When you freeze eggs and egg yolks, why do you have to add salt or sugar first?

Egg yolks or egg whites and yolks mixed will become grainy if frozen in that state. You can add sugar, corn syrup, or salt (depending on your ultimate use for the eggs) to prevent graininess. The eggs should then be strained through a sieve or colander before freezing. This will improve their uniformity. When freezing just whites, no salt or sugar is necessary. A good way to freeze eggs is to use ice cube trays. Put three tablespoons of the egg into each compartment of the tray, then freeze. When the cubes are frozen, place them in a moisture- and vapor-resistant container.

Last 7 Days

Why is the term "salad days" used to describe the days of youth?

Shakespeare originated this expression, although he spelled it "sallad." It was a more poetic way to say "green," which even today describes someone who is innocent or inexperienced.

Is there a way to guess the height of clouds?

Sure. Here's the formula for doing so. Take the current temperature in degrees Fahrenheit, subtract the dew point, and multiply this number by 220. This calculation will give you the approximate height of the clouds in feet.

Where did the different birthstones originate, and why are certain birthstones for certain months?

The wearing of the gemstone associated with your birth month is thought to bring good luck and good health. Astrologers long ago attributed supernatural powers to certain gemstones. The ones we associate with certain months now are not necessarily the same ones as in ancient times. The list fluctuates with the availability and cost of the stones. Once, color was the most important feature of a stone. Ancients did not distinguish between a ruby and a garnet, for example. The names used in history may not relate to the stone we think of with that name today. For example, a sapphire in the Bible was probably what we know today as lapis, and the diamonds were probably a white sapphire or white topaz. The stones originally assigned to each month related to the stones appearing on the breastplate of a Jewish high priest.

What is the coldest spot in the nation?

Generally speaking, the coldest state in any given month is Alaska. It is interesting to note, however, that Nevada is the state with the all-time largest temperature spread, with the highest temperature to lowest temperature in one year. In 1984, the temperature spanned from 50 degrees below zero F in January, to 125 degrees F in June, a range of 180 degrees that year. South Dakota is next with a span of 177 degrees.

I'd like the entire quote that contains the words "give me a tall ship" (or something like that). Where is it from?

We think you have in mind a line from the poem "Sea Fever" by the former English poet laureate John Masefield. The opening verse goes like this: "I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, / And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by, / And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking, / And a gray mist on the sea's face and a gray dawn breaking."

What does cornscateous mean?

"Cornscateous air" is a term used by old almanac makers to signify warm, damp air. It signals ideal climatic conditions for growing corn, but it also poses a danger to those affected by respiratory problems. Somewhere on The Old Farmer's Almanac calendar page for July each year is the notation, "Cornscateous air is everywhere."

How fast can flying fish fly?

The fish don't actually fly -- in the sense of flapping their wing-size pectoral fins -- but instead glide. In preparing for flight, the "four-winged" flying fish swims fast to the surface, fins folded tightly against its body. When it breaks the surface, it spreads its "wings" and glides a few feet above the water at a speed of about 10 mph. The stronger fliers can cover about 200 yards in a single glide and can extend their flight with a sculling motion of the tail fin. Compound glides may cover a quarter of a mile.

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