How To Preserve Eggs With Lime Water

Kristin Conlin
By Kristin Conlin February 2, 2021 08:14

How To Preserve Eggs With Lime Water

Eggs. It’s incredible just how versatile these little guys are and just how much we depend on them. Whether over easy, hard-boiled, baked in a cake or cookies, or used as a binder, it’s unlikely that a week goes by when you don’t use what might just be the world’s perfect food.

But you know what makes me sad? The idea that those of us who raise chickens for eggs may end up wasting some of them in the spring and summer because of over-production. We might then have to buy the much-inferior grocery store eggs in the winter when our hens have slowed down laying.

Fortunately, there are numerous ways—some far better than others—to preserve eggs for anywhere from a few weeks to several years. And if you would like to add to your long-term pantry to have fresh eggs available in a natural disaster or other crisis, there is one method of preservation that stands above the rest—lime-water preserving.

But first, let’s take a quick look at the other options for preservation.

Historical Methods For Preserving Eggs

In addition to lime-water preservation, there are many other methods used over the last several hundred years to keep eggs longer than they could last naturally.

DRYING – With this method, eggs are cracked, beaten, and then dehydrated either in a commercially purchased dehydrator or in an oven.

However, a potential problem with this method is that the eggs must be dried at a heat of 165°F or more. With most dehydrators, that isn’t possible. Without being heated to that temperature, you’re risking salmonella—and that’s not a good idea.

When done correctly and at appropriate temps, this method is acceptable, although the eggs yielded are better for cooking with than eating. Dried eggs can be vacuum sealed for even longer, safer storage.

FREEZING – To freeze eggs, you start the same way as drying: out of the shell and beaten. The biggest drawback to freezing eggs is that the process requires electricity—a freezer—for storage, and depending on your circumstances, electricity may not always be available.

MINERAL OIL (or cooking oil, butter, or lard) – With this method, you are essentially sealing the pores of the eggshell so that no bacteria can permeate it and thus contaminate the egg. But the fat source usually needs to be heated on a stovetop or in a microwave to melt it or purify it, and that requires electricity.

It’s also messy and, in the case of butter, can turn rancid. Storage may also attract rodents or insects.

SALT or WOOD ASH – Another preservation method is to store eggs in a box or crate willed with salt or wood ash. This should get you through winter but isn’t a viable longer-term solution. And both substances can permeate an eggshell and alter an egg’s flavor.

WATER GLASS – Water glass preservation is a chemical means for sealing and insulating whole eggs in a gel-like mixture of water and sodium silicate. For this method, the eggs must be very fresh—no more than 24 hours old. They become very slippery and potentially messy and should be pinpricked to prevent the eggs from exploding!

Related: How to Preserve Eggs with Waterglass

Why Preserve With Lime Water?

Not only will lime-water preserved eggs last for two or more years, but they are also preserved in the shell, so they are much more versatile when it comes time to use them. The taste and consistency of such eggs are nearly identical to fresh eggs.

Preserving eggs this way is super economical and a fantastic way to use all those eggs you can’t use as quickly as your chickens can lay them. They do not require heat or refrigeration for storage and will be an excellent option should access to power be lost. Neither will they attract rodents or bugs.

If you’re thinking “citrus” when you hear lime water, well, let’s clear that up right now. What we are actually talking about is slaked lime—a mineral commonly using in building for centuries. Also known as hydrated lime, it is different than the lime one might use in the garden.

Today, you can ask for slaked lime at a building supply store. But it is also used in pickling as an agent to “crisp up” cucumbers. Which means you might be able to find it in the canning section of your local grocery store. And of course, there’s always Amazon.

Just remember, the product you want is PICKLING LIME; the ingredient label should list CALCIUM HYDROXIDE and nothing else.

Even though it’s called pickling lime, you aren’t pickling your eggs when you do this. Pickling lime firms up and seals the eggshells.

Related: How To Pickle Eggs

What You Will Need

Ingredients

  • Fresh eggs—ONLY fresh laid, unwashed eggs will work. Grocery store eggs are washed, and during washing, the natural “bloom” that prevents bacteria from entering through the pores in an egg’s shell is removed.

Furthermore, store-bought eggs are not sustainable outside of a refrigerator. (I bought mine from a kind neighbor.)

  • Glass jar with a lid (or other water-tight container with a lid)
  • Slaked lime or pickling lime (CALCIUM HYDROXIDE) and measuring spoon
  • Bowl or jar for mixing lime solution
  • Water

How To Lime-Water Preserve Eggs

In a large jar, mix room temperature water with one ounce (about two heaping tablespoons) of calcium hydroxide. You can adjust or multiply this ratio to suit your needs.

Lime Water

Shake or stir to mix. The mixture will be milky white.

How To Preserve Eggs With Lime WaterChoose eggs without cracks or any other issues and that are as fresh as possible. They should be clean but unwashed. Fill the jar with the eggs.

How To Preserve Eggs With Lime Water

Pour the lime-water solution over the eggs, ensuring they are completely submerged.

How To Preserve Eggs With Lime Water

Cap the jar tightly.

How To Preserve Eggs With Lime Water Store in a cool, dry location for up to two years.

LocationWhen you’re ready to use your preserved eggs, remove them from the solution and rinse.

(Rinsing ensures the lime solution will not affect the flavor of the eggs.)

Then crack them as use them as desired.

Final ResultCould It Be Any Easier?

When you preserve eggs with lime water, you are:

  • Ensuring a nutritious, versatile food source is available when you need it.
  • Making the most of the eggs your chickens produce. (I hate wasting food, and I’m sure the same is true for you.)

Eggs preserved using this method:

  • Do not require electricity for storage.
  • Will not attract rodents or insects.
  • Will remain viable for at least two years.

Preserving eggs for future use, whether for self-reliance, homesteading, or disaster preparation, is easy and smart.

What do you think? Do you have laying chickens? Will you try preserving eggs? Have you used a different method to preserve eggs? Let us know in the comments.

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Kristin Conlin
By Kristin Conlin February 2, 2021 08:14
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66 Comments

  1. Illini Warrior February 2, 14:03

    problem I have with the article is it’s overbearing & obvious bias against the other egg preserving methods >> explain your preferred method but don’t try dinging the others with biased BS ….

    water glassing has been around forever – explored that method along the other thoroughly >>> NEVER EVER heard of eggs “exploding” and needing to be “pinpricked” – talking 100s of sources with expert credentials ….

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    • Prepper 201 February 2, 16:12

      I thought it to be a great article and I feel you need to check your attitude at the door, you also have control issues.

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    • mstr9 February 2, 18:34

      Next time try not to be so arrogant and obnoxious when commenting on something!

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      • Brook 👩‍🌾🍏🍎 February 4, 00:03

        I raise organic free range layers that are also pets. I do get lots of eggs year round and with all this political shut downs and lies the restaurant I sold eggs to can no longer buy any so I have ever so many now. I will try the lime method. I enjoyed your presentation well. Thank you😄

        Reply to this comment
    • Ladybug February 3, 04:26

      Did you forget the title of the article? It was designed to focus on this one method.

      In these uncertain times, we should appreciate those who want to help others. Weed through the information, and you what works for you.

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    • red ant February 3, 11:12

      Don’t understand what the hell you just said.
      I think, your thinking is scrambled. lol.

      Trial and error. Why do y’all need perfect everything but the ones that came before y’all had to use trial and error. If it works it works if it dose not then try again if you fail, try again.
      Good luck because you have no faith.
      Read it again and slow down this time…

      Great info. Kristin Conlin

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    • Fustercluck February 5, 16:43

      Can someone explain (clean but unwashed) ?
      I know to some this might be a dumb question but if I’m going to try this method, I’d like to know for sure. Thanks

      Reply to this comment
      • Sam February 5, 17:56

        Enjoyed your article. If the objective is to seal the eggs, have we tried wax? No stupid questions; right?

        Reply to this comment
        • red ant February 6, 13:03

          NO,
          unless you wanted it to be cooked while being surrounded by the wax. You are talking hot wax?
          Good idea, but no you can’t do that…

          The object is to prolong the life of the egg or eggs. Clean unwashed eggs is what you need to use. So no chicken poop on the eggs or dirty eggs.
          Nice clean eggs, right from the back side. Funny how we love eggs but they come from the area that also poop and pee comes from… LOL. We call them Kackle Berries.

          Reply to this comment
      • MontanaMomma February 8, 17:13

        You must ask your farmer for unwashed eggs. They might be dusty and need to be wiped clean but no water or hard rubbing. when the chicken lays an egg a wet coating is on the egg. you need this to stay on the egg inorder to use this lime method of preserving.

        Reply to this comment
      • bison74 February 22, 23:47

        Cleaned means using a cloth/towel to gently wipe the egg and remove debris.

        Reply to this comment
    • Sam February 5, 17:59

      Illini Warrior – check the title of the article. Speaking of overbearing . . .

      Reply to this comment
  2. Michael February 2, 16:55

    It just says a large jar. I would like it to be more specific measurements. So 1 quart water to one ounce lime mix ratio?

    Reply to this comment
    • Prepper In Training February 3, 15:23

      Looking at a couple of other sites for preserving eggs in lime water, the recommended ration is one ounce of lime powder (by weight) to one quart of water.

      Reply to this comment
    • kristin conlin February 3, 18:06

      As I was testing out the recipe, I didn’t want to overdo it, so yes, I used a one-quart jar and filled it with as many eggs as would fit. If you have enough fresh eggs, you can use, really, any size jar. I’d guess a one-gallon jar would hold about 28 eggs or so, for example. For that gallon-sized jar, you’d need 4 ounces (about 8 tablespoons if you don’t have a kitchen scale) of lime.

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck February 5, 18:40

        Kristin: I really appreciate the fact that you followed the replies to your article and responded to questions posed by readers. Too many authors get their article posted and ignore what I consider valid questions. Thank you for taking the time to follow the responses to the article.

        Reply to this comment
      • Ginny- in West AU February 5, 22:57

        For those of us in the metric system:
        1 US quart = 946ml
        1 oz = 28g
        I’d do a rough conversion of 1 lt water to 30g of calcium hydroxide.

        Reply to this comment
  3. Marg February 2, 17:05

    Great ideas, thank you for explaining how to do in detail. Will plan on giving this a try. Thank you again!😄

    Reply to this comment
  4. CAT February 2, 17:42

    How much lime to how much water? Proportions are not given.

    Reply to this comment
    • Kristy February 3, 18:08

      You need an ounce of lime for a quart jar. A gallon jar would need 4 ounces. Add the eggs to the jar before filling with water. (An ounce is about 2 tablespoons. No need to fret about getting the lime measured to a very exact amount.)

      Reply to this comment
  5. Grandmommie Jane February 2, 18:12

    It doesn’t look any easier than this> I buy eggs from my neighbor but like you said, in the winter I have been having to buy the eggs from the grocery. I hate the taste, and the eggs are just not as healthy as those from free range chickens where there is a rooster with the hens. Thanks for the advise with the lime. I will use that when eggs are abundant from my neighbor this year.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Traderfran February 2, 18:51

    Can you use the white food grade plastic pails instead of glass jars?

    Reply to this comment
    • Kristy February 3, 18:09

      I didn’t find anything in my research that said you could. Therefore, I would not 🙂

      Reply to this comment
    • Stu February 4, 01:11

      Yes you can

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck February 5, 18:44

        Stu: Is that from first hand knowledge? Lime water, while not as caustic as other sodas, is still caustic and use might deteriorate the plastic over time. While one might be able to get away with plastic (which is really a very generic term for a lot of polymers of varying compounds) for short periods of time, prolonged use of plastic storing a caustic substance even as diluted as this just might cause the polymer to cast off undesirable chemicals in the chain.

        If this is personal experience, please describe your experience in detail. If it is from some outside source, please list the source so that we may peruse it ourselves.

        Reply to this comment
  7. Texas Fred February 2, 20:07

    Thank you Claud Davis, You got me started prepping, several years ago. I greatly appreciate any and all articles that provids helpful information. This is not required reading, so I have to agree with Prep 201, above!

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    • City Chick February 2, 22:59

      There is no way I can make use of this information at the present time, but that doesn’t mean that this is something that I should not make note of for future reference and to file in the good to know category. I think it is important to always leave one’s options opened! It is important to know how to do something from different approaches. In a push comes to shove scenario, that ability may make all the difference! As always, thank you for the info!

      Reply to this comment
      • Texas Fred February 3, 03:26

        The important thing is to take a first step. Buy a few large Canning jars with lids that seal tight. Next pick up a small supply of Calcium Hydroxide (you can probably order it from Walmart, on-line. These will store nicely under your bed, until you have the opportunity to buy farm fresh laid eggs. Once you start it’s addicting!

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        • Kristy February 3, 18:12

          I bought a small envelope of Calcium Hydroxide from Amazon. Very easy to store and will last practically forever (unless I start raising my own chickens!).

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          • Bigbone February 5, 15:10

            I’m in Central FL, drove half a day looking for pickling lime, even starting calling stores in the area. Nothing. Finally went to the “mrs wave” web site and found Ace hardware carried it and they had plenty at $4.36 for 2 pound bags. Forget Amazon at 15.00 dollars for the same amount.

            Reply to this comment
  8. Nel February 2, 20:26

    I thought this was a great article and gives the ability of keeping eggs for a longer period of time.

    Reply to this comment
  9. DroverDan February 2, 20:43

    Great tip sounds easy enough, I’m going to give it a try. Thanks Dan

    Reply to this comment
  10. T.M February 2, 21:19

    When you say mix the solution with water in a large jar, are you talking a quart jar or what? I would love more specific measurements, like 4 cups of water to two tablespoons of lime, etc. I am anxious to try it tho, thank you!!!

    Reply to this comment
    • Kristy February 3, 18:15

      T.M. — it’s so easy; no need to overthink it. I used a one-quart jar. I mixed the solution (2 tablespoons of lime and one quart of water) in a separate jar. Added my eggs to a clean jar and then poured the pre-mixed solution over the eggs. Easy peasy.

      Reply to this comment
  11. Barbarrosa February 2, 21:56

    Clear and helpful information. I think that you make a good case for this being the best method. You did point out the drawbacks of the other methods that you mentioned.

    Reply to this comment
  12. left coast chuck February 3, 00:02

    Well, not to be nit picky, but you don’t need electricity to melt butter nor fat. Gas heating will do just fine as will a wood fire. After an EOTW event, we will all be using wood for all kinds of heating purposes. Some in West VA, midstate PA and any other anthracite states will be able to dig in abandoned coal mines — you know the ones Commie Harris says can be rehabbed by laid off coal miners. They will once again be able to sell coal because all the windmills and solar panels will be fried — a least their rectifying components and the lines leading away from them if not the units themselves.

    Reply to this comment
    • City Chick February 3, 19:47

      If things keep going the way they are in DC, that may happen sooner rather than later. Have to step up my preps! Always better to keep busy!

      Reply to this comment
      • Texas Fred February 6, 01:38

        It probably depends on what city you are a chick in!
        I’m guessing small cities like Amarillo, Waco, or San Angelo, Texas. or maybe Saracuse, NY, or Albany are safer than Mega Metropolis, like NYC, Boston, Philly, LA, or their suburbs, yada, yada. Stay away from any and all that have major league atheletic franchises.

        Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck February 4, 03:12

      Speaking of which, there was a weird CME that bathed earth yesterday that created amazing aurora borealis according to spaceweather.com. The electrons (not the correct term, but I don’t remember the exact scientific term for the stream of whatever) streaming around the earth will continue the amazing northern lights display until the stream dissipates.

      Just another reminder that the sun emits CME constantly. It is not if we will be hit by an X category stream, just a question of when and how severely,

      Reply to this comment
  13. Poula February 3, 00:24

    Thank you for this article! Cookies made with dried eggs don’t taste anything as good as those made with fresh eggs. I am excited to try this so we can have fresh eggs in our food storage

    Reply to this comment
  14. Rosie February 3, 03:14

    Is that a quart jar that the lime water is getting mixed in? Looks like it, but I can’t tell exactly.

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    • Kristy February 3, 18:18

      Yep, I used a total of 2 one-quart jars. One for mixing and one for storing. You can use any container for the mixing part though, as long as it’s 2 tablespoons/1 ounce to 1 quart/4 cups of water. I just used what was convenient.

      Reply to this comment
  15. Con February 3, 14:17

    Just in time for my springtime eggs to be preserved for 2023 Thanks so much

    Reply to this comment
  16. Bill February 3, 15:21

    I am wondering, if before 2 years, you open the jar to use just a couple of eggs,can you reseal the jar, and, will the eggs and lime solution still remain good? Everyone should be looking for alternative storing methods! This sounds really easy and for EGGS,long term, Hell Yeah!

    Reply to this comment
    • Kristy February 3, 18:20

      I’m not sure if you can open and then reseal. I didn’t read about that in any of my research. When you open the jar, however, there is an opportunity to introduce foreign matter. It’s unlikely it would contaminate the eggs, but I think I would avoid it. I’ll update the comments if I learn anything more about this.

      Reply to this comment
  17. Rocky71 February 3, 15:37

    Great option. We will need all the options we can get in a relatively short time. I pray that this venue remains one which encourages free thought and the sharing of ideas. I for one will be doing this egg preservation method when the hens get busy!

    Reply to this comment
  18. just February 3, 17:20

    Can you use the lime water again for eggs? How many times?

    Reply to this comment
  19. left coast chuck February 3, 17:34

    Heaalthlline.com has an interesting article on calcium hydroxide that I recommend anyone interested in this process should read.

    Reply to this comment
    • Kristy February 3, 18:21

      I’ll be sure to check it out. Thanks for the tip.

      Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck February 3, 19:26

      I might add that the article also says when using quick lime or calcium hydroxide for food preparation always be sure to use food grade quick lime [CA)OH)2] as opposed to using commercial or industrial grade quick lime which is poisonous.

      Sodium hydroxide used to be used as household drain cleaner but no longer. Too many kiddies, unwatched by parents, got into it stored under the kitchen sink and drank it with the results being a horrible death or horrible scaring of the esophagus and mouth. The daughter of a colleague of mine had done that and survived but required numerous surgeries to repair the damage done by the sodium hydroxide drain cleaner. It may still be available for industrial drain cleaning but no longer for household drain cleaners.

      Reply to this comment
      • Texas Fred February 4, 04:27

        Very helpful info, lc chuck! Whatever is left over should be safely stored and very well marked, POISON!

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck February 14, 04:37

          Always mark containers as to the contents when storing substances in other than the original container. I don’t know how many times I have made that mistake only to pick up a jar some time later and wonder what I have stored in there.

          Sniff it. Well, can’t tell from the sniff test. Do I dare moisten a finger and taste it? What can it be? Is it poisonous? Is it caustic? It’s a glass olive jar. Is it something from the kitchen? What oh what can this mysterious liquid in a pint olive jar be?

          It is so easy to put stuff in a jar, put it down with the intent to label it later and forget about labeling it until you once again take it out of storage with puzzlement.

          Take it from been there, done that too many times. Always, always, always label stuff in other than original containers.

          If nothing else, you will save the cost of the stuff you threw out because you have forgotten what it was you put in that pickle jar.

          Reply to this comment
      • Dan February 15, 00:30

        Thanks for the info Chuck!

        Reply to this comment
  20. Arge February 3, 17:41

    Prepsteaders says one once by weight of the lime to one quart of distilled water

    Reply to this comment
  21. Faye February 3, 21:25

    Am I understanding correctly, store bought eggs can not be used or packed away in the Lime Water Solution?
    City girl but try to be prepared!

    Reply to this comment
    • Dan February 15, 00:28

      They have to be freshly laid eggs Faye, NOT store bought! When eggs are laid they have a natural coating that lubricates the eggs during the laying process and protects the insides of the egg from bacteria. Kristy called it a “bloom.” I didn’t know what it was called, but I have washed a lot of fresh eggs and I know they come with a thin coating.

      Reply to this comment
  22. Dreaded February 4, 20:08

    To start with I do not agree that he was over bearing and had it out for other methods.
    He told what is the truth as far as I can tell about how messy or hard other ways are to do.

    Reply to this comment
  23. left coast chuck February 4, 23:35

    While we still have electricity, or for those who have a propane refrigerator, eggs can be frozen to extend their shelf life. kitchen.com has the methods listed. If you freeze both yolk and white, you have to scramble the eggs before freezing. That’s not too bad for duh, scrambled eggs, or omelets or using in some kind of cooking where combined yolk and white are used. Yolks and whites can be frozen separately if your recipe calls for just egg white or yolk.

    If you are interested in freezing eggs, I would recommend that site. I didn’t get the full url, but go to the basic site and search for freezing eggs. It’s an easy read and not complicated.

    My curiosity is now aroused. I batch cook sausage and bacon and then freeze the cooked product. When I want either for a meal it is much quicker and uses fewer utensils to put two or three sausage in the microwave and nuke them for 30 second. Same with bacon. I undercook the bacon just a bit less than the way I like it because the bacon cooks faster in the microwave once cooked and in anything over 30 seconds makes it overcooked.

    With that said, I am going to try freezing scrambled eggs to see if they taste the same after freezing and getting nuked. Not quite freeze dried, just frozen. I will report the results here after I get them.

    Reply to this comment
  24. left coast chuck February 8, 05:09

    Okay. Friday morning while preparing breakfast, I cooked an extra scrambled egg. My recipe for scrambled eggs is 1/8 cup of whole milk per egg. I microwave my scrambled eggs. If I carefully measure the milk, the egg is cooked in 2 minutes. If am not so careful and maybe put in 1/4 cup of milk, it takes 2 minutes 30 seconds to cook the egg. I carefully measured the milk this time as this was a scientific test and I wanted to be accurate. I use a stoneware pot with a vented lid. It makes the perfect sized scrambled egg patty that just fits a Thomas English muffin. I let the egg cool and put it on a piece of parchment paper which I placed an a small flat dish and placed in the freezer compartment of my fridge.

    Saturday morning I had my egg already prepared. No scrambling necessary. I was surprised that the egg was rather firmly frozen to the parchment paper. I think next time I try this experiment I will use waxed paper to see if the egg releases easier. I had to heat the egg for 30 seconds in the microwave in order to be able to pry it loose from the paper and plate. I then nuked it for another minute. I only wanted to heat it, not make it suitable to attach to the sole of my shoe.

    The microwave used was an 1100 watt microwave. However, I had no way of measuring the voltage of the electricity being supplied by Edison at the moment of cooking. It is nominally 110-120 but given the shaky state of electricity in this third world state, your guess as to the voltage is as valid as any.

    Perhaps at only 2 minutes the moisture in the egg was not optimally removed and it needed perhaps 15 seconds more of cooking or even 30 but I was concerned that the egg, once frozen would be too dry upon being reheated.

    The egg was edible and I could not detect any difference in taste or texture from a freshly microwaved scrambled egg.

    This scientific test of freezing scrambled eggs has not yet been peer reviewed although I would welcome testing by readers of this list using my described test modalities in order to validate my test results.

    Reply to this comment
  25. Montana Mamma February 8, 17:51

    A comment from below made me think of a couple of questions. I was going to use 1/2 a 1 gallon jars. If I open them can I just close the lid and the rest will be ok? It doesn’t say anything about a water bath so is the resealing simply closing the lid. If once it is open then trying to use 28 eggs in a hurry is not what I was planning on.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck February 14, 04:44

      Thus limiting your batches to one quart jars with only a half dozen or so eggs makes using the product in a reasonable time practical.

      After numerous occasions of preserving food in batches that are too large for immediate consumption, I have finally caught on — Hey, smaller batches, while a little more bother making at the front end are a lot easier to use at the consumption end. It’s not that I am so smart, it’s that after making the same mistake over and over again I have finally started to catch on. Better to be a slow learner than not learn at all.

      Reply to this comment
  26. Dan February 14, 23:51

    Thank you for the information Kristy! We usually end up with a few more eggs than we can eat and end up giving them to our dogs. I won’t tell them that I got this info from you!

    Reply to this comment
  27. Pat February 21, 21:03

    I live in Florida where there are no “cool, dry places” Is there a suggested substitute without going underground? I am so interested in many of these preserving methods but unfortunately we don’t have cellars here.

    Reply to this comment
  28. Jesus February 22, 20:07

    Sounds GROSS! Just boil them peel them and flavor them by pickling or use a freeze dryer after you scramble them.

    Reply to this comment
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