Monday, June 30, 2008
It's probably a good thing that most of my hens are elderly. If they were all in their prime egg-laying years, I'd be getting twenty eggs a day instead of a more manageable ten to twelve. Well, slightly more manageable.
Most of the people in my family don't even like eggs. I was never a big egg eater, as a child I was more grossed out than anything else by a plateful of eggs, done any way you please. I only liked hard boiled eggs, and only then for their puzzle-like appeal: can you get the white off in one piece and keep the yolk perfectly round? I usually could. Then I'd throw away the white and lick the yolk until my mother said "go wash your face, you're a filthy mess." My own kids do the opposite; they eat the white and leave the yolks lying around to get eaten by the dogs (if I'm lucky) or to roll off the table and get stepped on (if I'm not.) Even today, I prefer my eggs hidden inside of something, like creme brulee or a chocolate cake.
Only Homero is an unabashed egg lover. He'd eat three or four eggs every day if I'd give them to him. I want him to live past fifty, however, so I don't. This situation leaves me with a serious egg surplus. Of course I put out a sign "Eggs, $2.50" on my kid's chalkboard out by the mailbox. But I think the days when people would stop at a stranger's house to buy farm products are over, at least if you don't have a professionally made sign. Once Hope, Paloma, and I set out a folding table and some chairs and sat out there for almost two hours with several dozen eggs in front of us, but nobody stopped. Hope was devastated. "Mom, can we make a stop sign? Please? Then they'll HAVE to stop."
Then I tried Craigslist. Ah, Craigslist, where would I be without you? I posted an ad asking gardeners to trade their excess produce for my excess eggs. I did have some response, and now I have two or three people who come by regularly to take a couple of dozen eggs and leave either a few bucks or some of their extra produce. One of them is a baker and last time he left me homemade marshmallows, which were a revelation. But for the most part, my bartering simply means that now I have too much spinach and kale as well as too many eggs. Oh well, at least I'm helping to create a truly local food network and furthering my goal of eating locally, right?
What to do with too many eggs/too many greens:
Challah bread (6 egg yolks, two egg whites)
Ice cream base (three to six egg yolks, no whites)
chiles rellenos (four to six eggs, yolks and whites)
angel food cake (to use up the extra whites)
Quiche of all kinds, but especially the kind with spinach/chard/collards/kale in it
(four to six eggs, 1 pound mixed greens)
Saag (no eggs, as many greens as you got, spinach, mustard, collard, kale, chard, beet/turnip...etc)
And if the eggs are totally on top of you.....and you feel up to a challenge....
Pastel de tres leches (16 eggs, yolk and whites)