Friday, December 23, 2011

Our Incredible Edible Eggs (And a Recipe!)

As of today, our eight hens have given us a total of 350 eggs, since Pippa first started laying in mid-September. It took until the middle of November for all eight to start laying, and though we rarely have an eight-egg day, we're pretty consistently getting 5-7 eggs per day now. Last week we got 38 eggs.

That's a lot of eggs.

We keep our two daughters and their husbands supplied with eggs and we also share with our parents. We love eggs and are thrilled to be able to walk to the back of our property and collect them from the coop. Sometimes they're so freshly-laid and warm that they steam as they hit the cold outside air when I remove them from the nesting box.

But as much as we like scrambled eggs, boiled eggs on salads, fried eggs, deviled eggs, egg salad, and baked eggs, we can't eat them as fast as the hens lay them. So we often offer them to friends and neighbors for sale. Our hens are not only feeding us breakfast, but now they're helping to pay for their own food!

I learned a few things about eggs last week. Eggs contain all nine essential amino acids which the body requires in order to maintain good muscle tissue health. We have to get these from our diet, because we can't make these from other foods like we can the non-essential amino acids.

The protein in eggs is high quality, too. In fact, all other proteins are measured against that contained in eggs. Eggs also help the kidneys and liver to purify our body of toxins. The incredible edible egg, indeed.

And this fun fact: There are only two true colors of egg shells - blue and white. All other colors are added by the chicken to the outside of the egg. If you take a newly laid brown egg and it's still wet, you can wipe the color off. But once it's dried, you can't wash the color off. Don't believe it? Next time you crack open a brown egg, see what color the shell is on the inside.

When we were first married, I made a dish called simply "Baked Eggs." My mom made it when I was living at home and it's one of the recipes I still make nearly 40 years later. Here's the recipe, in case you want to make it, too.

Baked Eggs

Ready for the oven
3 T. butter
3 T. flour
¾ t. salt
2 cups milk
1 t. prepared mustard
Dash of pepper
Dash of Tabasco sauce
⅛ t. Worcestershire sauce
4 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6-8 eggs
½ t. paprika

Make a white sauce with butter, flour, salt and milk. Add mustard, pepper, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce and blend well. Add grated cheese and stir until melted. Pour sauce into a greased 10" x 6" x 2" baking dish. Break eggs side-by-side on top of the sauce mixture. Sprinkle paprika on top either before or after baking.

Bake at 325°F for 25 minutes or until eggs are thoroughly baked. Serve by spooning each egg on top of a toasted English muffin half, along with some sauce. Serves 4-6, depending on the number of eggs used.


Anonymous said...

That recipie sounds and looks great! I'll have to show it to my mother in law tomorrow.
Jennifer K, MT

Filip Demuinck said...

It looks very good and your chickens are so cute.


Lea's Menagerie said...

I enjoy reading about your chickens.
Christmas blessings to you and your family!

Amy Junod said...

I love the chicken updates. Love Pippa. Our county doesn't allow chickens but Dallas County does. North Haven Gardens in Dallas has seminars on chickens. Makes me want a coop so bad. Chickens and a goat.

Bridget said...

I would so love to keep chickens again but there are so many Mink and Foxes in our area it's just not sensible. Great recipe!

Kylee Baumle said...

Jennifer ~ Well, we like it! Hope you all do, too!

Filip ~ I think our chickens are cute, too, but then, they're OUR chickens. LOL.

Lea ~ Thank you! I hope you had a blessed Christmas as well!

Amy ~ I've wanted a pygmy goat for some time, but that's one thing I don't think I'll ever talk my husband into. ;-)

Bridget ~ We have foxes and minks here, too. And raccoons, skunks, coyotes, and hawks. That's why our chickens are kept in a run with a wire cover. We let them out from time to time, but only when we're out there with them, working in the yard. Many people here let their chickens free range all the time, but they lose some, too. I didn't want to take that chance, so that's why we have a covered run.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

How cool that you are getting more eggs than you need. I bet the neighbors who buy eggs from you are excited to have the source for them.

Would your recipe work with skim milk?

Kylee Baumle said...

Sue ~ I think it would work with skim milk, Sue. I've not tried it with that, though.

Side note: When I read your comment using the term "skim milk," it didn't sound right to me. I learned it as "skimmed milk." So I looked it up and it's called "skim milk" in the US and "skimmed milk" in the UK and Canada. Now WHY did I learn it as "skimmed milk"??? Interesting!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

When you think of it, skimmed would be a more accurate word for it. LOL

Kylee Baumle said...

I love that your comment made me look it up and I learned something!

Gardening Under The Influence said...

Oh, I want chickens so bad!!!! Please convince my dear husband.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe; it's delicious and one we'll be enjoying many times.

Nell Foster said...

Fresh, free range eggs are the best! Lucky for me my neighbors have chickens & I am the recipient of any surplus. There are a few vendors at our year round farmers market who have them too. What is an easier snack than 2 hard boiled or scrambled egg?!

Kylee Baumle said...

Gardening Under The Influence ~ It took me three years to convince mine! I hope you do, too!

Anonymous ~ Hope you've tried it and liked it!

Nell ~ Our neighbors are the reason we (I) wanted chickens! And you're right - I could eat deviled eggs every day of the week. I think. LOL

Kelly said...

That sound like such a wonderful recipe! I'm going to have to try this one. Thank you for sharing it.

Kaysette said...

This recipe is the bomb! I not only loved it, but I crave it often. It's a favortie here. Thanks!

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