Originally Posted by Wifezilla
To put down a egg we would dip it in a solution called 'water glass' (sodium silicate solution) when the coating was dry it was like a thin coating of glass over the outside of the egg. then we would store them in our coldest root cellar, (our ice box actually had ice added to it for cooling) usually we would have usable eggs untill the birds started laying again in the spring. WARNING I AM NOT RECOMMENDING THIS!
Why not? Mother Earth News did a whole write-up on how long eggs can last and the different preservation methods. Your mom's old method is one they talked about. Apparently the woman was a genius
"The widely touted idea of covering eggs with a solution of one part waterglass (sodium silicate) mixed with nine parts of boiled and cooled water does indeed seem to work better than any other "room temperature" preservation method we tried. If our experiences are any indication, though, it's really good for only about five months and is a distant second to controlled refrigeration.
Another point: As good as some eggs kept in waterglass were, almost every batch we opened seemed to contain one real stinker. Which makes it a superior idea to open any waterglassed egg (or any egg, for that matter) separately into a cup ... where it may be inspected before pouring it into a skillet, pan, or dish with other food."
Whenever you are in doubt about an egg's freshness, do the float test.
I think she was/is plenty smart but talking to other old timers that farmed before electricity got out to country farms it was pretty much standard practice. Why wouldn't I recommend it? to be blunt some on here can't figure out how/what to feed a duck. I am going to recommend the use of a chemical that is caustic and almost impossible to remove once it is dry? Refrigation works and it is easier than messing with water glass.
Did I ever tell the church pinic story here? Our church was about half townsmen and half farmers and they always had a church pinic the last Sunday in July. The year in question there were several huge platters of diveled (Sp) eggs, more than the coolers could hold so they were left on the table with just net to keep the bugs out. Everybody had their fill, by evening there were several ill people and the health department came to investigate the outbreak of food poisioning. They questioned the ill and they all had had diviled eggs and they were all townsmen. Then they questioned the well and most of them had eaten the eggs too. One investigator noticed that most of the well were tan so he asked what they did for a living-all farmers. He concluded that it was bacteria in the eggs, most of the farmers had immunity because they were exposed daily. the townsmen got ill because their clean living hadn' exposed them before. Thats where my interest in microbiology started.