Friday, December 16, 2011

Egg Adventures

This week was the week for the egg it seems. Two separate events.

While hunting in Caroline County VA I was going down a road seldom traveled and saw a new sign for "fresh eggs". It was a "why not" moment and I was able to get half a dozen, touted as maybe laid two days prior. Next morning Sue and I dined on some.  It is my opinion that the fresher the egg the better it tastes when over easy, sunny side up, or soft boiled. We both tried some over easy.  "Middle runny, white not" we used to joke in my youth, and I did indeed cook it no more than necessary to get all the white solidified. When served, we were rewarded with an astonishingly orange yolk that was very rich. I had to try a third egg for me which I did sunny side up, using the technique of sending some of the hot grease over the egg to cook the white enough. This was outstanding indeed as it increased the bacon flavor somewhat too. Yeah, I know, nobody is going to give us the award for avoiding fat and cholesterol. With home fries and biscuits and butter, we might have been at risk for the police breaking down the door to arrest us. Actually we forgot we had some cooked bacon we could have reheated, and just as well as I was not hungry again for a long time and almost didnt develop an appetite for dinner.

Honestly, by paying through the nose we have recently been some really good eggs at the store, that seem pretty fresh too. Supposed to be free range blah blah blah, I have my doubts but they *are* good. I have unhesitatingly cooked those over easy as well. These farm eggs were better tasting,  I'd say not to the degree you felt it was a different species or that type of thing, although if compared to cheap-not-so-fresh eggs you might conclude that. Certainly they were different tasting, the richness was palpable. The shells were thicker! and no yokes broke, a problem we can have with these other good eggs we get [of course there could be sampling error with half a dozen]. For sure very cool to be able to get them at all! Those chickens get to scratch the dirt and eat bugs, you know, a key factor IMO for better eggs and chicken too [if I get to know the farmer maybe the discussion can turn to getting some chicken as well].

Event #2: The prices for these premium eggs vary quite a bit, and it's up there. $3 per dozen is not unusual, and some are over $5, which we don't want to pay even though both of us eat eggs for breakfast less often than once a week [Sue maybe once a month at best]. Of course they are used in cooking. Doing more of the shopping myself lately, I decided one day to try to figure out exactly what we have been paying, getting convinced that the Harris Teeter we shop at hadn't clearly priced them for some time. I got aggravated about that and actually took two different cartons to the cashier and asked her to price them. Sure enough, one was over $5 and it was not clearly marked so. Next visit I collared the manager, who has been seen a lot lately, and told him I had to have the cashier do that, since the department is so poorly tagged with prices. He said it would be fixed and thanked me. Well, next week I checked it out and if anything had been done, still the problem of the incorrectly marked eggs had persisted. To be exact, the tag said $3.19 per HD, and the smaller unit price was $3.19 per HD, even though IMO that is not proper unit pricing [what has been going on with unit pricing in all these stores is a disgrace, but I won't get into that here]. At the time I couldn't even figure out what it meant; 3.19 per hundred? Certainly not! Sue figured out it meant "half dozen" even though the sign was placed at the full carton area. But she wanted me to chill. Apparently she believes in my secret life I spend quite a bit of time tangling with security and police [I shouldn't have told her about Officer Owens I guess . If you have followed this blog you'll know about him and the traffic ticket]. I spotted the manager again, though, so there was no stopping me. I insisted we visit the egg department, and politely pointed out what was bothering me. He agreed that it was a mess as far as tagging and in fact gave us a free dozen of the $5 variety!

I guess our arteries are somewhat harder now but overall there is no denying that in the matter of eggs we have done quite well this week!


Marsha Schmidt said...

My comment is = stop shopping at Harris Teeter! Five bucks for organic eggs? At Whole Foods they cost half that. Here is what I have discovered about whole foods. I do not know that this applies to eggs, but for fruits and vegetables, they charge the same for conventional and organic, which means that the conventional products subsidize the organic. It is a no brainer to buy organic since it is cost effective.

As for the taste of eggs, well, I believe you but even if it is organic you must be careful about salmonella. The bacteria is in the eggs itself and it is passed by the chicken into the ova. It is not outside of the egg. I do not know that organic means the egg may not be exposed. I strongly suggest you cook the egg. This is a real problem that simply did not exist but now it seems to be endemic in chickens.

L said...

I keep talking about getting a couple of chickens so that we can have fresh eggs. Ethan humours my crazy ideas, bless his soul. We go through about a dozen eggs per week, both as primary meals (i.e. scrambled eggs) and as ingredients (in baking). I do not know how much it would save us to own chickens, since you still have to pay for the feed etc., but they are good for the garden and the eggs will be fresh.

Carlw4514 said...

There is a variety at Harris Teeter and you don't have to pay $5 a dozen, I didnt make that clear, sorry. I agree "organic" doesnt mean the eggs are safer necessarily, but I bet the problem eggs come from the worst egg factory types.
Louise, it would be really cool if you got some chickens!

Anonymous said...

I have always felt that eggs from a "farm" chicken that has access to the outside, as in a barn yard, taste better. I cannot explain why and everyone thinks I am nuts. My theory is that they eat bugs and kitchen scraps.

I don't know about "free range" eggs, but my cynical opinion is that they are not what one is led to believe.