Sunday, March 15, 2009

Egg numbers rising

Yesterday we got five eggs! The most we've gotten was six in early January, but then the girls dropped off significantly. February was our slowest month, we were getting one to two eggs a day out of our Sexlinks, and that was all. In the last ten days or so we've started getting an Americana egg every day or two, the Brahmas just started laying again and I think we got an egg out of each of them yesterday. Our Cochin and our Standard Cornish have also resumed laying, although we expect these two to lay the least of anyone.

Before our birds were laying I would buy two dozen eggs a week at the farmer's market for five dollars a piece. Some people are surprised that we can consume so many eggs. We cook almost all of our meals from scratch, eat fried eggs a few mornings a week, do a lot of baking and I make deviled eggs and egg salad every few weeks. It's really not hard to consume a lot of eggs when they are so good. For a while I was getting three dozen a week, and then they would build up a little more in the fridge. So we need four eggs a day to keep our family in eggs, but more is always better. Plus we are starting to save some for hatching. We have a habit of giving our eggs away and getting ourselves so low that we have to be on egg conservation status.

Anyway, as long as our birds remain healthy and we don't loose anymore I think the eight layers should keep our family in eggs, with unfortunately not enough extras to share as we'd like. Our intentions for this winter were to keep a dozen layers, but we lost a few. I think our hen house could easily keep a few more and I think we are going to build a rebar hoop-house and insulate the sides with hay bales. Walter has plans and pictures of a nice example on his Sugar Mountain Farm Blog. This would allow us to keep closer to two or three dozen layers and a couple more types of roosters.

So here is a great morning recipe for Pop Cakes; it is a family recipe that uses an egg per person and it is what I am eating for breakfast right now:
This is for one person, just double everything for two people and so forth. You can bake it all in one large bake dish or make individual ones for each person. For one person I use a six inch diameter dish with three inch sides. High sides are nice but you can be flexible with whatever sizes of dishes you have. Preheat oven to 425 and put a couple Tablespoons of butter in your dish and put it in the oven until the butter is brown and bubbly. Meanwhile in a medium size bowl whisk: one egg, 1/4 C all purpose flour, 1/4tsp. salt and then whisk in 1/4 C milk. Let it sit until your butter is ready then pour it into your dish scraping everything in and put it in the oven for about ten to fifteen minutes. Check at ten, you want the edges to be brown and firm. When done transfer to a plate and top with fresh fruit or jam and sprinkle with powder sugar. My favorite it wild Alaskan blueberry jam, but raspberry jam is great too.

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