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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cutting Costs: Scrambled Powdered Eggs

As I may have mentioned before, to save money, I buy powdered eggs online for a fraction of the cost of fresh eggs.
My first attempt at cooking scrambled powdered eggs was successful, because I followed the directions, mixing the amount of eggs I intended to use the night before; but over time, I have had to mix the egg powder and cook it immediately, which does not work. Eggs fixed that way have a strange greenish color, a strange chewy texture, and a strange flavor that is not good. Still, at 25¢, I was determined to make these eggs work, and I have. I now have a “subscription” to ship a large can of powdered eggs once a month, and I average purchasing a second can of powdered eggs about every six weeks because we go through them that quickly.

Eventually I learned the secret to making great tasting powdered eggs. It seems the only problem with mixing them immediately before use is that they foam up, and you can’t thoroughly hydrate the powder when part of the liquid is foam. The secret? Use slightly less water than the 3:1 ratio would suggest, and add a tablespoon of olive oil in place of part of the water. Then the mixture doesn’t foam when you mix it, and all of the powder mixes correctly. I also use three egg white powder units for every half-unit of whole egg powder, a little yellow food coloring (I’m trying to find a yellow food coloring that is 100% beta carotene). Finally, when the pan of eggs are almost done, I add one whole fresh egg to the pan, careful not to break the yolk until the egg white is fully cooked. The result is an authentic appearance with little pieces of egg white with a few areas that have the darker yolk, in an otherwise uniformly yellow pan of eggs. The illusion of "normal" scrambled eggs seems to make all the difference.

This morning I accidently learned something new about scrambled powdered eggs. If you accidently forget them on the stove, and they appear to be hopelessly scorched, they don’t taste scorched at all. In fact, this morning I carefully scraped the unscorched eggs off the top, and then scraped the scorched eggs off the bottom of the pan. Then I finished cooking the unscorched eggs. When finished, the unscorched eggs tasted perfect. I served a plate to Betty. She loved them, and thanked me for making such perfect scrambled eggs. Then I tried a bit of the scorched eggs, and they tasted fine. I was shocked. I tasted a little more. Still fine. Finally, I made my own breakfast out of entirely scorched powdered eggs, and they tasted great! I could not have gotten by with eating scorched fresh eggs. Those taste bad.

These tasted good. I wonder why?

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