A heartfelt thank you to everyone who took the time to reply with advice on how to master the exasperating task of extracting a loose piece of egg shell from the batter!
In the spirit of paying it forward, here are some of the tips I received in no certain order.
Tip One: Wash your hands and use your finger to press down on the piece of shell and slide it up and out of the bowl — quick and easy!
Tip Two: Cracking the egg on something with a sharper edge like a tea cup makes it less likely to get any shell in the bowl in the first place. If a shell still falls in you can use a spoon to pin down the shell as you pour the egg from the tea cup into the batter.
Tip Three: Crack eggs in a separate bowl. The shells will quickly sink and stick to the bottom. Now you can simply pour the eggs out leaving the shells behind.
Tip Four: Use part of the eggshell to scoop out the broken piece. For some reason, it will slice right through the white and the stray bits will adhere to it.
So there you have it, all eggshellent advice! The good news is that being armed with all this knowledge makes it far less likely that I will erupt into a Gordon Ramsey moment the next time I drop a piece of eggshell in my batter.
The bad news is that all the tipsters were unanimous in declining a rooster as a prize for sending in their hint. Two finally did agree to be owners, but in name only, meaning they get to name the roosters and own them from afar, but I will continue to look after them. One named her rooster Reginald and the other chose the moniker Marty. Sadly both balked at sending me support payments to cover feed bills and such.
I have heard of other farmers getting by with that sort of thing and have always been intrigued. Lord knows I need an inspired way to make all my homesteading enterprises pay. Or at the very least come out even. I am reminded of that old joke where a man is asked what he would do if he won the lottery and he gets this dreamy expression on his face and says, “I would farm until it was all gone.” That’s me in a nutshell. Or maybe I should say in an egg shell. No, I’m definitely more of a nut. Whatever you call me, it won’t be profitable.
Even if I could find investors willing to pay the feed bills in exchange for the dubious distinction of owning a distant farm animal it wouldn’t add up to much. Hmmm . . . unless I could sell interest in my bees! I have three hives of bees and at full health each hive contains 60,000 bees give or take a thousand. At just a buck a bee I would be doing pretty well. And unlike roosters or other livestock, people would be far less likely to want to visit their purchase, leaving me free to work without a bunch of interruptions.
That’s an added bonus to beekeeping. Don a bee suit, light a smoker, stand in the middle of your bee yard and even the most dedicated salesperson will wilt and walk away. If that doesn’t work you can always shout out, “Oh no! Killer bees! What are they doing in my hives?” That should put the wiggle in their walk.
The surprising truth is that honeybees are really quite gentle. Stay calm, move slow and send out your love and its unlikely you’ll ever get stung. But start flinging spoons around and screaming about eggshells in your batter and anything could happen. Lucky for me I don’t bake muffins in the bee yard. But now that I know how to quickly and calmly get egg shells out of the batter, I could.
Shannon McKinnon is a Canadian humour columnist. You can read past columns by dropping by www.shannonmckinnon.com