Ready or Not #54: Eggs

Eggs.  Aren’t they pretty much perfect?  You can boil them, fry them, poach them or bake them.  They make a wonderful breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert.  I love eating eggs; easy over is the best.  Even when the fad was to avoid them like the plague because somebody linked them with high cholesterol, I stuck with them – and I was proven right; eggs are once again healthy for us.

One thing that I want you to do is to think about the different ways that you can store and/or preserve them.  I am a big fan of dried eggs.  I know that all of the people that have served in the military are probably having shudders run up and down their spines right now thinking back on the dried scrambled eggs – and you would be right if you think that they are horrible.  Thank goodness I’m not asking you to eat them scrambled.  No, instead I’m asking you to use them to bake with.

I love eating cookie dough (and who doesn’t?), but to be safe you want to use the powdered eggs to bake with so that there isn’t any chance of getting salmonella.  I have used powdered eggs in cakes and cookies and in an emergency, once I even used them in my Mile High Biscuit recipe.  Everything I have ever used powdered eggs in to bake with has always turned out delicious.  Isn’t that another reason we have food storage – for safety and for cooking emergencies?!

Another way that my family loves their eggs is pickled.  If you haven’t tried pickled eggs then you really need to become more adventuresome.  It is a really good way to preserve boiled eggs for a very long time – if you can keep people from gobbling them up.  The easiest way to make pickled eggs is to eat pickles – and then save the juice.  It doesn’t matter if they are hot pickles, sweet pickles or just regular pickles; any kind of pickle juice will do.  Boil the eggs, peel them and then put them in the pickle juice to marinate.  Hide them in your second fridge downstairs or in the back of your everyday fridge and then just leave them alone for at least a month or two.

Once you try these pickled eggs you really will have to hide them because everybody will want to eat them, before they are fully marinated.  Once I was trying to marinate some eggs in my downstairs fridge, thinking that I had hidden them well enough (behind some cabbage and other vegetables), but when I went to use them to make my family pickled egg sandwiches for lunch, I found only one lone egg.  I ate it.  I made tuna fish sandwiches instead.  I had originally boiled two dozen eggs to pickle (I buy my pickles by the gallon), but they were all gone.  One person had found them and everyone joined in the guilt of eating them without telling me.  Next time I’m going to have to be sneakier.  You could also use pickled beet juice and it would make not only yummy, but also very lovely red pickled eggs.

In the old days, my husband’s grandmother used to wipe the eggshells with butter or oil to preserve them, which stopped the air from passing back and forth and stopped the eggs from picking up flavors from the fridge or storage area and kept them from drying out.  Nowadays we have refrigerators and so eggs will stay fresh for quite some time, but it is best if they are left in their original containers.  I actually buy my eggs in the two crates that are sold together and just use one shelf in my fridge to store all my eggs.  Like I said, I like eggs.

Another way that you can store eggs is by freezing them.  No, really.  Eggs can be frozen, but you don’t want to freeze them in their shells and you need to prep them just a little.  I want to experiment freezing eggs a little bit this week before I tell you how good they taste.  I actually suspicion that some, or most, of the eggs that we eat in fast food establishments have been frozen at one time or another.  I have a few recipes that I want to try out and see how well they work, after being frozen.  That will be next time.

In the meantime, while you’re waiting for the frozen egg recipes, this is a really quick and easy breakfast, lunch or dinner – whichever you need to be fast and easy.  Take a muffin pan and spray with a vegetable spray.  Line the muffin tin with a thin slice of ham, forming a ham cup.  Crack an egg into the middle of each ham cup; if you want to scramble them you can, but I don’t.  Salt and pepper to taste and add a little bit of cheese on top to garnish.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 – 18 minutes, or so.  Serve with salsa.  These are really yummy.  If you take five minutes to put a pan full together before jumping into the shower, you and your family will have a hot breakfast by the time you finish showering.  Throw in a piece of toast, glass of milk or orange juice and you have a complete breakfast.  Add a salad, some corn on the cob and salsa (one of my favorite condiments) for the egg / ham cup and you have a complete dinner.

Okay, now that I have figured out what you are going to have for dinner, go do something productive – like making sure that you have your water storage in place (two gallons per person, per day, for a two-week period.)

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