I wasn’t sure if we could talk about eggs for an entire podcast episode, but I was wrong! From producing eggs in your own backyard to the many ways you can include them in your diet, there is plenty to discuss about this amazing superfood. Lisa Steele is an expert backyard chicken keeper and has just released a cookbook all about using eggs in your kitchen, so I knew she’d be the perfect guest for this conversation. You might be surprised at the many directions our conversation takes! Whether you are raising a backyard flock of chickens or just want some new ideas for incorporating eggs into your diet, there is something for everyone in this episode.
In this episode, we cover:
- What egg carton labels actually mean and how to know what to prioritize in the grocery store
- How to start sourcing your eggs from outside of the grocery store
- A discussion on the nutritional profile of eggs and why they are a perfect food
- Other types of eggs you can eat besides chicken eggs and how they compare
- All about cooking eggs– what fats to use, what pans to use
- Walking through classic egg recipes with a unique spin
- Addressing concerns about consuming raw eggs
- Various methods for preserving and storing eggs
- Why you might want to feed egg shells to your chickens and how to do so
- The most common mistakes people make when cooking eggs
- How to get a colorful egg basket from your backyard chickens
With over ten years experience making a home, author and mom of seven, Lisa Bass, shares her love for from scratch cooking, natural living and all things handmade. As a full-time blogger and homeschooler, Lisa also mixes in a little mom life and business tips.
Nearly every mother experiences fear throughout her parenting journey. As Jennifer and I discuss in this episode, there are often new fears that emerge at every stage of parenthood. We may fear failing our kids or fear for their safety, but the reality is that fear creates a suffocating environment in our homes. As a long-time homeschooling mother of seven, Jennifer shares her journey of recognizing the impact of fear on her family and how she used the power of story to overcome it. This is such a rich, grace-filled conversation meant to encourage you as you fight fear and embrace joy in your mothering.
In this episode, we cover:
- How fears in motherhood change from season to season
- The most common sources of our fears as mothers
- Transforming our families by exchanging the power of fear for the power of joy
- Using the power of story of overcome fears
- The gifts we give our children by prioritizing reading aloud as a family
- Creating an environment in which our kids can pursue their unique interests
- Reconnecting to our own passions and interests in the midst of mothering
- How mothers can model a life of joy in our homes
- What to read and how to create time for reading aloud
Thank you to our sponsors!
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Thank you to our sponsors!
Toups and Co Organics uses nourishing, organic ingredients to create simple and safe skincare products. Toups and Co is offering my listeners 10% off any one purchase with the code FARMHOUSE. Visit ToupsandCo.com to order today. And check out my interview with the founder of Toups and Co, Emilie, to find out more about this amazing company and their products.
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About Lisa Steele
From her beautiful farm in Maine, Lisa has contributed her sage advice to the backyard chicken keeping community for more than a decade and has recently entered the culinary arena with the release of her first cookbook, The Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook.
Dubbed “Queen of the Coop”, she has been featured on national media such as The View, Martha Knows Best on HGTV, the Wall Street Journal, NPR’s Here & Now and The Splendid Table, Dr. Oz, P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home on public television and the Hallmark Home & Family Show.
She’s an author, 5th-generation chicken keeper, Master Gardener, “eggspert” and coop-to-kitchen cook.
Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook by Lisa Steele
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Lisa Bass Welcome back to the Simple Farmhouse Life podcast. I’m about to share with you an interview I did with Lisa Steele from Fresh Eggs Daily. We’re going to talk about eggs, and you might think that is going to be a really short episode because how much can you talk about such a small subject as eggs? But actually it’s a very wide subject. So we talk about recipes and good ones for quick and easy school mornings, and she even has a recipe that I’ve never even heard of that is something I’m really excited to try. It’s very simple and easy and pretty genius, if you ask me. We’re going to talk about raw eggs and a little bit on chicken breeds and which ones for those colorful eggs in your egg basket. So if you’re interested not only in getting started with backyard chickens, because this is for people who just want to know how to source quality eggs and what to do with them, this is going to be a great episode for you.
Lisa Bass My name is Lisa, mother of seven and creator of the blog and YouTube channel Farmhouse on Boone. Join me as I share with you my love for creating a handmade home, from-scratch cooking, and a little mom and entrepreneur life along the way.
Lisa Bass Well. Hey, Lisa, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. I’m really excited to chat. I knew I wanted to have you on to talk about something related to either homesteading or even business or book writing— we talked about that privately. But as I was looking through your new cookbook and your YouTube videos and your blog and Instagram, I’m like, okay, we got to just chat about eggs. At first I thought, okay, is there going to be enough content? And then I look through and I’m like, oh, there’s plenty to talk about eggs. So let’s start with introductions. Tell us about who you are, where to find you online. And then, of course, your new Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook.
Lisa Steele Yes. Hi, Lisa. Great name. So I am Lisa Steele, and I created Fresh Eggs Daily about 12 years ago now. Honestly, it started just as a backyard chicken keeping blog that came from social media—it was Facebook back then—really just as an archive to kind of write maybe the common questionS I was getting, write answers to them so I could share links and help people raise their chickens and all that. And I wrote a couple books about raising backyard chickens. And fast forward all these years, I finally broke into the culinary world and wrote an egg cookbook, which just had been a dream of mine and something that I thought was the next step, because I’ve been teaching people how to raise chickens all these years, and now they need to know how to use all their eggs. So you can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, my blog. It’s all Fresh Eggs Daily. Lots of backyard chicken keeping content, but also lots of cool stuff about eggs and some recipes.
Lisa Bass Yeah. Like I said earlier, I was thinking, how many ways are there to cook eggs or what else could we talk about? And then I instantly started thinking of so many things. As homesteaders, we have about 40 chickens. And right now, especially how to use up all the eggs is definitely something that I’m very interested in hearing your take on because we have so many and they’re such a great source of protein. They’re pretty much a perfect food. And then we can also go into preserving eggs so that way you don’t run out of eggs in the winter when there’s less daylight. And so plenty to talk about there. The first thing I had on my list was labels on eggs. So if people aren’t raising their own chickens and they’re wanting to find a good source, I think a lot of the labeling can be misleading. So you had I think it was a YouTube video or a blog post about this. What do you teach as far as what the labels on the eggs mean?
Lisa Steele Yeah, that’s a great place to start because obviously everyone can’t raise chickens or doesn’t want to raise chickens, but there definitely is a way to choose, let’s say, the best eggs from the grocery store because there’s a wide range of how the chickens are treated, how they’re fed, all these other things. So the carton, which is like a huge billboard— I mean, you look at the cartons and there’s just so much on them and there’s so much that really doesn’t mean anything like all natural, farm fresh, even local. You know, those are all just marketing terms that you really can disregard.
Lisa Bass Yeah.
Lisa Steele So really, what you want to look for—just to kind of cut straight to the chase—is you want pasture raised, if eating organically is important to you, then looking for organic eggs is also important. But it’s important to know that the organic label speaks more to what the chickens are eating in their diet—so they’re being fed organic feed—than how they’re really treated. So if it’s important to you that the chickens that lay your eggs are happy, then you really want to look for pasture raised because that means that they are out on some sort of dirt, grass, wooded area or whatever all day long— locked up at night, obviously, so they’re safe. But it’s kind of confusing because cage free is sort of like the new buzz word. It’s like a feel good word that everyone wants cage free eggs. And really all that means is the chickens that were in these tiny little cages the size of a piece of typing paper—which we all know is bad for them—these cages are opened, and now all these chickens are in a big, huge warehouse, which is no better. And actually there’s a higher mortality rate. You raise chickens. You know chickens are mean, and they’re killing each other and they’re pecking each other and they’re stepping on each other, and they’re laying their eggs who knows where. And so honestly, it’s really best for the chicken to be in a cage because they’re safe and they’re getting enough food and they’re— you know, which is really terrible because that’s also terrible for the chicken. So cage free or caged is really bad. And you want to look for pasture raised organic if that’s important to you. And also local. A lot of national grocery chains do carry local farm eggs. So look on the side of the carton and see where the farm is located.
Lisa Bass Yeah. So the local coupled with a few of the other markers because like for us, we have a local farm and it— or it’s not really a farm; it’s a local factory. And you don’t see a single chicken when you go past it, but you definitely smell it. And so yeah, local coupled with cage free is definitely a good option. And then also, what are some tips for finding just like a sign out and— maybe Facebook marketplace or a farmer that you could get eggs from regularly?
Lisa Steele Yeah. So, I mean, I live in rural Maine, so we cannot go ten houses before there’s the fresh eggs sign. But even in the suburban and urban areas, people are raising chickens. So drive around your neighborhood or like you mentioned, check Facebook Marketplace or check at your local feed store or even the post office. Just start looking for fresh egg signs and you probably can find somebody in your area who’s raising chickens and who has eggs to sell.
Lisa Bass Yeah, my tip for that, too, is to get a collection of people. So before we raised chickens, I had several sources for a lot of different things, from meat to milk to eggs, because as a farmer, there are times when you have an abundance that you want to sell off, and then there’s times when you’re getting just enough for you and your family. And so you can’t really necessarily rely on those sources like you can the grocery store. And so having a collection of different farmers you can call for different things is really, really helpful for you to start to establish wherever you might live.
Lisa Steele Yeah, that’s really true. And an old timer told me years ago—and it was really good advice—he said he treats eggs as any other seasonal crop, like tomatoes. You eat a lot of tomatoes when they’re in season. And same with eggs, as you mentioned, there are times a year that you have so many eggs that you’re just throwing them in a compost pile because you cannot freeze or preserve or eat them fast enough. And in the middle of the winter, you have none. So it does ebb and flow. And same with if you have a source, you’re right. Or and God forbid, their flock could get attacked by a fox or something could happen. So you need more than one person to supply you.
Lisa Bass Yeah. Yep. Good tips. Okay. So why are eggs a staple in your diet? What’s the nutritional profile that makes eggs such an attractive food for pretty much everybody?
Lisa Steele They are. The USDA—I guess it is—goes back and forth about whether eating eggs is bad for you, cholesterol wise and all this other stuff. And yeah, they have cholesterol in them, but they also are a complete protein, which means that they contain all of the amino acids and they’re a great still fairly inexpensive source of protein when you compare other meats. And right now, it seems to be that as long as you’re not drowning them in butter or tons of oil or hollandaise sauce or whatever, eating an egg or two a day is not bad. Plus, they’re so versatile. I feel like you can just do so much with an egg, whereas there’s only so much you can do with it with a piece of steak or even chicken. I mean, chicken’s fairly versatile. But eggs fit into any time of day, whether you are vegetarian, keto, paleo, whatever diet profile or eating profile you follow— I don’t know. There’s not many people that don’t eat eggs, I think.
Lisa Bass Yeah, some people are allergic to eggs, but for the most part, they—like you said—they lend themselves to every time of the day. They go in baked goods. We—whenever we have a lot of eggs—like to even just add a couple extra eggs to a baked good. A lot of times it can totally accommodate for that. It’ll just be a little bit of a different texture. And I’m in the camp of like butter is good too and so I’m like, oh yeah, eat all the eggs, smother them in butter. I know that there’s different schools of thought on that. But yeah, I try to get as many eggs as possible into my family. Like you said, they’re inexpensive. They are very good complete protein. Now, when we think of eggs, typically the first thing that pops in everybody’s brain and I’m sure this is what you mostly teach on your blog— chickens. But what about duck, quail, goose? What kind of eggs are you raising on your own farm? And then what are some other ones that are unconventional that we might not think of?
Lisa Steele Yeah, good point. And you mentioned being allergic to eggs. There are a lot of people that are allergic to chicken eggs that can eat duck eggs. It’s a completely different protein. So that’s something to keep in mind for people. And vice versa. People can be allergic to duck eggs and not chicken. So we have ducks and geese and we do get eggs from all of them. I mean, in my cookbook, actually, I do talk about this a little bit because I know people do raise different types of poultry, but three chicken eggs is equal to two duck eggs, which is equal to one goose egg. So you can make that substitution. You know, like you said, it’s going to maybe change your baked goods a little bit. Duck eggs and goose eggs are a little higher in fat, but for the most part, I sub in duck eggs for chicken eggs all the time in cooking or baking.
Lisa Bass Yeah. So you’ll just do like two to one? So you’ll do two chicken eggs for one duck egg or do you ever—if you have like a really massive like a goose egg—just scramble it and then measure it by the tablespoon?
Lisa Steele You can. Yes, you can absolutely— I mean, honestly, if we have the smaller duck eggs, I’ll use them one for one sometimes. Like you were saying, adding extra egg usually is not going to totally screw up your recipe. But if you’re one of those people that like weighs your flour, and if you’re like a super anal baker, you can always whisk the egg and then just measure out three tablespoons, and that’s equivalent to one chicken egg.
Lisa Bass My blog readers definitely know that I’m not like that. So all the other blogs I get on, it always says “one large egg” and it says like “unsalted butter”. I’m like “butter” and “egg”. I’m telling you, it’s not going to matter. And I get the people on my comments who swear that it does, and they’re like, “Well, what size? And is this unsalted butter?” And I’m like, “Don’t worry. Whether you use unsalted, salted, an egg, or a large egg, trust me, it’s going to turn out.” And I know that drives some people crazy and some people it’s like liberating.
Lisa Steele No, I agree. And I mean, I used to be an accountant and I like to bake, and I think like the whole numbers thing and the exacting— to me, it’s very relaxing to just have a recipe and have to follow it.
Lisa Bass Okay. Yeah.
Lisa Steele You know, I’m not cooking where you just kind of throw stuff and taste it and throw it in more or whatever. That, to me, is a little more nerve racking.
Lisa Bass Okay.
Lisa Steele Whereas, baking, I like having my formulas. Right? But even salt— if you use Diamond as opposed to Morton, the crystals are bigger or smaller so a teaspoon is not a teaspoon. Unless you’re weighing things, your baking is going to come out different than the recipe most likely.
Lisa Bass Yeah.
Lisa Steele Because you’re right, using even a different brand of butter, even a different brand of flour, they have different protein percentages. So like if you are that particular about your baking, you need to buy a baking scale and you need to use it. Otherwise, just throw everything in and it comes out.
Lisa Bass Yeah. It’s not me, but I know that there’s different styles when it comes to that.
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Lisa Bass Okay. So you have a video on your YouTube about frying eggs in oil or butter. So I have my own personal experience and opinions on that as well, but I want to hear from your perspective which one is better.
Lisa Steele So I don’t know that one is better. I mean, I personally like to use both.
Lisa Bass Okay, at the same time?
Lisa Steele I’m like you. I eat eggs, I eat butter, I use whole cream. I don’t use low fat, low this, no carb. Like I use full, fresh, local food.
Lisa Bass Right.
Lisa Steele So I like to use oil and butter especially if I’m making an omelet where you definitely don’t want stuff to stick. I think the butter adds better flavor, but the oil has got a higher smoking point, so it’s going to not make your edges burn and stuff like that. I don’t know. I just use both. And I love to throw in some heavy cream too. Just because.
Lisa Bass Oh yeah. So that was something I have on my list here to talk about with you. And I’m really interested in hearing about that because I’ve never tried that. Before we go to that, are you usually doing like a little bit of butter and a little bit of oil combined?
Lisa Steele Yeah, I’ll usually turn the pan on, drizzle a little bit of oil in, and then grab a pat of butter— like, not a tablespoon, but like, you know, a pat, whatever. And then swirl it around. And once the butter is all bubbly, then I’ll put my eggs in whether I’m making an omelet, scrambled eggs, fried egg, whatever. I just like the combination. But, I mean, either/or. Like I don’t think there’s a better or— like if I don’t have butter, I just use oil. Or no oil, I just use butter.
Lisa Bass Now are you using cast iron? Because in my experience I do much better with the egg not sticking if I use butter than oil. And it could be the type of oil that I’m using, but I exclusively cook on cast iron. So that could be the reason for that. And I mentioned in this outline talking about pans. So you can touch on that, too.
Lisa Steele Yeah. So cast iron— I mean, I’m definitely a fan of cast iron. I don’t use nonstick. I don’t care if you tell me it doesn’t have whatever in it because you know 20 years from now they’ll be like, “Oh, well, that coating did have something in it that was terrible and now causing cancer in everybody.”
Lisa Bass Yeah.
Lisa Steele But a lot of people like to fry their eggs in bacon grease and I always have trouble with them sticking. I don’t understand it. I can have a half an inch of bacon grease in the pan, and the eggs will still stick with all that grease. So I don’t understand it. So I actually started using enameled cast iron.
Lisa Bass Okay.
Lisa Steele So, it’s like a cast iron pan, but it has like an enamel coating which makes it basically nonstick. You have to use like plastic or wood on it because it can scratch. But if you are using the cast iron— I mean, I do use cast iron for cooking dinner and all that kind of stuff. As soon as I’m done with it, I wipe it out and put more oil, wipe that around on the inside. Every time after I use it, I wipe the inside with more oil. So maybe that helps with the nonstick ability of it.
Lisa Bass Yeah. Yeah. Now, with your bacon, are you talking about going straight from cooking bacon to then putting the eggs in with the grease? Or are you talking about if you’ve reserved grease and put them in a clean cast iron?
Lisa Steele Okay. So I’m talking mainly like you cook your bacon, you take it out, you throw your eggs in. Because if I’m cooking breakfast for a bunch of people, that’s usually what I’ll do. Do you think it’s different if you’ve reserved the grease?
Lisa Bass It is. So the thing with it that happens with cast iron is if there’s anything stuck on at all, like you know whenever you flip your bacon, a little bit gets left behind, just like a tiny almost like a little coating. So whenever something is stuck on first, the food always sticks. So if I have bacon grease that I’ve strained off and then I’ve cleaned the pan—so I got off every last little bit of bacon—and then add the bacon grease, it won’t stick. But that’s why. It’s because the meat is a little bit stuck. Even if you don’t see anything, it’s almost like a film that happens with bacon. And so the pan itself is kind of coated first. And so the egg isn’t making contact with the nice seasoned pan. It’s like sticking to the bacon itself. I don’t know if that helps.
Lisa Steele Got it. I’m going to have to try that. I mean, normally I don’t cook in bacon grease unless I’m just cooking a big breakfast, and I’m like, once the bacon is cooked, eggs go in. But yeah, I’ll have to try that— strain it out and then try it. Interesting.
Lisa Bass Yeah. Okay. So I’m very interested in this cream fried eggs. Believe it or not, I’ve never tried that. I’ve never even heard of it. We have so much cream because we have a dairy cow and we just weaned the calf. We actually just got rid of the calf. And so the cream line is like six inches thick, and this sounds amazing. So do you literally just put cream in with your butter and then fry the eggs in the cream?
Lisa Steele Yeah. So it actually happened because I didn’t have any butter and I didn’t really feel like using olive oil. I feel like olive oil is a little strong for eggs, whatever. So I had like a little bit of cream in the bottom of the container, which you always end up with like a little extra, right? So I poured that into the skillet and then it started to bubble, put the eggs in, and as it continues to cook, the milk fats separate and it kind of caramelizes, and it was really great and really cool, and the whites were like super creamy. And I was like, I just invented something.
Lisa Bass You did.
Lisa Steele And then I looked it up and it’s a thing. People do it. But I’ve done cream fried and also cream baked. They’re both in my cookbook, both recipes. And I mean, any time I have like a little bit of cream left in the bottom of the container— just enough on the bottom to cover the bottom.
Lisa Bass Yeah.
Lisa Steele You don’t need a ton of it. It comes out so good, and the eggs are so good.
Lisa Bass It was a good thought because you use cream to make butter. And so essentially you’re like using butter and buttermilk to fry your egg, just still combined.
Lisa Steele Exactly. And I mean, I cook them until it starts to really separate back into— I mean, it’s definitely caramelizing and then you got your butter fats, and I was like, I just invented something so cool. And turns out, I didn’t invent it at all.
Lisa Bass That happens to me all the time with blogging where I start to think of something like, oh, I wonder if somebody has tried this. Then you search it and you’re like, sure enough. But oh well, I’m just going to show it with my take. I did think of this. This is an original thought.
Lisa Steele Exactly.
Lisa Bass You also mentioned baking. So are you sometimes putting like cream in the bottom of a baking dish and then cracking eggs in and then putting it in the oven?
Lisa Steele Yeah. If you’re going to do— like if you have a larger group, you can bake it and kind of same deal, add some cheese or whatever. And it comes out like a creamy egg casserole.
Lisa Bass Ooh. And that seems like such an easy— I’m thinking right now about like school morning. We homeschool, but we have a very tight schedule that we’re going to try to start implementing as of like next week, and— or at the time of this recording; it’s well underway probably when this comes out. But I’m trying to think of things that I can just throw in the oven and then get on to other tasks. And that seems like it’s kind of like a quiche, but just not scrambled up.
Lisa Steele Not scrambled up. And then you don’t even have to give them a glass of milk because you’re like, “Well, your cream was in your eggs, so you’re good to go.”
Lisa Bass Yeah. Right. That seems awesome. So you have a couple other recipes I wanted to touch on. One was the oven pancake. Again, that’s something that I think would be really good for school mornings. You also have a sweet and a savory version of that, I believe.
Lisa Steele Yeah. And it’s basically like a Dutch baby. I just happen to be Scandinavian, so it’s like a different— you know how every culture has like the same thing that they call it something different?
Lisa Bass Yeah.
Lisa Steele It’s basically an oven pancake, but it’s a Dutch baby. So, you whip it all up, throw it in. And then when it comes out, you can make it savory, like with sausage or bacon or even you could put— I think on YouTube we had like balsamic tomatoes and basil or something like that and some cheese, I think was what we— because I had cooked it with somebody else. Or you can do like the berries and the confectioners sugar, maple syrup type of thing. But yeah, that’s quick and easy and it puffs up, so it’s kind of fun.
Lisa Bass Yeah, it does. And it’s really not that sweet, the original recipe, the one that I use. And so I could see how you could definitely make it go more savory if you wanted to. I hadn’t really thought of that.
Lisa Steele Yeah, it’s like a savory pancake. I mean, I put sugar and cardamom in it, but you could definitely just leave it out if you’re going to go the savory route.
Lisa Bass Yeah. That sounds really good. I also like to do—with eggs—breakfast pizzas, and I’ll do it with my sourdough starter. It’s this really easy way where I just basically heat the skillet and then put the starter in, bake it for a couple of minutes, and then put on like cheese and sausage and fried eggs. And it’s so good and so— it’s easy, but it’s not like one of those school morning ones that I’m talking about. It’s a little bit more effort.
Lisa Steele A little more effort. Yeah. I like breakfast pizza, too. I mean, I’ll eat leftover cold pizza for breakfast as well, but I do like bacon and eggs pizza.
Lisa Bass So what are some of your other— like if there are any other notable recipes that you want to mention from the cookbook that might get our wheels turning a bit?
Lisa Steele You know, I went—hopefully it’s like just my first cookbook of many—but I did go pretty classic. So I wanted— like I thought, what would be helpful to me as a person who eats a lot of eggs, who has a lot of eggs, whether or not you have chickens? But I think some recipes like pound cake, and angel food cake, lemon meringue pie, creme brulee, like those are maybe things that people don’t make or that— you know, I think I bought every egg cookbook on Amazon used when I was writing my book just to see what was in them. And I was surprised how few had these basic foundational recipes that use a lot of eggs. So I really wanted to include those because I thought, well, for just me, I make those all the time, and it would be really helpful to have them all in one cookbook, you know? For my next book, if I do write another one, I want to get a little more creative, like a little away from those classics. But there’s a reason they’re classics because they’re good. They’re good, solid recipes. But I do have Toad in the Hole, which is great for school mornings. It’s basically like a— I don’t know what you’d call it, like a quiche or a frittata, but you stick sausages in it. So they’re supposed to look like little toads poking their heads out of the ground.
Lisa Bass Okay. Yeah.
Lisa Steele That’s a fun one. Or eggs baked in butternut squash. Eggs baked in puff pastry.
Lisa Bass Ooh.
Lisa Steele You know, it’s kind of like I have an egg. What the heck can I do with it? I look around and I’m like, oh, I’ve got some puff pastry. Let’s see what I can do with this.
Lisa Bass Yeah. I haven’t tried that. I like the idea of it being these basic recipes, because once you’re really comfortable with them, if you are just using some liberty in your kitchen to stretch them into whatever you want to do— like if you have some raspberries, you can adjust it to make something that you is sweetened and has raspberries. Having those foundational recipes—especially once you’ve advanced in your cooking skills—means that you can play around with them. And so it’s good to have a classic thing like that.
Lisa Steele That’s true. You know, I always laugh when I read comments on food blogs and they’ll make something with like walnuts and there’ll be a comment and be like, “I don’t like walnuts. Can I use pecans?” Of course you can. Some people are so afraid to make the substitutions.
Lisa Bass Oh my goodness. My sister and I, we have so much fun because we’re both bloggers, so we have fun in real life talking about our comments. It’s not something you just want to blast all over the Internet because it makes you sound negative, but it’s fun for us because people are like, “Can I leave out the cilantro? I don’t like the taste.” Yes, absolutely. Just do that. Or, “How do I double this?” I’m like—
Lisa Steele It’s funny. And then obviously, there are some questions like, “Would this work with almond flour?” Or whatever. But things like swapping out the nut or leaving off the cilantro garnish—
Lisa Bass Yeah.
Lisa Steele It’s funny you mention that because I have a rhubarb clafoutis recipe in the cookbook. And I saw on Instagram that someone had made the clafoutis in little ramekins, like individual ones. So I took my basic recipe—I didn’t have any rhubarb; I used blueberries—and made it in the individuals, and using that same basic foundational recipe completely changed it, and it came out great. So you’re right, it’s knowing the different techniques or— it just gives you a jumping off point.
Lisa Bass Yeah. And in fairness to our readers, sometimes you are getting people who just have not reached that comfort level yet. And so in ten years, they’re going to know that. But right now they’re like, “I don’t know. Does this change the structure of the recipe?” So it sometimes it does take a little time and experimentation and trial and error to be more comfortable knowing about—
Lisa Steele And stuff is expensive, so you don’t want to mess up a recipe. Especially baking. Like cooking soup, you mess it up or whatever, you can add things as you go along, but with baking, it’s kind of like you have to do it and you put it in the oven and you just hope it came out.
Lisa Bass Yeah. I share sourdough on my blog, and so there’s— sourdough can be really tricky, especially when you’re teaching other people because the hydration of your starter can be different, people have different humidity levels, it’s different temperatures. And so I get a lot of comments and people are like, “This didn’t work.” And I’m like, “Just try again.” But I also tell people to definitely use it. I very, very rarely have to throw something out. I will usually find some way to repurpose it. One example of this—and I actually discovered this somewhat recently, but this is on the list to talk about was mayo—have you ever had your mayo with the immersion blender not set before? Because I have a hack if you’ve ever had that happen.
Lisa Steele I did. And I think it was when I was making a video and I was like, are you kidding me? Like I’ve gone through all of this.
Lisa Bass You’re like, this works every single time. Except this time.
Lisa Steele Except this time. Yeah.
Lisa Bass Yeah. I’ve made mayo dozens of times. It always works. And I’ve had people in my comments say, “This did not work. It was soupy.” And I’m like, “Well, I don’t know what you did because it works.” Well, then it happened to me, of course. It did happen. And it’s actually happened twice since. And what I do is I take the oil that didn’t set up—it’s just basically like eggy oil—and I re put the egg in another jar and then just use the eggy oil as the oil and then it works the second time around.
Lisa Steele Like re-pour it?
Lisa Bass So I’ve done this a couple of times and I’m like, that’s good because I don’t throw stuff out, especially a cup of oil. That’s pricey.
Lisa Steele Exactly. Yeah, and you eat it, and you go, “That probably could have come out better.” Like when I was writing my cookbook, it made my husband crazy because he would eat something one time, two times, three times, like recipe testing, you know? And then I’d be like, “But I really think it can be better.” And he’d be like, “Can we move on to the next recipe because we’ve already had this three times.” And I’m like, “No, we will keep eating it until it’s perfect.”
Lisa Bass Nope. I’m in the zone.
Lisa Steele Yeah, it was a lot. But rarely is something so bad that you can’t even eat it. You just go, “That should have been a little less chewy or it should have been a little more this or that or whatever.” But yeah, you learn. You practice and you learn.
Lisa Bass Right. Yeah. And don’t be so quick to throw stuff out. So in regards to the mayo— whenever I post about that, I usually get people who are very uncomfortable with the raw eggs. So what would you say to that?
Lisa Steele Okay. First of all, we have COVID and monkeypox flying around. Raw eggs are like so low on my scale of what I’m worried about. I mean, I think when you raise your own chickens and you know what they’re eating and how they’re raised and you know the eggs are super fresh— you know, as an egg sits around, any bacteria in it is going to multiply. Right? So the fresher the egg, the less chance that you’re going to get sick. There is lemon juice hopefully in your—or some kind of acid—in your mayonnaise, which helps to kill any bacteria. It’s funny because I tried TikTok— hate it and decided it’s not for me, but the one video I did that went viral—I got like over 2 million views—I made mayonnaise in my immersion blender, and then I stuck my spatula in, and I licked the spatula and started eating the mayonnaise off the spatula.
Lisa Bass Ooh, that’s shocking, Lisa.
Lisa Steele And the comments— first of all, people had no idea that they were raw eggs in mayonnaise, number one. Number two, people were like, “Who eats mayonnaise like that? Like, did she just eat that off the spatula?” And I’m like, “Is that weird?”
Lisa Bass You’ve never tried homemade.
Lisa Steele I’ve eaten mayonnaise out of the jar sometimes. Like the comments— people hated it. They were just like appalled. “You’re going to get salmonella. This is so awful,” and whatever. And I was like great. It went viral. Yay.
Lisa Bass You’re like, that was a month ago. I’m still alive.
Lisa Steele Exactly. I’m like, really? I mean, I make hollandaise sauce. I make Caesar salad dressing, I make tiramisu. All these things have raw eggs in them. I don’t worry about it. I mean, if you’re old or young or pregnant or sick or immune compromised, yeah, you probably should not eat a ton of raw eggs. But most of the recipes, though, they do have alcohol. Like tiramisu has alcohol in it. Mayonnaise has the lemon juice in it. Like there is something to counteract that raw egg, you know, possible bacteria.
Lisa Bass Yeah. I mean, this would have not been controversial at all like 100 years ago. And people always, when I say stuff like this, people are like, “Well, people died at 40.” I’m like, I understand that we have modern medicine and science that has helped us to live longer. I get that. But we also were more comfortable with some things that really are good things, too. And to me, I mean— I know you said not if you’re pregnant and obviously take your own doctor’s advice, but like I load up on raw milk, raw eggs when I’m pregnant because of the protein that it provides. So obviously that’s a whole different subject and people will have their own thoughts. But I do that as something actually good. And so trusting the source is important. And then I also saw that you leave yours out overnight. Or is that something I saw on your— I think it was your YouTube? Something for the bacteria maybe?
Lisa Steele Yeah. So the acid that you’ve got in the mayonnaise is going to work to counteract and kill the bacteria, but it’s not going to happen if it’s being chilled in the fridge. That’s going to happen at room temperature. So I mean honestly, I make mayonnaise, I don’t make it in super large batches. Usually I’m making it to use it right then. So I’ll usually just make it and use it. It doesn’t really sit around for very long. You know, I definitely wouldn’t recommend like making it and letting it sit for as long as your commercial mayonnaise would be sitting around.
Lisa Bass Right. Yeah.
Lisa Steele Going back to people and how they used to eat, I think people back then also had a lot stronger immune systems because they were outside more, they were working in the dirt, they were working around animals. You know, they weren’t being protected in cubicles and offices and regurgitated air. So I think people’s systems could handle more because they just had stronger immune systems I would think.
Lisa Bass Yeah, that’s true. I don’t have any like scientific study to back this up, so I could very well be wrong, but did people— were they as sick? They died earlier because of life-saving surgeries, antibiotics. I get that and I’m so thankful for that. Sometimes I say this, and people don’t hear me. They think I’m saying like— you know, like I’ve used those things for me and my own children, and I’m glad they exist. However, while they were alive for their short 40 years, were they as sick as us? Were their bodies always— I don’t know. Like, we’re just— it seems like our systems aren’t as robust.
Lisa Steele No, I’d say they were super healthy. And I don’t think everybody died of disease either. I mean, I’m sure people did, but like there were also a lot of wars. Like and if you got shot or even probably if you got cut, like there was tetanus and there was—
Lisa Bass Yeah, no antibiotics.
Lisa Steele And you know, and a lot of people were working outside. I’m sure there were farm accidents and people were getting mauled by bears as they were building their log cabin. Women were dying in childbirth. There were a lot of ways to die. Like they weren’t dying from eating raw eggs. I can guarantee you that? I mean, I don’t know, but I would guess.
Lisa Bass Yeah, it’s a tricky subject, but I’ve finally gotten to where I’m just like, yeah, I put the videos out on YouTube. I’m sure I get lots of comments. I also get comments whenever I make something and then I taste it for my family to see if I should add more salt and the number of comments— I’m like, this is for my family. I am not worried about licking the spoon for my own family. I didn’t say we were having guests over tonight. They’re appalled.
Lisa Steele There are a lot of comments like that. I was just talking to someone else about this. Lots of comments on the cooking videos. You know, why don’t you have your hair in a hairnet or why isn’t she wearing gloves? You know, like on the Food Network or Food 52 or whatever. And I’m thinking, again, like she’s not feeding people in a restaurant. She’s making a video for Instagram.
Lisa Bass Right.
Lisa Steele Or she’s making something for her family. Yeah so, yeah, I don’t use a tasting spoon and then lick it and then put it in the sink. You kidding me? You’d go through so many spoons.
Lisa Bass No. I’m like, I can’t be the only one. And there are certain tasks in your kitchen where the hands are the best tool you have. And so, you know, that’s something I don’t shy away from.
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Lisa Bass Now when it comes to preserving eggs, is that something that you have gone into in depth in any way? Or what are some of your best and favorite methods for that?
Lisa Steele Sort of. I mean, I know that there are methods for super long term storage. And people ask me about that all the time, and honestly, I’ve never had the need for an egg to last two years. I don’t water glass. I don’t do any of that. The most really— and often, we get chicks in the spring, so those chicks lay through their first winter, so a lot of years we have chickens laying in the winter, even though we don’t light our coop and I don’t force them to lay. But even with an older flock, they usually lay through like September, October-ish, and then they’re back to laying in February. So I’m really only trying to bridge that gap of a couple of months. And usually what I’ll do is I’ll just freeze some eggs, mostly for holiday baking because that’s the worst. You don’t want to be baking for Christmas and using store bought eggs.
Lisa Bass Yeah. So this year we tried several things and we’ll see how it all pans out, but we did the freeze dryer. So that’s my newest thing, and I think I’m going to love that. And then we froze several, which that just seemed super straightforward. Like, of course, that’s going to be fine. And then I did some water glassing as well, so I’m going to be talking more about that after it’s been several months. It’s a little bit— like right now with me, it is more important because we have seven kids. So to get us even through those months means that I need to have an overabundance and then get them to last through those months.
Lisa Steele That’s a lot of eggs.
Lisa Bass Yeah, it’s a lot of eggs. Even for the kids who don’t like eggs, we’ll do things like crepes or puff pancakes or whatever— oven pancakes. And we just try to use a lot of eggs because they’re a good, cheap source of protein. And so we’re doing our best to do some preserving this time of year. It’s not something I’ve done a lot of in the past.
Lisa Steele You can— I mean, I do love— if you have the freezer space, I think freezing them— whether you— you know, I just like whisk them and freeze a bunch like that because you can then defrost them and you scramble them or whatever. But also freezing some whites or some yolks separately if you’re going to make meringues or custard or something and you need them separated, but that’s mostly for baking. If you’re just freezing eggs so you have them for scrambled eggs or omelets or whatever, I think whisking them and just freezing them— even if you don’t measure it out, but you just like freeze them in freezer bags or freezer containers because at that point you’re not really concerned necessarily how many eggs are in there. You just kind of know volume-wise how many you’re going to need. But you can also pickle eggs. You can’t— and actually, I saw this on YouTube: some one woman was like water bath canning eggs, which eggs are not shelf stable. Like you can’t do that.
Lisa Bass Yeah, I don’t know about that.
Lisa Steele But you can pickle them and put them in the refrigerator like you would do quick pickles or something like that. So if your kids like pickled eggs, that’s one way to preserve them. And you can even just throw them— like if you have an empty jar of pickle juice, just hard boil some eggs and throw them in that, stick them in the fridge. Quick pickled eggs.
Lisa Bass Yeah. A friend of mine, she preserved a bunch of eggs this year—and this was actually a reel for her that went viral—by making them into pasta. So that’s— I’m not exactly sure. Like, I guess she just dries them out. But yeah, that’s her way of having them throughout the winter.
Lisa Steele Hm, interesting. Yeah, there’s a lot of— there’s also salt cured egg yolks, which I did put in my cookbook. I’m not a fan. They’re super, super salty. And the whole thing is you basically just take the egg yolks, you put them in a bed of salt and sugar, let them dry out, and then you can grate them almost like Parmesan cheese on top of things. But my thing is just use cheese.
Lisa Bass Okay, yeah. I’ve seen that.
Lisa Steele They’re super salty. I was not a big fan of that. And it’s kind of a process.
Lisa Bass Yeah. Well, I’ve seen that method and I thought about trying it, but I was a little concerned about, one, what do you do with all the whites? And then, two, that’s a lot of salt. How do you— like do you reuse the salt in some way? Or is it just that you have to get rid of it?
Lisa Steele Yeah, it’s super wasteful. That also was kind of going viral on TikTok, and I was like, you’ve got to be kidding me, because it doesn’t really make any sense. I mean, you can obviously freeze the whites for meringues or angel food cake or something like that, but it does seem super wasteful and not really practical because, say you do a dozen yolks. I mean, how much cheese—or “cheese”, fake cheese—are you going to grate all over everything? It’s not like you’d sit around and just eat the yolk.
Lisa Bass Yeah, well and it’s hard whenever you’re preserving something that you’re kind of creating a new category for in your kitchen. So for example, I freeze dried a whole bunch of zucchini this year, shredded. But I’m not really used to using zucchini except for when it’s in season. We make it into zucchini bread or we’ll have like zucchini mac and cheese where we’ll fry it and some butter and add some cheese. And I’m like, okay, will we use this winter? Because this isn’t something I’m used to using. So that happens to me sometimes when I do something I’m not used to having, like having salted egg yolks or whatever. I’ll have to remember to actually incorporate those into my meals because it’s not something I’m— you know, it’s like a whole new category.
Lisa Steele Right. And you have to come up with new recipes.
Lisa Bass Yeah.
Lisa Steele Just feed the zucchini to the chicken. That would probably be the best use of them.
Lisa Bass I maybe should. I have a whole bunch, though. We’ll see.
Lisa Steele It’s all right. They’ll love it. It’s a long, long winter.
Lisa Bass Yeah, maybe a little green will get us through it all. I was thinking about—when you’re talking about the whites—one of the ways that we use up a lot of eggs in our house, at least right now, is we will separate them and then put the yolks in our ice cream—our homemade ice cream. It makes it so creamy. And then we’ll use all the whites to do a meringue on a chocolate pie. Or sometimes we’ll make—again, back with the raw eggs—we will whip it into like what you would use for a meringue until they have stiff peaks and then whip some cream and then fold it together with some honey and some like cocoa powder. It is the best mousse ever.
Lisa Steele Oh, nice. And again, with the raw egg. Yeah, raw eggs for everybody. So I go one even better— we had a lot of happy hours, especially during COVID. But make whiskey sours and then shake some egg white in your shaker and use it to top your cocktails with. And it just gives it like a creamy texture kind of thing. But again, you’re drinking raw egg white. But there’s alcohol, so it kills the bacteria.
Lisa Bass Yeah, yeah, if you’re worried about it. But yeah, there are so many unconventional ways that you can use the eggs. What about the egg shells? Are you composting them? Are you making something for your chickens? I know some people make like an egg shell tea for their gardens?
Lisa Steele I mean, honestly— well, when I first started out, I would rinse off the shells and I would air dry them, and then I would put them in a bag and roll them with a rolling pin to get them crumbled. And then I had a little dispenser for my chickens for the extra calcium. Now I just throw the halves into the scraps with the rest of our dinner, like ends of vegetables and stuff. I just throw them to the chickens.
Lisa Bass Yeah.
Lisa Steele So they eat them for calcium.
Lisa Bass Yeah. And they do. They’ll eat them. Yeah. And I notice whenever we start giving them all—
Lisa Steele They love them.
Lisa Bass Oh they do. And it helps their eggshells to be stronger. I mean that’s at least— that’s what we noticed with ours.
Lisa Steele It does. Yeah. Our ducks especially, they eat them like potato chips. I mean, they just get so excited. But it’s funny because, again, I’ll see on reels or TikTok where someone will be like, “And you have to bake the shells and then you have to pulverize them.” And I’m like, yeah, I just crack it and throw it to the chickens. Done.
Lisa Bass Yeah. I think those are the things that you first try when you first start homesteading, when you’re wanting to do everything right, and then you realize that you can get away with a lot of halfway things and they still work.
Lisa Steele I mean, there’s nothing on that shell that the chicken has not come in contact with. So I would never use someone else’s egg shells or store bought egg shells, but my own chickens’ shells? There’s nothing on that egg that you need to bake off. And I’m certainly not putting egg shells in the oven like. If I crack an egg or break an egg by accident in the coop, I’ll just toss it right into the run. And they eat the egg, they eat the shell. I mean, it’s all good. And they have never, ever eaten their own eggs. Like unauthorized egg eating— I’ve never had a problem with that.
Lisa Bass Really? We’ve had very little problem with that, maybe like a couple of times, but mostly it’s only if they— like once one gets broken in and then it spills out onto the others and then they all taste good, that’s when I’ve noticed it. Otherwise it doesn’t seem like they really do it.
Lisa Steele Yeah, they’re like, “Oh.” And again, like, none of what we’re talking about is scientific at all. Just disclaimer: we’re just throwing out our opinions. I even think that by giving the chickens— like when we have so many eggs, sometimes I’ll just crack— like, again, when I first started, I used to actually scramble the eggs and cook them for the chickens or put them in a casserole dish and bake them for the chickens. Now I just crack the eggs, give them like the egg, they eat the egg raw. Sometimes I’ll toss the shells on the other side so they don’t go like, “Oh, shell, egg, it tastes good,” or whatever. But my personal opinion is is by giving them that, they’re getting what they need. They’re getting all the nutrients, all the calcium, everything they need, and they’re not going to go looking for it. Other than if someone accidentally steps on an egg in the nest and it breaks, and they’re like, “Oh, that’s right. These taste good.”
Lisa Steele But I think if you’re giving them what they need so they’re not going looking like, “What else can I eat?” You know, they’re like, “She’s just going to give us more of those so we can just wait until the next—” I mean, I can’t believe I used to actually cook eggs for my chickens.
Lisa Bass Well, I think back to a lot of things I did as a young homesteader, young mom that I’m like, I cannot believe I did that. It’s all part of the process.
Lisa Steele Mm-hmm.
Lisa Bass Okay, so what are some of the common egg cooking mistakes that people might be making? I saw you did a segment on one of the shows. Which show was it where you talked about this?
Lisa Steele I did. And I don’t remember which one. Yeah, I think the biggest mistake people make is eggs cook really, really quickly, which is another reason why they’re so great because it doesn’t take you— like a roast takes you all day to cook, right? People cook them too quickly on too high heat and they don’t take them off the heat soon enough. Like if you’re scrambling eggs, you really should take them off that heat just when they start to set up, when they’re still wet looking, still glossy looking because they cook in that minute or two. By the time you take it off the pan and put them on the plate, they’re still cooking. So people wait until they look done in the pan. So people overcook their eggs, cook them too fast. Also, I think the biggest mistake probably is not using room temperature ingredients. Like when you’re baking, if it says “room temperature butter” or “room temperature eggs” or “room temperature milk”, like, it really means that. It doesn’t just say that, so you can go, “Oh, I need to start now and nothing is room temperature.”
Lisa Bass You’re talking to me right now, Lisa, because that’s something I’m like, “Why would that matter?” So you need to explain to me why that matters.
Lisa Steele Yeah. So it matters. So when these things are cold—or when the eggs are cold— say you add them to your batter and the fats are going to seize up. So your butter or whatever fats you’ve got in there are going to seize up because of the cold milk, because of the cold eggs. So you really should have all of your ingredients, room temperature, unless it says “cold butter” because certain things like biscuits or certain pie crusts, you want the butter cold because you kind of want it to stay in like those little clumps because it forms nice layers in your biscuits or whatever you’re making. I mean, baking is really science, so temperatures definitely matter. And I think sometimes when people are like, “Well, that didn’t work.” Well, was your milk cold? Were your eggs room temperature? I mean, I’m guilty, too. I leave butter out, so we always have butter at room temperature. Again, probably like a bad thing. Whatever. Never died from bad butter. And I always have eggs on the counter because I don’t necessarily refrigerate all our eggs? I like to leave some on the counter so I always have them room temperature to use. I refrigerate what we’re not going to use right away because they do last longer, but you don’t have to refrigerate eggs. They’ll last at least two or three weeks at room temperature. So it’s really just the milk at that point.
Lisa Bass Yeah. And you’re just talking about unwashed, right? Unwashed eggs?
Lisa Steele Fresh, not from your grocery store. Those have been washed because for some reason our country feels like you need to wash off the protective coating that the egg is born with. But yeah, unwashed fresh eggs. And if you’re getting them from a farmer’s market or a neighbor or whatever, ask if they’ve been washed. And if they haven’t been, you can leave them out on the counter.
Lisa Bass Yeah, they’re so pretty too. They’re part of my decor. I have this huge bowl with blue stripes on it. It’s a crock bowl, and we have all of these different breeds of chickens. And so we have dark brown, and we have green, olive, blue, light blue. It’s just it’s so pretty to me. Especially in my kitchen, I just love having those kind of things out. So that’s the last question I’m going to ask you before I let you go. What breeds do you like to keep for chicken keeping if somebody does want to have their own? Specifically, I get asked about having the colorful eggs, what you get for that.
Lisa Steele It’s funny because a lot of people—when they’re just starting out—they ask me what breed of chicken they should get. And I say, “Well, if you can get five chickens, get five different breeds.” Like how boring is that to get like five Buff Orpingtons? Like you can’t tell them apart, right? You name them, and you can’t tell which is which. So the more, the better. I mean, we only have like 16 or 17 chickens now, but I’ve never had more than one or two of the same breed.
Lisa Bass Wow. Really?
Lisa Steele So I have Australorps, I have Lavender Orpingtons, I have Ameraucana for the blue eggs. I have Olive Eggers for the green eggs. We have some Marans for the dark chocolate eggs. You don’t need a lot of chickens to get a really nice array of colors, which, you know, I really like that. So I would definitely recommend just get one or two of each breed. For the most part, they’re all going to get along. Some breeds are a little more aggressive, and they can be mean. But yeah, for the most part, you’re not going to have a problem. And the more breeds, the more color eggs, the easier to tell them apart.
Lisa Bass Yeah. And I know that you probably just hatch them right on your own farm, but for people who are getting started, whenever I go to my local feed store, when I first started with chickens, they just had like brown and white egg layers and I had to venture out and order from like Cackle or something to get the variety that I have now. And I really wish I would have done it sooner because there is something so joyful about opening an egg carton and just seeing all of these different colors. So where are you sourcing those?
Lisa Steele Yeah, so I actually don’t hatch. I’ve never hatched. We have hatched ducks from our own eggs, mostly by accident because my husband was in charge and he didn’t notice the ducks were sitting. And by the time I got home, we were like two weeks in, and I was like, “I guess we’re hatching ducks!” I’ve actually never hatched any of my own eggs because I’m sort of a breed snob, I guess you would say. I am a member of the Livestock Conservancy, and I think it’s really important to conserve these breeds. You know, they have characteristics. And if everyone just started breeding whatever rooster with whatever hen, pretty soon it would just be like all one big mess of a thing. So I’ve bought hatching eggs, and I’ve also bought day old chicks. But I do like to keep the breeds pure. And we’ve never had the same rooster breed as hen. So I could separate the rooster and his hen and hatch some of their eggs. So we would have just gotten barnyard mixes, which I wasn’t really interested in doing. So, yeah, so I—kind of like you—I wanted the blue eggs and I wanted different colors. And it took me a long time to come up with the breeds we have. I tried Wyandotte. I thought they were the meanest chickens in the world. I didn’t like them at all.
Lisa Bass Okay, I don’t know if I’ve had those.
Lisa Steele I’ve had Black Copper Marans— also very mean. But I’ve had the Blue and the Splash, which also lay the dark chocolate eggs, and they’re super sweet. So there is some trial and error. I found that I like the Orpington family, so I like the Australoprs, Lavender Orpingtons, Chocolate Orpingtons. Good layers, friendly good mom, hardy. So it does take some trial and error and some reading of the either catalogs or hatchery websites for temperament, hardiness, egg color, that kind of thing. I have got from the feed store because like, who can resist? You know, you go in for feed, and you come out with chicks.
Lisa Bass I just can’t.
Lisa Steele But I try not to because a lot of times you’ll end up with roosters when they say they’re hens, or even the wrong breed altogether because they’re just in the wrong bin.
Lisa Bass Yeah, they look all the same.
Lisa Steele Yeah, I feel like ordering from a hatchery, you’re getting what you’re ordering. And I mean, I use Meyer Hatchery in Ohio— little plug for them. In all these years, I think I’ve only gotten like two roosters.
Lisa Bass Wow.
Lisa Steele You know, when I’ve ordered hens, I’ve gotten two roosters. So they are pretty accurate.
Lisa Bass So you said Meyer Hatchery?
Lisa Steele Meyer. Yeah. Out of Ohio. Yeah, and they’ve been great. We do have a little Bantam Cochin. It tends to be the fancy breeds that hatcheries have trouble sexing. So if you order like Polish or Sultan or Cochins or like the Bantams, you might end up with a rooster instead of hens when you order. So Sherman was supposed to be a Cochin hen and he ended up being a rooster. But he’s fine. I mean, he’s small because he’s a Bantam. So he’s fine.
Lisa Bass Yeah, we’ve had to get rid of a few roosters.
Lisa Steele He doesn’t try to kill us. We’ve had some bad rooster experiences.
Lisa Bass Yeah.
Lisa Steele But when your pets try to kill you, it’s time to get a new pet.
Lisa Bass Yeah, yeah. Roosters can be vicious. They really can. We actually don’t keep roosters.
Lisa Steele And if you have kids.
Lisa Bass Yeah.
Lisa Steele With kids, especially. Like, if I had small children, there is no way that I would have a rooster because they will come at you with talons out. And if you’re a two foot tall kid, that could be— I mean, I’ve had roosters go right through my jeans, slash into my legs.
Lisa Bass Right.
Lisa Steele They can be really mean.
Lisa Bass And you don’t need them. If you’re just getting eggs, just get you that— Yeah, I never do straight run. I always do pullets. It’s just— I prefer to not deal with it. Now, of course, you get a couple and you just give them to a farm if you don’t want to keep them or whatever.
Lisa Steele Yeah, it’s hard to get rid of them though. I love hatching and for a couple of years, I hatched every spring a couple batches. But when you hatch eggs, you’re going to end up probably with half roosters. And I ran out of friends and family and neighbors and farms to give them to. So I had to stop hatching, which is really sad, but they’re just too hard to get rid of.
Lisa Bass And people always say, “Just butcher them.” And you can. You can butcher them. But the thing is is there’s better breeds more suitable for that. And so you’re not going to get the amount of meat that you would if you just go get a chicken from the store. And so it’s a lot of work for a breed that isn’t suited. Definitely can for sure. It’s better than wasting it. But yeah, they’re really not bred for that.
Lisa Steele Exactly, unless it’s like one of the dual purpose or it is like a heavier type rooster. And everyone’s not— I don’t even really eat chicken anymore. Like everyone is not ready to start butchering chickens in their backyard, you know. I mean, a lot of people raise chickens, but just for the eggs and they’re not really interested in the whole butchering thing.
Lisa Bass Yeah. Yeah. Perfectly fine. Well, thank you so much. Tell us again about your book and where to find it and where to find you and yeah, where best to follow along.
Lisa Steele Yeah, this has been really fun. So the Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook, I included over 100 of my favorite recipes—sweet, savory, desserts, breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks—available anywhere books are sold. You know, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, check your library, local bookstore. And then on social @FreshEggsDaily or my blog is FreshEggsDaily.com. And you know, honestly— chickens, ducks, geese, I garden a little, and some recipes.
Lisa Bass Perfect. Sounds right up most of our alleys. Trust me, this is something that my listeners love to dive deeper into. So thanks again for sharing all of your wisdom and knowledge, and we really appreciate you coming on.
Lisa Steele And if anyone has a problem with raw eggs, contact Lisa Bass, not me.
Lisa Bass All right. Well, I hope you enjoyed that episode with Lisa Steele from Fresh Eggs Daily. As always, thank you so much for listening. I will see you in the next episode of the Simple Farmhouse Life podcast.