Do you always crack your eggs in a separate bowl before transferring them to the mixing bowl? I do. It was one of my grandma’s golden rules of baking to avoid a) small egg shell pieces in the batter and b) the worst case: a hastily cracked open but rotten egg in the batter, spoiling all the other ingredients. Because I tend to crack open my eggs snappily – still working on my skills to master the neat one-hand-crack – this precaution is an indispensable one for me. Over the years I have asked myself and in light of ever improving quality assurance, whether the latter reason for using a separate bowl still applied. And I have never, really not ever, cracked open a rotten egg. What are the odds it’s going to happen these days? Or have I been extremely lucky to not face such a nasty and disgusting experience yet?
Presumably. Yesterday my lucky egg phase came to an end with a loud bang. Add a scream to that. I was preparing food for our annual house party, just in the middle of mixing together all the ingredients for a Tiropita (savoury Greek pastry) filling, when I reached for the last egg sitting on my fridge’s separate egg shelf – an unloved white one, however, fresh and free-range I might add. Because of my snappy egg cracking technique I clearly favor brown eggs, which are not only prettier to me, but more forgiving if handled with an extra momentum – more than once I smashed white eggs while trying to open them. Cautiously, I knocked the pale egg against the little porcelain bowl, too cautiously, as it only showed a small crack, no hole. Automatically I started poking my fingernails into the crack and felt the egg shell collapsing. My thumbs sunk deep into the newly created hole and vanished into a slimy blueish-brown liquid! WHOOOOOA. An extreme sight that was sooo unexpected, I started screaming as if an army of spiders had just crossed my fingers! Expecting the worst, Oliver came running, expecting some sort of bloody crime scene, but spun on his heel as his nose caught the most awful stench of all: ROTTEN EGGS.
This, by far, has to be my most disgusting kitchen experience ever, the smell even beats slicing a thick worm hidden in a wild mushroom, which had happened someday last year. Not only the sight gave me shivers, but the stench! Yuck! I didn’t dare to breath and at the speed of light I jockeyed the egg’s remains into the waste bin, brushed off my fingers under hot water and immediately disposed the waste bag outside. That didn’t help much, the sulfurous rotten egg smell was still floating around in my kitchen…
This whole scenario must have brought bad kitchen karma for the day, the Tiropita didn’t work out as planned. While the filling was tasty and easy to work with, the phyllo dough acted up. I used plenty of melted butter to make it smooth, but when I – really carefully – tried to bend the long rolls into the desired snail shapes, the dough cracked open in several places and made a mess. After all, I tossed the Tiropita plans after the first tray on which I had tried different shapes. The rest of the filling gladly served as part of mini veggie tarts. But I won’t give up so easily – any tips and tricks a Tiropita or Spanokopita pro would like to share?