The demand for fresh eggs is great, and so many eggs are exported, that the price is high, even in the summer. Twenty-five cents a dozen is a reasonable price, but this is below the average at the present date. The thirty-five or forty-cent daily allowance for food will permit the moderate use of eggs at thirty-five cents a dozen, but not a liberal use in cakes and desserts. They should be used at such a price and with that allowance as the main dish for breakfast or luncheon at times, and not in sweet dishes calling for three or four eggs. If a recipe for soft custard calls for three eggs to a pint of milk, leave out one egg or even two, and use one or two tablespoonfuls of cornstarch instead. Select eggs with a hard shell, and yolk of rich yellow. If the shell is soft and the yolk pale, these deficiences should be reported, as they can be corrected by the poultryman. The difference in color of the shells, whether white or brown, is not of great consequence. If you can buy eggs by the crate direct from the poultryman, this is a saving, provided the eggs can be used before they deteriorate. A small crate holds fifteen dozen; the usual size thirty dozen. Some express companies have a special rate for eggs, and parcel post should aid in this method of buying. Relative digestibility of soft and hard cooked eggs. - The fact must be recalled that to digest is to dissolve, and that the digestion of food means a dissolving by the digestive juices, aided by water. When we speak of the digestibility of food we may mean the ease and comfort of digestion, or the length of time taken by the process, or the completeness of the process. If we take the third of these meanings, hard-cooked egg is as digestible as the soft-cooked or the raw egg, because it is completely dissolved in digestion in the course of time. If the second meaning of digestion is taken, the hard-cooked egg may be slightly less digestible, for a slightly longer time is consumed in the process. The latest researches, however, show that the digestive process is longer with any food than was formerly supposed, and the difference in this case is not especially important. Indeed, we must accept the conclusions of the scientist and frankly admit that the differences of temperature in cooking of egg do not have any great effect upon its digestibility.
Why then the popular idea that a hard-boiled egg is "ab-solutely indigestible" ? A hard boiled egg, or more than one, eaten rapidly, without mastication, at a picnic, and with much sweet food at an unusual hour, may interfere with the "ease and comfort in digestion" resulting from such a meal. But if the whites of the hard-boiled eggs are chopped fine, the yolk mashed, and the two served upon toast, thus insuring mastication, a dish is produced that is of average digestibility and that may be used for breakfast or luncheon without hesitation.
If a tender, jellylike consistency is wanted, cook the egg below the boiling point of water. If, however, a firmer egg is preferred, use the old time method, and cook the egg three or four minutes in boiling water. It is the easier and quicker method.
Moreover, do not hesitate to use an egg "boiled" half an hour, provided it is chopped fine or sliced.