Why I Don't Throw Away My Eggshells

In the spirit of the recent posts about eggs, I thought I’d share some things that you can do with the egg shells. My mom always kept a container in her kitchen for used eggshells, and now I do the same thing. Saving the shells takes about two seconds, and it doesn’t cost anything - win win.

In my house, the shells have two main uses… Plant Food: This is my most common use for the shells. I crush them and put them in the soil of my houseplants and herbs - the shells contain a lot of calcium which is good for the soil. My mom always swore by them for tomatoes especially - a lot of the time blossom end rot is caused by a lack of calcium in the soil, and eggshells can help with that. I don’t have tomato plants (yet), but I figure the shells can’t hurt my soil! People Food: When I make stock, I’ll sometimes grind up a few shells in my coffee grinder until they make a fine powder and add them to the stock. This extra calcium is important in my diet because I don’t get a lot of dairy (Cheese i…

Fresh Eggs - Practical Considerations

So you read all about why I think it’s worth buying pastured eggs. You understand the phenomenal taste difference. You want to give it a try. Where do you find these magic eggs?
Buy Local. Buying eggs from a local farmer (or hobby farmer!) is by far the best way to go if you’re trying to get pastured eggs. This will save you money, and allow you to investigate the conditions of the hen houses yourself. My parents retired in the country, and I actually buy most of my eggs from a woman who lives down the street from them. Her eggs are only $2/dozen, and I buy 2-3 dozen at a time (eggs keep for a very long time in the fridge). Signs for pastured eggs are all over in rural areas, and the prices where my parents live range from about $2-$3/dozen.
Of course, I don’t want to drive an hour every time I need eggs. I am able to supplement my eggs with partially pasture raised eggs that are only $2.50/dozen from a house that is literally down the street from me. For some odd reason, a few of the …

Farm Vs Regular Egg - TASTE TEST!

In the spirit of science, I wanted to see if there is a really a taste difference between pastured farm eggs and conventional grocery store eggs.

The short answer: OH MY GOD, YES.

The long answer:
First, I got a regular carton of large eggs from Kroger - I made sure to get Grade A, large, run-of-the-mill eggs. Despite this, you can see a substantial size difference between the two eggs, before I crack them into the pan. You can also see that the farm egg is beige whereas the regular egg is white - this relates to the type of chicken used, and isn't a big deal. As far as I know, they don't bleach/color conventional eggshells (?).

Next, I cracked both eggs into a bowl and gently tipped them into a single frying pan that had been greased with butter. I tried to photograph the difference in color of the yolks, but the lighting over my stove sucks and you couldn't tell - just take my word for it: the farm egg looked more yellow. 
I made sure to put them in the same pan at the sa…

You Should Buy Pastured Eggs - the Science

Although I currently live in a metropolitan suburb, I am fortunate enough to have family that lives in a rural area - including my can-cook-anything sister. I distinctly remember staying over at her place a few years ago and getting served two enormous, bright yellow eggs that tasted...amazing. I mean, truly amazing. At the time, as a wee college student with fledgling cooking skills, I was very proud of my ability to make fabulous eggs, but these blew mine out of the water.

When I asked what she did to the eggs to make them so good, she shrugged and said that she had fried them in bacon grease.

Okay, yes, bacon makes everything better. But I frequently fried my eggs in bacon grease, and they still didn’t taste this good, so I pressed the issue further. She thought for a minute, then said that she bought her eggs from a local farmer; maybe there was a taste difference.

I didn’t think much of this incident again until I watched Food Inc, a controversial documentary that discussed some of …

Turmeric: Is Curcumin Magic?

When I was a kid, my older sister was obsessed with the TV Show Dr. Quinn: Medicine Women in which a Bostonian, female doctor came out west to practice medicine in the frontier. In addition to dealing with widespread sexism, lack of medical supplies and technology, and budding romance, Dr. Quinn was forced to recognize the validity in some of the Native American herbal remedies that were used in the frontier, contrary to what she’d been taught in medical school.

I remember watching one particular episode where Sully, the hot frontiersman who liked Dr. Quinn, saved her from influenza using a tea made out of flowers that he got from the tribal medicine man. Wow, I thought, he’s fixing her using flowers! That’s so cool!!! I want to learn how to do that!

(I also thought wow, I hope if I get married someday it’s to somebody like Sully who can throw a tomahawk and has an awesome wolf-dog. Not all dreams come true, clearly).

Now I’ll admit that this was a fictional TV show and I was about about…