Slice of Life March Challenge. No. 15.
I was e-thumbing through an e-copy of
It was published in 1913.
And in that book, I read the following . . .
And as I read, I wondered and asked questions.
1. How many eggs would I need to buy in the summer to last through the winter?
2. How much cheaper were the eggs in the summer than in the winter? Would I save enough to warrant all the work of storing them for six months.
3. Liquid glass? This sounds modern, not like something they would have had prior to 1900. I need to read more about it. Glad we have internet and can google stuff.
4. How big would the stone crock need to be? I remember some big ones my mother had that she made dill pickles in. I remember the old dinner plate that had a rock on it that was on top of the cucumbers so they would stay submerged in the brine and be completely pickled. Every few days it was one of my chores to skim the scum off that brine. I always like the smell of pickles in the making in our cellar.
5. I guess if you are storing lots of eggs for the winter, you could use more than one stone crock.
6. And if so, where would you keep these stone crocks? In the fruit cellar? The fruit cellars I’ve had experiences with always had lots of spiders. Well, except when they used hedge apples. The old timers said hedge apples repel spiders. I’ve read that science does not support this. But I still vote for hedge apples in my cellar.
7. Six months? I remember my husband telling me about the eggs they’d have during their three-month patrols (he was assigned to submarine duty during his military service). The first weeks the eggs were real good. But into the second and third month, they’d turn green when they hit the griddle.
Perhaps, Dr. Seuss had experiences with green eggs.
9. Are perfectly fresh eggs different than fresh eggs? I looked it up, and perfectly is a synonym for very.
10. Hmm! Immersing in lime water was an alternative storage method.
Now we are not talking lime as in the green rounded citrus fruit. But rather, the white caustic alkaline substance consisting of calcium oxide, obtained by heating limestone
11. So what were the mixtures for glass water and lime water? Here’s some information I found.
12. In the USA, we refrigerate our eggs; in most other countries, they don’t. The past week, it seemed very odd in the warm weather to see a flat of eggs stored on the kitchen counter at my son’s house (Ecuador). Do you know why we do and they don’t? It has to do with how the eggs are handled and cleaned. Read more…
Eating an egg salad sandwich from Elephants Delicatessen
for breakfast at PDX Airport (YUM!)
Here are two other posts inspired by this book–
1. The proper way to sweep a room
2. Dishwashing Made Easy
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for hosting
2017 Slice of Life Story Challenge
What an interesting book and post you generated from the passage. I imagine as eggs are laid and people have eaten them without a cooler in sight, that this must be safe. What strikes me the most is the sense of a familiar universe that the text from 1913 supposes. I an imagine that the terms used that seem foreign were common.
So true, Mary Ann. I love browsing some of these old books for that very reason–noticing and puzzling over what they knew and understood that is totally foreign to me.
Our old farm has a root cellar and legend has it that eggs were stored there. I never thought it could be true, but this old book certainly points to it being so. Yuck, though!
Hey Tara! You’ve got a wonderful title in your comment: Legend of the Root Cellar or Root Cellar Legend. 🙂
When I grew up, one grandmother had a root cellar, raised chickens and sold eggs, which were candled and kept in this root cellar. I enjoyed reading about this different kind of preservation, but am not sure I’ll try it. I didn’t know that those in other countries did not refrigerate their eggs. Maybe they use them faster than I do! Thanks, interesting post!
Ah, Linda, what a rich heritage of memories your grandmother gave you. In other countries, they keep their eggs as long out of the frig. as ours do in it. We wouldn’t dare keep ours out of the frig. because the washing used process in the US destroys the outer protective membrane. In Europe, the washing process used here is illegal… I put a link into the post for more about that. It is really quite interesting.
Will look, Alice, new info to me!
It’s the link just above the egg sandwich picture. 🙂
I never knew that. Don’t know that I would want to do this. Besides. most of the eggs I use are for baking which I don’t do as often as I dd when I worked.
I’m glad we don’t have to do it that way. 🙂
This was an interesting slice. I learned lots and have to say even though I live where eggs do not need to be refrigerated, I still do! 6 months- not sure I would want to eat an egg 6 months later, no matter what.
I love my supermarket even more now because I don’t think I would want to do this either.
Fascinating! Since we have chickens, I knew some of this, but much was new to me. I love your list of questions, wonderings, and research, all stemming from one original text. What a great example of how to generate writing ideas! Thanks for sharing!
I thought it fascinating also. I hope I never need to use that knowledge to survive. And thanks so much for giving me the feedback on my presentation. 🙂
This was very cool to read about! Where did you get that book from? I’m always interested in odd historical things – thanks for sharing! Don’t think I’m going to save my eggs for 6 months anytime soon!
I collect old books (predate 1900 usually) that interest me… I have for years from bookstores (that’s a slice of its own). Now I also collect from the internet since so many really old ones have been digitized. They are pretty easy to find if you know an author or title. Two big digitizing projects that I’m familiar with are The Gutenberg Project and Google Books. Also, there’s a subscription site called Forgotten Books.com . They send an email every day with a link to a “free” copy of a book they select. Lots of them I delete, but every so often I see a title I like and save. I think this book was one of them. Hope this helps some. 🙂
I love the questions you got from this page in the book ! Amazing !
Thanks, Jennifer. Hmmm… might be a good mentor text / model for a classroom lesson.
Interesting to know more about how eggs were stored in the past! I love pickles and sauerkraut and had never really thought about how they maintained a supply of eggs in the winter. I like the format of your list of questions – it feels like we are following your train of thought through the short selection from the book.
Ah, yes, sauerkraut! One year my mom made two large crocks of sauerkraut. It must have been a good year for cabbage since she canned based on availability of produce. And thanks so much for giving me feedback on the form I used.