Water glassing eggs is a great way to preserve your excess farm fresh eggs raw for long term storage. Using this method of a hydrated lime and water solution you can store your eggs at room temperature, saving precious room in your refrigerator and freezer.
It’s an old time preservation method. Fannie Farmer’s The Boston Cooking School Cook Book published in 1896 gives instructions on how to water glass eggs. Upon my discovering this method, I mentioned it to my grandmother and she can recall folks using it when she was a girl.
Water glassing eggs is especially helpful in the Springtime when your hens are laying exceptionally well and you cannot keep up with them all. We are a family of five, and in the thick of Spring our 14 hens produce more than we can eat and give away! This is my favorite way of preserving eggs. Because they are raw and room temperature, it makes them so easy to use post-preserving.
Last year we water glassed eggs and used them throughout the Winter months when the hens weren’t laying much. Even 9 months after preserving, we were still using the eggs! The longer the eggs are in the solution, the less firm the whites and yolks become, but they do not spoil. Some people keep eggs up to 2 years this way. I personally have no need to keep them that long. Eggs kept this way are best used as scrambled and in baking and cooking recipes. The firmness begins to degrade over time, making over easy eggs not really possible.
Chickens naturally taper off laying in the Winter months when the days are shorter and there is less light to stimulate the pituitary gland. A lot of people (and all big chicken farms) combat this tapering off by supplementing artificial light for the birds. Here on our little homestead we see this natural break in the laying cycle as good and healthy for the chickens. We do not supplement lighting, but instead preserve the excess eggs for the Winter months. It doesn’t make much sense to buy eggs at the store when our own chickens aren’t laying, (although we have done that!) since the main point for raising our own is quality of both the eggs and the lives of the chickens. Plus compost and homestead entertainment!
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