Four ducks and three chickens makes for a constantly full egg basket. We use them in baked goods or cook them into savory frittatas, scrambles and tortillas. Hard-boiling the eggs is one method we often don’t use though. Fresh eggs will stick to the shells once boiled. When you go to peel the shell, the whites peel off as well. It wastes eggs and makes a mess – until now.

Our friend K is a bit obsessive (in the best sense) and did some experiments recently with hard-boiling our fresh eggs. He tried cooking them with vinegar, but it changed the taste of the eggs. Soaking them in cold water after boiling didn’t do the trick either.

What did work? Cooking them with baking soda! It didn’t change the taste of the eggs and all but the freshest eggs were easy to peel.

To hard-boil fresh eggs, place them in a pot and cover with water. Add baking soda – a teaspoon for just a couple eggs up to a tablespoon for a dozen – and stir to dissolve. Bring the pot to a boil and let the eggs simmer for ten minutes. Rinse them in cool water, peel and enjoy. (If the yolks are green, you overcooked them!)

Finally, finally, finally! We can enjoy soft-boiled eggs for breakfast, egg salad sandwiches for lunch, and deviled eggs for parties. I sure hope every backyard chicken or duck-keeper out there discovers this easy way to enjoy hard-boiled, fresh eggs. We can never, never have too many options when it comes to using what’s in the egg basket.

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Written by Renee Wilkinson