The fresher they are the better and more wholesome, though new-laid eggs require to be cooked longer than others. Eggs over a week old will do to fry, but not to boil. In boiling, they are less likely to crack if dropped in water not quite to the boiling point. Eggs will cook soft in three minutes, hard in five, wry hard (to serve with salads, or to slice thin - seasoned well with pepper and salt - and put between thin slices of bread and butter) in ten to fifteen minutes. There is an objection to the ordinary way of boiling eggs not generally understood. The white, under three minutes rapid cooking, is toughened and becomes indigestible, and yet the yolk is left uncooked. To be wholesome, eggs should be cooked evenly to the center, and this result is best reached by putting the eggs into a dish having a tight cover (a tin pail will do), and pouring boiling water over them in the proportion of two quarts to a dozen eggs; cover, and set away from the stove; after cooking about seven minutes remove cover, turn the eggs, replace cover, and in six or seven minutes they will be done if only two or three eggs; if more, in about ten minutes. The heat of the water cooks the eggs slowly to a jelly-like consistency, and leaves the yolk harder than the white. The egg thus cooked is very nice and rich. To fry eggs, after frying ham, drop one by one in the hot fat and dip it over them, until the white is set; dust with pepper and salt, and serve hot; cook from three to five minutes, according to taste.
Put eggs in water in a vessel with a smooth level bottom, to tell good from bad; those which lie on the side are good, but reject those which stand on end as bad; or, look through each egg separately toward the sun, or toward a lamp in a darkened room; if the white looks clear, and the yolk can be easily distinguished, the egg is good; if a dark spot appears in either white or yolk, it is stale; if they appear heavy and dark, or if they gurgle when shaken gently, they are "totally depraved." The best and safest plan is to break each egg in a saucer before using. For preserving eggs for winter use, always secure fresh ones; after packing, cover closely and keep in a cool place.