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© 2014 Shanna Lea
Do you have a surplus of chicken eggs? When you are raising chickens, it can be overwhelming when you suddenly have extra eggs. Egg cartons take over your refrigerator and before you know it, you have more eggs than you usually eat in a week.
Living a homesteading lifestyle means you learn to go with the cycles of nature. There is abundance and drought.
Lots of eggs, and then no eggs.
It’s the same with milk if you have milk goats or a cow. It’s an ebb and flow to the cycle and if you’ve been tied to the supermarket most of your life, it can be overwhelming learning how to adjust to the ebb and flow of nature. You have to learn how to use that abundance while you have it and then change your diet during the drought times when there are no eggs or milk.
Have you seen Frontier House? My kids and I enjoyed watching this on PBS when it first aired and one of the problems the new homesteaders faced was what to do with all the eggs or lack of eggs. They bartered and learned to make do and without. If you are interested in watching how families plunged from modern society to 1800’s homesteading lifestyle learned how to adjust, I recommend this series. You can buy it here.
So what to do with excess eggs? Here are several ways to use up those surplus eggs and enjoy all the benefits of having your flock of chickens:
- Share, barter or sell them. Family, neighbors, and co-workers usually appreciate homegrown goodies and this is a great way to share information on the health benefits and sustainability of homegrown and pastured chickens and eggs. Gift the eggs in a plain box with ribbon. Or sell them. Or barter for babysitting or for someone to make homemade bread for you or something else that benefits both parties. If your local food pantry allows it, share excess eggs with them.
- Freeze them. Scramble the eggs with a little milk or water and freeze in ice cube trays. Store the frozen cubes in plastic baggies in your freezer and pull out the needed amount for your recipes. Another recipe omits the milk. For every 4 eggs, scramble with 1/8 tsp salt or 1.5 tsp sugar, to keep the yolks from getting that gummy texture. Thaw the eggs 24 hours ahead of time. Use 2 cubes to roughly equal 1 large egg. The texture won’t be the same after thawing as with fresh, so use them for baking or mixed in with other dishes.
- Pickle them. Pickled eggs can be made in large gallon glass jars and eaten as appetizers for parties or snacks. There are many recipes for plain or spicy hot pickled eggs.
- Dehydrate them. Scramble in a non-stick pan (without butter or oils) 1 dozen eggs for every tray of an Excalibur Dehydrator you plan to dehydrate. Spread on the trays and dehydrate at 145° for about 12 hours. After they are dried, run through a food processor until they are crumbled and put in a glass jar. Tamp them down and add more egg crumbles to the jar until full and vacuum seal for a longer shelf life. Or, transfer to the freezer. ** Note: this is the only time I would recommend to use a non-stick pan.
- Make recipes using large amounts of eggs. Make up your favorite recipes that use lots of eggs and then freeze them: ice cream, sponge cakes, angel food cakes, egg noodles, quiche, muffins, breads.
- Plan your meals around eggs. Add them to your meals each day to get that extra protein. Add them to pasta sauce to make it creamy, make custards, frittatas, omelets, cream pies, pancakes, egg fried rice, mayonnaise, French toast, cookies, potato salad, egg salad, or egg drop soup. Make hard-boil eggs to keep in the fridge for instant protein snacks.
- Eat eggs! Scrambled, hard-boiled, Scotch, baked, poached, Eggs Benedict, and soufflés.
- And plant them—to grow eggplants! ~ ~ ~ Just Kidding! Haha
Learning to flow with the natural cycles of homesteading can be a challenge. We often forget that being able to buy an egg anytime of the year in the supermarket is what is un-natural. Try some of these ideas and comment below how they work for you!