How To : Separate an Egg.

If you know anything about me you must know that I am an egg lover. Today I'm sharing a basic little skill that comes in handy in the kitchen when you're in sudden need of *just* the egg white, or *just* the egg yolk for a recipe. That's right - here's a little "how to" on separating an egg.

how to separate an egg / made from scratch series /  heirloomed

This is one of my favorites in our #madefromscratch series so far because it's one that I learned to do early on, by necessity. There are a few favorite recipes that were staples in our home growing up that called for just egg whites so the know-how to master this one without breaking the yolk or cracking little bits of shell into the bowl was essential. 

Here are my best tips for separating an egg after many years of practice, but truth-be-told the best way to master this one is just to give it some good practice.

tips for separating an egg yolk / heirloomed


  1. Gather your eggs along with two bowls, one for capturing your egg yolks and the other for your egg whites.
  2. Carefully crack the egg shell over your first bowl, trying to gently tap the egg in the very middle of the shell, slightly rotating it around to get a nice, even break.
  3. Separate the egg shell holding it straight up and down vertically, so the bottom half of the egg shell becomes a “bowl” to capture the egg yolk. Be gentle to ensure no bits of shell fall into your bowl.
  4. Allow the egg whites to drip into the first bowl you are working from, slightly tipping the shells and gentle transferring the yolk back and forth between each half of the broken egg shell to allow as much of the egg whites to fall into the bowl below. Be sure not to break the yolk in the transferring process or it will contaminate your egg whites and you’ll have to start from scratch.
how to separate egg yolk from egg white / heirloomed
egg whites and egg yolks and egg shells / heirloomed
bowl full of cracked brown egg shells / heirloomed

I hope you'll give it a shot, and I hope you're loving these kitchen basics. Love your feedback at #HEIRLOOMED.


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Southern Kitchen Bucket List : Grits

As I continue to knock through my Southern Kitchen Bucket List, I must admit I was equal parts thrilled and scared to death over tackling this one ... GRITS.

I love grits when they are done right. And like many of the "basics" on my bucket list there is such a vast difference between good and bad executions. They're either a sticky mess of a blob OR they are the creamiest, dreamiest grits you've ever had. I truly believe cheese grits were (thankfully) invented in the first place for those who weren't able to master grits.

My husband (thinks he) doesn't like grits so it's not a dish I generally cook in my own home, but something I'm looking to change after making this recipe. To truly master this staple, I teamed up with James Beard Foundation Award winning chef Virginia Willis. She shared one of her favorite basic recipes for "4C Grits" from her Short Stack Edition cookbook, "Grits" and many of her top secret tips with me in the kitchen, and I have them here for you. In fact, the first time I met Virginia she was doing a demo cooking grits at Williams-Sonoma. So I truly couldn't think of anyone more perfect to learn from than her.

southern kitchen bucket list grits

4-C Grits

Yield: 4-6
This southern staple is both creamy and delicious.


For the Grits
  • 2 ears fresh sweet corn, kernels scraped and reserved and cobs cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon unrefined corn oil
  • 1 sweet onion, grated
  • 1 cup 2-percent milk
  • 1 cup stone-ground yellow grits
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, or to taste
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper


How to cook 4-C Grits

  1. Make the corn stock: In a saucepan, combine the corncobs and 3 cups of water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Decrease the heat to low and simmer until the corn stock has taken on a light corn flavor, about 10 minutes. Remove the cobs, strain the stock into a bowl, and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until transparent, about 2 minutes. Add the reserved corn kernels and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Increase the heat of the onions and corn to medium high; add the milk and the corn stock. Bring the mixture to a boil and whisk in the grits. Season with 1 teaspoon of coarse salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until tender and creamy, 45 to 60 minutes. Add the butter and taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Created using The Recipes Generator

The “four c’s” in the name refer to the four layers of corn that form this dish. Unrefined corn oil, fresh corn, corn stock, and lastly, ground corn (grits) take this from a straightforward bowl of country grits to elegant simplicity. This recipe is best in summer when corn is in season. For breakfast, crown these golden grits with a farm fresh egg and to “lift” this bowl to lunch or dinner status, stir in other summer ingredients such as chopped heirloom tomatoes and basil, tender poached shrimp, or even buttery chunks of steamed lobster.

ingredients for making grits
fresh corn grits ingredients
shucking corn
fresh corn
cutting corn on the cob
fresh corn kernels
Cooking grits in cast iron
cast iron grits

heirloomed mark

HEIRLOOMED TIPS : (courtesy of chef Virginia Willis)

  • Whisk your grits so "grit rocks" don't form

  • Only use whole grain grits

  • Use local grits when possible

  • Stick to a 1 cup grits / 4 cups liquid ratio (she generally does 2 cups milk / 2 cups water)

  • Don't pound your grits with heavy cream or cheese to let the flavor of the corn be the hero

corn grits with butter and thyme
eating a spoonful of southern grits