Since nobody has gotten sick, I guess I can come clean now...
The eggs I used in Andrew's birthday cake had a "sell by" date of July 11th. I was marginally worried about this so I was sure to crack each egg into a separate bowl, sniff for the tell-tale sulfur smell, and break each yoke open to look for any signs of badness--all this after doing the float test.
All eggs checked out clean.
I dumped them each into the batter and started stirring. I was busy counting to 450 (which apparently is how many hand strokes equals 3 minutes on medium speed of an electronic mixer) and wasn't really paying attention to the batter because I was also trying to hush Rachel at the same time. When I looked down at the batter, there was this brownish-reddish gooey stuff swirling around.
I was horrified. I hate eggs. For my sister's wedding we made cookies using farm eggs (that I think were courtesy of Billy's parents). Not that I don't like farm eggs--they are just the same as store eggs except a little messier and yuckier. See, store eggs are typically pre-washed and rarely have any bits of blood or feathers on/in them. The farm eggs that we used for my sister's wedding were fine farm eggs--meaning that they had plenty of blood and feathers on and in them.
My mom and I spent one whole afternoon washing blood and feathers off the eggs, gagging as we cracked them open and picked more blood out from the egg inside. I swear we found a blastocyst baby chick in one of the eggs. They were so gross!
In Russia we always bought our eggs at the market and they were pretty farm-like, too. They actually have the eggs just sitting out all day (not that it's incredibly warm) and occasionally will have eggs cracked open to prove to potential customers that they have good eggs. I've never understood the logic of that. Just because the egg they broke open was good it doesn't mean the rest of the eggs (that have been sitting out all day, everyday) are good.
I guess I'm just lucky I've never come across a truly rotten egg.
When I saw the icky brown stuff though, I got rather worried. I had already partially mixed it into the batter so if it was a bad egg then the batter was ruined. I finished mixing the batter and put the cake in the oven then ran over to the computer to find out what a bad egg looks like.
The first thing I found was a chef's website on which she describes her experience of opening a rotten egg: "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!" She then describes the stench that wafted around her kitchen.
I figured since that didn't happen with my egg, the egg was okay.
And no one got sick...so it must have been.