Do you have an excess of eggs this spring? When the weather warms up and sunlight starts to extend later in the day, your hens will begin to ramp up egg production. This time of year, it’s common to get an egg a day from all of your chickens.
You’ll find yourself busily searching for recipes that require large quantities of eggs, and baking lots of quiches and custards. There are also plenty of creative ways to use your eggs outside of the kitchen, and resourceful ways to utilize the shells as well as the interiors.
Painting and decorating eggs is a wonderful way to utilize them, and doesn’t have to be just for Easter. Painted eggs can still be eaten, as long as they are fresh, and they make a pretty centerpiece or hanging decoration.
Painted eggs don’t have to be pastel watercolors, although that simple style is always appealing. There are hundreds of ways to get unique patterns on your eggs. Eggs can be stenciled, dipped, wrapped in lace, embroidered or stamped. Laced eggs can be wrapped in colored lace, you can cover an egg in chalkboard paint and then decorate it with chalk, or you can decoupage them with patterned paper. There is an excellent list of ways to decorate Easter eggs available through Brit + Co online here. The brilliance of some of these alternative ways of decorating eggs is they don’t have to be Easter themed – you can make them any colors or patterns you prefer.
Egg shells are a great source of calcium for your hens. Chickens use a lot of calcium producing egg shells, so they need a lot of it in their diets. Feeding them back their shells is a great way to accomplish this: the only thing you must be careful of is ensuring they are crushed up thoroughly so your chickens don’t start to associate mineral treats with the eggs they are laying.
Because of their high calcium content, and their handy shape, egg shells can also be used for a surprising number of gardening projects. They can be used in fertilizer and are especially good for plants like tomatoes that can suffer from calcium deficiency. An egg shell is a great container to start seeds in: it will decompose naturally, releasing valuable calcium, and they are the perfect size for tiny seedlings. Egg shells can also do your garden a wonder of good included in your compost.
You might find yourself making a recipe that only calls for yolks or whites, and wondering what to do with the leftovers. Egg whites aren’t just crucial to a good macaroon, they can be an ingredient in chicken stock, or add creamy texture to certain cocktails. Yolks are used in custards, creme brûlées, and mayonnaise.
Even yolks and whites aren’t just for the kitchen, however. Egg whites were used to create makeup in early French courts. Though that recipe was found to be dangerous by modern science – they usually contained lead – whites are still a valuable way to reduce wrinkles and increase the brightness of your skin. Egg whites left to dry on the face for about five minutes and then rinsed with warm water are an all natural spa treatment for your skin. Egg yolks are fantastic for your hair and will help to alleviate split ends and dandruff. A mixture of egg yolks, honey, and olive oil is a great homemade conditioner. And egg tempera paints, using egg yolks, were an important part of early Renaissance painting and a natural way to make paints today.
While a good omelette or a plate of deviled eggs is the tastiest way to use up your eggs, there are plenty of fun ways to use them up outside of your kitchen. Try a few experiments, and see what else you can think of!