Most eggs will keep for up to three weeks, stored in the refrigerator in their box. Very fresh eggs are best for poaching and frying, while for hard-boiling it’s better to use eggs 1-2 weeks old.
There are many basic ways to cook eggs. To boil, use eggs at room temperature if possible. Put the egg into a pan of barely simmering water, bring back to a simmer and cook to taste: depending on size allow 3-4 minutes for soft yolks, 5 minutes for medium and 8-10 minutes for hard (quail’s eggs take 2-3 minutes less than this; duck eggs will take a minute or so longer and goose eggs 4-5 minutes longer).
To poach, if the eggs are not very fresh, add a few drops of vinegar to a wide pan of simmering water. Crack open the egg and slide it in, then cook for 4-5 minutes.
To fry, crack the egg into a pan containing hot oil or melted butter and cook for 4-6 minutes.
To scramble, lightly beat two or three eggs together with a few spoonfuls of milk or cream and some seasoning, then cook gently in melted butter, stirring to ‘scramble’, until softly set.