Saturday, November 19, 2011

Breaking a Few Eggs

We all have things that date us. My list includes my small pox vaccination scar, listening for a dial tone when I pick up the phone, my gray roots when I don't have time for a touch up.

I think there is a new item that will join the list for some that don't heed warnings regarding our food safety:

How we crack an egg.

I was listening to NPR one day and they had a guest on the Food Fridays show. She was talking about how a cook cracks their eggs is very regional. It gave me food for thought. My paternal grandparents had kept about 150 laying hens when I was a child and from them I learned the art of candling eggs to check for spoilage, blood; and once in a great while, because they maintained their own flock, a baby chick forming.

My paternal grandmother, when baking, always broke her eggs into a bowl before adding them to any cooking batter. This was probably to catch anything the candling process missed. My own mother, who was a bit more removed from the egg laying process, usually just cracked the egg into the batter.

I've seen people crack eggs with one hand, crack them on the edge of their batter bowl, and lots of other variations.

Recently, though I have taken to cracking them on the counter single-handed, adding them to the bowl, and washing both the counter and my hands well before continuing with my baking. You see, having been certified at various time for food safety, I am well aware of the likelihood that salmonella is lurking on that apparently pristine white shell. Listening to the cook talking about regional techniques of egg-cracking I had a "uh duh!" moment.

For any of you that haven't yet had their moment, I hope the McDonald's breakfast egg story is a morning eye-opener!

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