Eggs are a boon to cooks, especially when dishes are wanted quickly. They enter into a great many savoury and sweet dishes, and few cakes are made without them. They can be prepared in a great variety of ways. Eggs are a good food when taken in moderation. As they are a highly nutritious article of food, they should not be indulged in too freely. Eggs contain both muscle and bone-forming material, in fact everything required for building up the organism of the young bird. The chemical composition of hen's and duck's eggs are as follows:
|Hen's egg||Duck's egg|
Eggs take a long time to digest if hard boiled. All the fat of the egg is contained in the yolk, but the white of the egg is pure albumen (or nitrogen) and water. Eggs are most easily digested raw or very lightly boiled, and best cooked thus for invalids. The best way of lightly boiling an egg is to put it in boiling water, set the basin or saucepan on the side of the stove, and let it stand just off the boil for five or six minutes. Eggs often crack when they are put into enough boiling water to well cover them, owing to the sudden expansion of the contents. If they are not covered with water there is less danger of them cracking. One can easily tell stale eggs from fresh ones by holding them up to a strong light. A fresh egg looks clear and transparent, whilst stale ones look cloudy and opaque. There are various ways of preserving eggs for the winter; one of the best is by using the Allinson egg preservative. Another very good way is to have stands made with holes which will hold the eggs. Keep these stands in an airy place in a good current of fresh air, and every week turn the eggs, so that one week they stand the pointed end down, next week the rounded end down.