to eight weeks and in all likelihood even after that it is not like the egg will ever go bad or rot if stored properly in the refrigerator. The yolk will flatten out and the whites will thin but it will still be usable for baking. If you have an egg of questionable character, give it the float test - fill a bowl with tepid water and gently place the egg in the bowl. If the egg lays flat or tips up at one end it is still plenty fresh. If the egg floats it is old - feed it to the dogs.

Interestingly enough, hard-boiled eggs are best made with older eggs. Why? Because as eggs age, the air pocket in the shell increases in size (hence the float test). Fresh hard-boiled eggs have so little airspace that the eggshell and membranes cling tightly to the boiled egg making peeling a tedious process.

What is this purple flower I saw at the ranch?

This is a sagebrush mariposa lily (Chalochortus macrocarpus). These delicate flowers can be pretty rare in dry years but with our wet spring brought them out in droves this year.

Do you have a question about the ranch, farming, livestock or local food?
Email me at ranchsteady AT GMail DOT com.

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