There is a best way of doing everything, even if it be to boil an egg. - Emerson.
The variety of purposes which eggs serve, the many ways of cooking them, their value as a highly concentrated, nutritious, and easily-digested food, make them one of the most useful articles of food. To have them fresh and rightly cooked is within the power of the simplest household. They hold the principal place as a breakfast dish, and although the original methods of cooking them may be limited to boiling, baking, poaching, etc., each one of these can be varied in an indefinite number of ways, giving a menu of eggs unlimited in extent, and thus securing always a new way of presenting them, if desired. Urbain Dubois has recently published a book giving 300 ways of preparing eggs. The varieties are attained mostly by the sauces and garnishings. It is not generally understood that sauces can be served with poached, hard-boiled, and scrambled eggs, and also with omelets.
A fresh egg should feel heavy, sink in water, and when held to a bright light, show a clear round yolk. If old, a part of the substance will have evaporated through the pores of the shell, leaving a space filled with air, which will cause it to float on water. It will also contain dark specks. To preserve eggs it is necessary to stop the pores of the shells with a coating of fat or gum or wax. This will prevent the air from entering and decomposing the nitrogenous elements of the egg. They should be packed standing on the small end, and kept in a cool, dark place. Another way of preserving them is to immerse them in a saturated solution of lime.