Eggy!

An abundance of eggs

An abundance of eggs

Recently we have been rather eggy… no, not annoyed, just egg-full! Lorna has pretty much given up laying, despite only being three years old: we haven’t had an egg from her since Christmas. The other three (including Esme, who is the same age as Lorna) are giving us an egg each almost every day. Even with an occasional day off, this means we are getting about 18 eggs per week. I think that this level of production is being supported by the abundant leafy greens that they are consuming: kale, broccoli leaves and a wide variety of oriental leaves from last autumn’s planting (which we too are enjoying).

It’s great to feel that the garden is so abundant, but sometimes the number of eggs does seem overwhelming. The easiest solution is to give them away: our lovely neighbours look after the hens when we are away for a weekend and so we often give them a box of eggs. However, we do like to make use of much of what we produce ourselves and, to this end, recipes that include eggs are really useful. Of course, there’s always cake, but if all the eggs went into cakes, we’d be the size of elephants by now… or perhaps the shape of Humpty-Dumpty! We often have poached or boiled eggs for our lunch – always with homemade bread using our locally milled flour, but even that has its limits.

Recently we have been enjoying Scotch Eggs made with Glamorgan Sausage (breadcrumbs, cheese, sage and onion bound together with beaten egg). This is a lovely combination of flavours, but being deep-fried we don’t want to have them too often.We also quite often have hard-boiled eggs (7-8 minutes so the centre of the yolk is still soft) with garlic mayonnaise (again made with fresh eggs if I have the time) as an element of Tapas, along with patatas bravas, broad beans with spring onions, monkey bread and fried sweet peppers… all of which often have elements from out of the garden. Alternatively, a Spanish tortilla always goes down well – sometimes spiced up with some small chunks of chorizo in it.

Pasta drying on the kitchen table

Pasta drying on the kitchen table

Perhaps the least egg-like use is making pasta. For every 100g of flour in the pasta, you use 1 egg. That’s it as far as ingredients are concerned – it just takes some kneading and quite a lot of rolling. We do have a little pasta machine for rolling it out (like a tiny mangle that you clamp to the work surface) which makes life easier, but it’s not necessary. Mr Snail-of-happiness usually makes the pasta and then I use it for cooking, so it’s a team effort. I usually make it into a layered lasagne, but I think I might have a go at fresh ravioli next time we make it. It’s great because you can freeze it too.

So, those are some of my favourite egg dishes, but I’m always looking for new ones. Do you have any suggestions?

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