Separating eggs can require a lot of concentration. Really!
Most of the time I am separating eggs to make whipped egg whites or meringue.
Sometimes I am trying so hard to carefully cradle the egg yolk and let all the white slip below to the waiting bowl (without any trace of yolk coming down with it*) that I lose count of how many eggs I have cracked. Which can be bad, especially if you are making a recipe with different amounts of yolks and whites.
Tonight I made a batch of lemon poppyseed chiffon cupcakes. (Pictures of the finished product.) Chiffon cakes use whipped egg whites to lighten the batter but unlike angel food cake a few yolks and oil give the cake a moist, rich texture similar to butter cake. It's the best of both worlds. But what to do when you need 3 yolks and 5 whites?
My solution is the egg separation station.
Take an empty egg container, place it in between your mixing bowl (for the whites) and other container (for the yolks) and use it to count your shells as you separate the eggs. This may sound silly and obvious, but for years I threw the shells into the trash and then lost count, not once thinking to do this. Everything was fine unless I got interrupted! Put one egg shell into the containers per egg slot, and any unused yolks (or whites) into the shells like little bowls.
By doing this, I don't have to rely on my memory (which on a hot day like today is very impressionistic) and can proceed with confidence. I can see the empty shells and any yolks and whites left over.
And if the cake doesn't rise as I expect, or the meringue is a little flat, at least I know I have eliminated one culprit.
*Fat is the enemy of fluffy meringue. To eliminate any trace of fat that may be on your mixing bowl or beater, use the trick Julia Child taught: wipe your bowl with a cloth or paper towel just barely moistened with a little white vinegar.