Archives for posts with tag: eggs

IMG_7013

A quick post.

When your eyes are open to something, you start to see it. I am interested in ways that ordinary people– that’s you and me, and him and her — maintain involvement with our food and reclaim involvement with our food.

Yesterday at a car boot sale I conversed with this man selling eggs. But he wasn’t selling them for eating. (“You could eat them,” he told me. “But that would be an expensive egg!” They were £1 each. ) These were eggs from breeds of hens and cockerels he’d carefully crossed. The eggs were available for people to buy to give to their own hens to be broody with, and to hatch.

IMG_7014

(Car-Boot Sales are wonderful opportunities for people to people selling. I remember amazing Polish bakers at a carboot in Oxford. And of course all the jam and chutney sellers everywhere, and old folks with their pickled onions and pickled eggs and vinegar beetroots. Beautiful garden vegetables. Lots of opportunity for so much more.)

Then this morning, chatting with a local butcher, he told me about the rain-water system he was engineering to ensure that his new duck pond always had water, through wet and dry times. Then he showed me his “Green Eggs,” the rather huge hens eggs which he doesn’t sell really, but happened to have, and the pleasure he gets from crossing different kinds of chickens to see the eggs that result from the crosses.

IMG_7052

Of course if these men were Mega-Corporations seeking control of the world food supply, they’d be trying to patent the breeds and the eggs created by careful planning and some serendipity.

Instead they are enjoying a productive, interesting hobby, and sharing for a pittance the fruits of their time and interest– which is the fruit of a chicken, The Egg.

This is Local Food, this is Food Sovereignty, this is Self-Sufficiency. It’s not the supermarket or the garden centre. It’s people and food, closely related. It gives me hope.

IMG_6758

Above, that was some rice and steamed carrots and a version of creamed (gorgeous fresh local new-spring) spinach leftover from last night, when we all finally after so long sat down together for a nice meal. Those leftovers became Brunch, and an occasion for me to talk on this blog about the wonderful possibilities of the Frittata:

IMG_6760

If I were Chief Home Economics Teacher, with my Pro-Concept, Anti-Recipe Ideology, this is a dish I would definitely share as infinitely forgiving, tasty, nutritious and achievable without specific quantities or ingredients on hand (except eggs).  For people who strive to avoid food waste, frittatas are also great catch-alls,  tasty hot or cold, fun for picnics, and, when cut into small wedges, great finger food for kids.

Say there’d been potatoes in any form, most vegetables, most scraps of anything (maybe not lettuce????) — it would be fine. Anything goes.

The basic thing is, a hot heavy bottomed pan (though I’ve done it in a cake tin and baked very slowly), nicely oiled or buttered, then
 
some eggs beaten and added to…
whatever leftovers there are…
probably some cheese (in this case some ricotta that needed doing and a grating of Parmesan on the top, but could be anything, or nothing)…
salt and pepper, and of course any herbs or spices you desire…
(of course for an Asian twist why not some ginger or even… kim chee!)
(balance as you would any flavours)
and a slow cook on a slow heat, and if the heat doesn’t rise to the top as fast as you’d like, finish under the grill/ broiler.
That’s it.
Can be eggy, eggier, or less eggy.  Cheesy, cheesier, or less cheesy. Vegetarian or not. Large chunks or small chunks.  
You are free.  
What you cook is an offering, to yourself and your loved ones.
 
 

As usual the Wikipedia entry is pretty good, discussing how a frittata may differ from omelettes and other egg-based creations.   I think there might be an idea that it’s something fancy– it’s really not!  And anyone who presents it in a recipe as something of sophistication– tut tut to him or her.  Frittatas belongs to the people.  Our common heritage. And whatever you can harvest, wild from the fields and edges and urban sidewalks (nettles, dandelion leaves), or from the bowels of your fridge or the remains from last night’s supper, belongs.

Ready, Steady, Cook mid-September mid-Wales

My lovely friend Vicky left this for me on my doorstep. She gardens very beautifully and gives gifts from her abundance. It’s very moving to receive these gifts and reminds me to be grateful that we all have created the space and time for gardening and cooking in our lives. Of all my friends, she is the true fan of my fermented beetroot bubbly, and I love making it for her. So we kind of have a barter situation going on, but I always feel i get the better deal. (Not that it’s about precision in any economic sense.)

Here were four Bantam eggs, some sorrel leaves, jerusalem artichokes and a hunk of a fresh turmeric rhizome. I could not resist presenting the photo on my Facebook as a Ready, Steady, Cook type invitation to ideas.

SNM: Some kind of egg drop soup with greens? That’s one of my favourites.

VW: Jerusalem artichoke and sorrel sauted with a little turmeric, and poached eggs on top??

VW: Parboiled, sliced and saute the j-artichokes till golden brown. Mix finely-diced turmeric and shredded sorrel with hard-boiled egg yolks and replace in halved egg whites. Serve in bed [with husband who was trying to make out with her].

CM: Is it ginger? Looks like galangal. Either way, I’d make some sort of Asianesque soup, but would need some thin chicken stock, too. Would have two eggs leftover and a humongous quantity of the root as well. What’s the green? Not arugula, not a brassica. Yes?

CM: Oh, sorrel! Tres bien. A nice, lemony Asian soup.

Me: Oh fun everyone! My thoughts would be– a really nice Richard Olney gratin of hard boiled eggs with sorrel, and would add some grated turmeric and serve the sunchokes on the side, roasted probably. Or, an artichoke (pureed)/ grated turmeric/ sorrel souffle, or frittata, or tortilla, with the artichokes slivered… But love the soup ideas too… Anyone else? x

Z: I would make an omelette and give the arties to someone else!

TH: I was going to say Tortilla.

Me again: I’ve long wanted to serve them at a dinner party and see if everyone could get comfortable with farting if everyone was doing it…. Actually I only rarely like them too, but thinking about it I think the sour sorrel and the fragrant turmeric could actually improve them… And they’re nice carmelized…

AH: I had them ONCE and the pain was unbearable! Everyone at the table was farting………and in pain!!

OT: Great way to eat J’lem artichokes: mash them up into mashed potatoes. It makes a lovely creamy mix.

CM: That sounds really nice. Maybe mix them up with mashed parsnips and/or rhutabaga [swedes] as well. (I do potato/parnsip/rhutabaga mash and it’s really good. Lot’s of butter, though.) I love artichokes, and have never had the issues mentioned. They do have a chemical effect of making water that you drink just after chewing an artichoke taste sweeter. Has anyone noticed this? I have. It seems that phenomenon might have a genetic component.

CM Jeruselem artichokes, or what are called “sunchokes” here [the US], are not artichokes but rather the bud of a plant that’s in the sunflower family. (I think I’m correct about this, but I’m too lazy to fact check.) Could they be the cause of the flatulence, rather than artichokes? Just wondering.

OT: I think it is technically considered a tuber. In any case it is a “root crop” like potatoes or parsnips, and yes, a kind of sunflower. They also are notorious as “fartichokes”.

LMcH: Omelette x

————————-

Well, in the end, sadly, I just put the sorrel in some soup, we used the eggs for breakfast, the J’artichokes were roasted for another meal, and the turmeric got grated into a lentil dish and we still have lots… Good uses, but would have been really fun to find them in one meal. Maybe next time. What would YOU have done with this particular set of foodstuffs, Dear Reader?

UPDATE 2 October 2013: Next time I have sunchokes (as I called them in my native land) I will excitedly put them in … Kimchi! This idea evolved from looking at the amazing tubers that are Szechuan Pickled Vegetable. And apparently fermenting them really reduces the flatlentia that seems to plague so many tummies and so many of us with juvenile humour find so funny…

%d bloggers like this: