I should say for starters, we didn’t intend to have mint-scented (or flavoured?) eggs in waterglass!
I ordered a litre of waterglass (sodium silicate solution) which arrived yesterday, so I diluted it out to 1 in 10 and we cheerfully lowered 3 and a half dozen eggs into the stuff. Now waterglass is an old egg-preservative – my grandmother used it through the Second World War to keep eggs from her flock through the winter – and my mother remembers using it when she was a small child, so we were (and are) pretty confident about it.
At least, we were until my daughter called me in from the garden to ask if (a) I could guarantee that sodium silicate solution wasn’t toxic (which I wasn’t prepared to say – I mean, it’s fine on the outside of an eggshell but I certainly plan on washing the eggs before we use them and I wouldn’t drink the stuff!) and (b) if I could tell her what might happen if she happened to have dropped lumps of sugar into it. (I had, and still have, no idea – but it hasn’t frothed, changed colour or exploded yet, anyway….!)
It turned out she’d opened the cupboard above the crock of eggs and accidentally tipped the contents of a packet of Kendal mint cake into the crock. It dissolved quite quickly – I caught a glimpse of greyish mush at the bottom of the crock when I looked in, but it was gone within a couple more minutes. Apart from a strong smell of mint, the whole thing looks unchanged.
In due course I will find out if the smell of mint has penetrated into the stored eggs, though hopefully the couple of hours of un-minty soaking that they’d had before the accident would have given the solution a good chance of sealing up the pores in the eggshells (which is how waterglass preserves things – by preventing any oxygen getting in through the shell) and by the time we get to eating the eggs, the smell will have dissipated.
Oh well. The crock has a plate sitting on top of it now and I’m in the process of making a new lid for it. Nothing like shutting the door after the horse has bolted!
On the rabbit side, one of my old pet bunnies, Biscuit, died yesterday. As a neutered and elderly male rabbit, he wasn’t part of the prepping side of things, just an old friend and ex-houserabbit, but it does mean his cagemate and pal of the past seven years is all by herself. She’s also neutered and very friendly, so I’ve given her the run of the shed by day so she doesn’t get lonely. She’s mostly been snuggling up against Tigger’s cage, though apparently she’s taken against Delilah and doesn’t think much either way of the babies within sight. Today she passed the time by chewing through the string that held up Tigger’s and Delilah’s water bottles so she’s back in her cage and I’ll fix up wire bottle holders for them both in the morning.
Jezebel’s litter is still growing well and she’s ravenous every time I look at her. I did count nine in the nest yesterday and there were still a few possible wriggles in the fur out of sight, so she’s good reason to be hungry! I’ve stepped up her concentrates and she gets as much greenery and hay as she can eat – she’s doing a grand job of covering the nest up every night and uncovering it every morning in this hot weather we’re having at the moment, and eating for nearly a dozen can’t be much fun but I’m very impressed with her mothering ability raising that many so well!
I had a bit of a windfall tax rebate earlier this week so I’ve decided to invest in a vacuum sealer. We’ve also ordered a new, much bigger chest freezer so this next week should be very satisfying in terms of new and improved food storage abilities!