The Ultimate Guide to Homesteading (Skyhorse Publishing 2011), by Nicole Faires is not a storybook or a cookbook. It is a practical guide with nitty-gritty details on everything a homesteader can do, step-by-step with hundreds of color illustrations and pen and ink sketches. All of the information included in The Ultimate Guide to Homesteading meets these criteria: It is something that anyone can do, without special training. It can be done with relatively few supplies or with stuff you can make yourself. It has been tried and tested—either by the author, the military, doctors, or other homesteaders. You can do it! This book can help.
Don’t store the eggs near anything smelly like onions. Pack the eggs in a wood, plastic, or ceramic container in sawdust or oatmeal with the small end down. If you don’t have cold storage, use the fridge, basement, or root cellar. Use eggs that you gather as soon after laying as possible. Eggs in the fridge will last 6 weeks, but if you seal fresh eggs in plastic bags they will last 2 months. If they are stored at 30–40 degrees Fahrenheit in fairly high humidity they will store about 3 months.
Hard boil eggs, cool, and remove the shells. Soak the eggs in a brine of 1/2 cup of salt per 2 cups water for 2 days. Pour off brine and heat 1 quart vinegar, 1/4 cup pickling spice, 2 cloves garlic, and 1 tablespoon sugar to boiling, pour it over the eggs and leave for 7 days to cure.
Use only very fresh, clean eggs (not ones that you had to clean). Crack the eggs and put the contents into the freezer container. Only freeze as many eggs per container that you will use at one time because you can’t refreeze the eggs once you thaw them. Stir together without whipping in air, and add 1 tablespoon of sugar or 1/2 teaspoon of salt per cup of egg. They will store 8 months.
Beat very fresh eggs well and pour into a layer 1/8 inch thick onto a drying surface that is lined with plastic or foil. Plates work for outside, and pans work for the oven, or you can use a dehydrator. In an oven or dryer, dry at 120 degrees for 24–36 hours, then turn the egg over, remove the plastic or foil, break it up and dry for 12–24 more hours. In the sun, it will take 5 days until they are dry enough to break easily when touched. Grind the egg into a powder and use in baking, or to reconstitute add an equal amount of water (1/2 cup egg powder with 1/2 cup water). Dried eggs will last 3–4 months.
Lard pack:Use very fresh clean eggs and dip in melted lard. Then pack the eggs in salt in a large bucket so that no eggs touch each other. Put the eggs in a cool place such as a root cellar, and they may stay good for a year.
More from The Ultimate Guide to Homesteading:
Excerpted with permission from The Ultimate Guide to Homesteading: An Encyclopedia of Independent Living by Nicole Faires. Copyright 2011 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.