With so much of the country in a deep freeze (welcome to my world!), I thought a little bit of information on freezing and, well, unfreezing; eggs might be of use. There are a couple of ways eggs end up frozen: either intentionally when you have a summer surplus, or unintentionally when the temps are low enough for them to freeze (and crack) in the nest boxes before you collect them.
If you're like me (actually my daughter, who has the egg-collecting responsibility around here), there are days when it's zero degrees and the eggs are frozen when you get them.
This morning I wanted to make waffles and had only one unfrozen, freshly laid egg and two frozen-solid ones.
It's easy to defrost frozen eggs; just wash them really well, peel off the shell, and put the frozen eggs in a zip bag or a glass jar if you prefer not to heat plastic. Place the bag or jar in a container of hot water, and let them sit for about five minutes. If you have the time or are really impatient, you can keep changing the water or just let hot tap water run over the bag for a bit. I also like to smush the yolks through the bag with my fingers because they take longer to defrost than the whites and this way I can help things along a bit.
Do frozen eggs work as well as fresh? Well, almost. I don't know if I'd bake a souffle with them, nor have I tried, but they certainly work fine as scrambled eggs or in basic baked goods.
If you have a summer surplus, you can freeze egg yolks and whites separately if you plan to use them separately later, or just gently stir yolks and whites together and place in a container.
I label the container with the number of eggs I put in so I know later, and I will do things like freeze two eggs separately so that I can take them out and scramble them up for breakfast, or freeze nine or a dozen so I can use a large quantity if I so desire.
When defrosting summer eggs, use the same method: place the container in a hot water bath.
Or, even better, take them out the night before and defrost them in the refrigerator. The microwave doesn't work so well, in my experience - mainly because the whites will cook while the yolks are still defrosting.