Monday, February 08, 2010

Poaching Eggs Experiment

   Poached eggs are one of my favorite ways of eating eggs. However, poaching eggs is not a favorite way of preparing them because I have trouble keeping the whites and yellow from flying apart when they are cooking in the hot water. I was very careful this time when heating the water and lowered the heat when bubbles showed up on the side of the pan.

   Since these eggs were laid today and the whites should want to hold together,  I thought I would try not adding vinegar or salt to the water and see what happened. I don't like the taste vinegar adds to poached eggs.

   I liked the idea of dipping the egg in the poaching water before letting it loose to continue cooking. The measuring cup seemed a good choice for this job because it had a handle to hold and I didn't have to worry so much about the hot water scalding me or having the cup crack.

   I discovered that letting the water enter the cup slowly and surround the egg worked out much better than just dunking the measuring cup in the water. If I let the water flow around the egg too fast it would cause the whites to fly apart. Slow is good. And I held the cup in the water for half a minute or so until the white started getting solid around the edges. Next time I do this I will add some vinegar and see if it holds the whites together and makes enough of a difference to justify putting up with the vinegar taste.

   Hello! This is neat! I just had an old fuzzy 1940's "memory picture" surface that has my Great Aunt Bertha or Great Grandmother Callie holding a ladle filled with an egg, first with the bottom of the ladle in the hot water and then letting the hot water slowly into the ladle with the egg before tipping the egg out into the poaching water. I wonder if she oiled or buttered the ladle first? I've got to try this out! They were farm folk and I know they didn't have any fancy kitchen stuff, so it had to have been a ladle or a very large cooking spoon.

   There are a gazillion poached egg pages on the internet. I found this kinda funny page here ( features/ howtopoachanegg/) while searching around for the old ladle method of poaching an egg. The last method seems to work well, but I wonder if you get melted plastic along with the egg? And I gave up searching after I found this site ( /2008/08/ how-to-poach-an-egg -smitten-kitchen-style/) that has great photos. However, I must say that I had much more white on my poached eggs and they even looked better. Yey for me! I think using a ladle could result in an even better shaped egg. In the '70's I used to make poached eggs in a metal poaching pan, but those were really steamed eggs and I hated cleaning the pan.

   Things are very quiet around here because Kristine has some kind of sinus headache thing (I'm trying to get her to breath steam out of a bowl) and I'm fighting off the sore throat. The gloomy weather doesn't help. Good excuse for me to spend time reading. (Elizabeth Moon, Once A Hero. It would be neat to live on a space ship. I would need a special compartment for the space chickens. Ha!)  

[7 eggs today]
Amazing what a bit more sunshine can do.
Back to overcast and storms tomorrow.

(February 8, 2009)
What? I have a sore throat again!



dirtyduck said...

there is a lot of good information here. i only have one duck but im so in luv with her!!lol she is almost four years old and hasnt laid any eggs in about four months. do you think she is done laying eggs? she is a pekin

*said duck WILL NOT be eaten if she is indeed "done" laying:)

Callie said...

dirtyduck: I don't have any ducks now, but but from what I remember ducks are somewhat like chickens in that they molt and go off egg production at times of the year.

Stress, time of year, age, conditions and type of feed also affect egg production. I suppose time will tell if your duck has stopped laying for good, but I would guess she is taking a break?

~Kim~ said...

Thanks for the good information!! My Mom (whose name was Bertha by the way) hated poached eggs, but I love them, and she would make them for me, (even as an adult) and they were always perfect--Something I've never been able to do--I've no idea what she did to them...I guess it was a "Mom" thing! :-)

**By the way many THANKS for the great ideas you gave me about being better prepared!! I really, really do appreciate it! When we lived in Alaska I was always prepared for winter & have just gotten away from that since we moved here to Virginia. But your thoughts remind me of how easily it can be done! Thank-you!!

Becky's Barnyard said...

I have never tried to poach eggs, but if I ever get brave enough to try, I'm going to remember you suggestions. Thanks. Great more eggs.

diane said...

I use an egg poacher. Sorry i'm a bit tired tonight, been to work. Wow 7 eggs.

Dog Hair in my Coffee said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes. I'm glad you left a comment, or I would not have discovered your blog, which I LOVE. What's NOT to love about that gorgeous dog!!! and someone else who loves chickens! I love my border collie and my chickens! I also, unfortunately, hate poached eggs!
Have a great day.

Toni aka irishlas said...

I'm with Dog Hair in My Coffee- yuk! I dislike poached eggs!
But, this is a informative post.
Glad your egg count is up...

Titania said...

Hi Callie, thank for your visit. It is really nice to meet you. I have a few black chickens, Australians which are such nice hens, small but good layers. Egg poaching is not as easy as it sounds, but it looks like you have found the knack to do it! I love eggs cooked in any way. The home-grown, organic ones are the best. Yes it is nice to be retired and do or not to do all the things we like best. I enjoy every day. See you around. T.

DayPhoto said...

Very well done!


Gus, Louie and Callie said...

Thanks for all that great information.. Mom can we have some poached eggs, pleas?

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Lorilee said...

HMMM, I have never had a poached egg. I may have to try it sometime.

Anonymous said...

I laughed my head off at the website. Where do you find these? Your research is great!

Anonymous said...

We use these little gadgets for poaching, they're great and can also be used in the oven for cooking muffins!

You're right about the sunshine, we had a lovely day yesterday and 9 eggs! Best lay so far since last summer!

Anonymous said...

We use these little gadgets for poaching, they're great and can also be used in the oven for cooking muffins!

You're right about the sunshine, we had a lovely day yesterday and 9 eggs! Best lay so far since last summer!