Friday, June 20, 2008

Egg Baskets of olden days

This special photo is very precious indeed. Sent to me by Halamangua (check out his blog),the photo brought back many hours of warm memories. The wire basket was the popular egg basket of the 50's and almost every household had this practical egg basket. Eggs could be carried for long distances without getting broken. And the airy basket could keep the eggs fresh for days. Besides, a hard wire basket like this could stand up and withstand any kind of shaking. All the important criteria were thought out when the designer thought of making such a wonderful wire basket!!
It could also be hung up to prevent rats from eating the eggs too!! So it was really a very significant farm basket.

My mother owned one of these collapsible egg basket, a later design of egg basket. It has to be hung but it has almost all the other features of a good egg basket.

So,I am glad "Halamangua" is very happy to share with me the photo of his mother's egg basket which is "older than him". Thank you Stephen.

This vintage wire basket is indeed a good antique to show our heritage, which is also shared by many world wide.

Starting in the 1920's the French and Americans were leading in egg production and modern agriculture was making many farmers wealthy. Eggs were sold at premium prices and restaurants were serving new exotic chicken dishes.

In 1952 Colonet Sanders founded KFC and fried chicken became a favourite food world wide. After the 1950's chicken rearing became "factory" in style!

Eggs need to be kept in airy baskets to protect its quality. And Foochow housewives knew this important rule.

An excerpt from an article by Phillip J. Clauer, Poultry Extension Specialist
Animal & Poultry Sciences Department

Collect eggs in an easy to clean container like coated wire baskets or plastic egg flats. This will prevent stains from rusted metal and contamination from other materials which are difficult to clean and disinfect.

Do not stack eggs too high. If collecting in baskets do not stack eggs more than 5 layers deep. If using plastic flats do not stack more than 6 flats. If you stack eggs too deep you will increase breakage.

Never cool eggs rapidly before they are cleaned. The egg shell will contract and pull any dirt or bacteria on the surface deep into the pores when cooled. Try to keep the temperature relatively constant until they are washed.

Wash eggs as soon as you collect them. This helps limit the opportunity of contamination and loss of interior quality.

Wash eggs with water 10 degrees warmer than the egg. This will make the egg contents swell and push the dirt away from the pores of the egg. If you have extremely dirty eggs, a mild detergent approved for washing eggs can be used.

Never let eggs sit in water. Once the temperature equalizes the egg can absorb contaminants out of the water.

Cool and dry eggs quickly after washing. Store eggs, large end up, at 50-55ÉF and at 75% relative humidity. If eggs sit at room temperature (75ÉF) they can drop as much as one grade per day. If fertile eggs are kept at a temperature above 85ÉF for more than a few hours the germinal disc (embryo) can start to develop. If fertile eggs are kept above 85ÉF over two days the blood vessels of the embryo may become visible.
If eggs are stored properly in their own carton or other stable environment they should hold a quality of Grade A for at least four weeks.

1 memories:

Anonymous said...

Just picked up a collapsible egg basket, like the one shown here, at a local thrift store. I figured that's what it was, but googled it to make sure. Life was much simpler when every house had an egg basket and a few backyard laying hens. Nice blog post.


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