Eggs are generally plentiful in spring at the Coppell Farmers Market. Our farmers and ranchers really do listen to the needs of patrons. After high customer demand and drought led to previous egg shortages, producers with laying hens added to their hen populations. Factor in typically gorgeous spring pasture for foraging and pleasant weather conditions, and the hens will happily lay lots of eggs. This probable heavy production will slow down when hot weather arrives, but the ranchers hope the additional hens meet the demand. Many vendors bring their eggs to the farmers market, so it pays to keep an eye out for egg cartons on vendors’ tables or little refrigerators somewhere in the booth.

Robert Hutchins of Rehoboth Ranch shared information on how to boil, peel, and even freeze all these rich, golden yolk eggs while they are plentiful.

Spring is a great time for a nice chef’s salad or egg salad. However, most cooks struggle with peeling a freshly laid boiled egg, ending up with bits and pieces of shell adhering to the egg white. The solution lies in both the boiling and peeling procedures.

Hutchins says, “Here are some tips that will make the job easy. First, put your eggs in a pan, cover them with water, sprinkle in some sea salt, turn on high heat. Second, when the water starts to boil, reduce heat to medium, and set the timer for 10 minutes.

Third, when done, immediately place eggs in ice water; add 1 tsp. baking soda (optional), keep the water icy cold until the eggs are cooled. Finally, lightly tap eggs on the counter to loosen up the shell and the inner membrane from the cooked white. The shell and membrane should come off relatively easy once you loosen it up. Note: save the egg shells for the compost pile.”

Rancher Hutchins says eggs can be frozen but not in the shell. You can freeze raw whole eggs, yolks, whites, and cooked yolks. Always thaw in the refrigerator and fully cook within a day. “To freeze whole eggs or yolks, crack them into a bowl and gently stir to break up the yolk somewhat. Try not to incorporate air into the eggs. Label the container with the date and the number of eggs. They can be kept frozen for a year, and should be thawed in the refrigerator the day before you intend to use them.” Egg whites are frozen similarly, taking extra care that no yolk gets into the white.

For convenience, freeze each egg in a separate ice cube tray compartment. After freezing, package into freezer bags or containers. Cooked whites do not freeze well as they get rubbery.

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