The egg. It may be my favourite ingredient. It's versatile, inexpensive, and packed with nutrition. It shows up in everything from buttercream frosting to ice cream to an omelette in school lunch. To say nothing of souffles, fresh mayonnaise, and scrambled, boiled and fried. I use eggs with abandon in the fresh pasta dough at my workshops. At the moment, our family is lucky enough to be caring for three Americana chickens, belonging to our neighbours. They lay 2-3 eggs per day, and the collecting has been such fun.
We feed and water the chickens twice a day, and close them in at night. The kids really love collecting the eggs. They've been asking such interesting, detailed questions, too: "How does the egg come out of the chicken?" "Why when the chicken lays the eggs aren't there baby chicks in them?" and on and on. Truly an education in where our food comes from.
A careful hand is required when handling eggs, so the kids have been practicing being delicate and gentle. On the left, Cash is drying the egg he just rinsed off. On the right, local breakfast!
Of course, we've been using the eggs in all of our meals at home - breakfast, lunch and dinner. Above, the eggs appeared last week in Pad Thai and a Dutch Baby. A Dutch Baby is about the simplest pancake you can make. It has a beautiful soft interior and the kids love it; it's also much quicker to prepare than standard pancakes. On school mornings I often throw it together and put it in the oven, then wash out the blender and make a smoothie while it bakes.
Dutch Baby with Local Eggs
Serves 3-4 as breakfast or a snack
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup spelt flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tb butter
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Place a cast iron pan in the oven to preheat.
Add the eggs, buttermilk, flour and salt to a blender. Blend on high speed for about a minute. Place the butter in the pan in the oven and let it melt. Swirl the butter around the pan. Turn the oven down to 425 degrees, pour the batter in the pan, and close the oven door. Let it bake for about 12 minutes, until the top is puffing up in a few places and is lovely and browned. Taking care because the pan is very hot, let your kids cut the pancake into wedges and serve themselves. This is delicious topped with jam, nut butter, honey, cheese, cream cheese, etc.