Saturday, June 28, 2008

what to do with all them eggs?

some folks are already asking me, what are you doing with all those eggs? i thought i might post where some of these eggs go to answer questions some of my friendly folk have.

to me the question is kind of funny but maybe folks are not used to integrating eggs into their diet in the days of news driven food scares when it comes to any type of food that is not synthetically produced. lucky for me, i think beyond the natural raw food terrorism scares. i don't suffer from cholesterol problems - keeping in mind home raised eggs have shown time and again lower bad cholesterol levels and higher good cholesterol levels.

i like eggs and cook with them frequently. this morning it's quiche. if you've been around the hippychick universe you might have noticed that i eat a lot of quiche. i do. i dig it, it's easy to make, it changes up without much effort and it packs well for take away meals.

regarding the number of eggs i deal with each week, i must remind folks that it's just three chickenchicas we are talking about here, not 25 or 50 or even 100 . the ladies are young and don't lay each and everyday yet. so on the best of days i harvest 3 eggs on the worst of days so far 1 egg. that's not bad, either way is fine for me. i'm not expecting super duper productivity. as far as i am concerned, the chickenchicas are fabulous company and the eggs are a bonus.

quiche is simple. it's made of 3 or 4 basic elements and can then vary with the contributions of your own local findings and some creative thinking.
  1. pie crust
  2. eggs
  3. milk (optional)
  4. good fillings and herbs (optional)
the harvest this morning included 1 cucumber, 1 amazing pepper and a number of beautiful okra pods. the cucumber is for later but the okra and the pepper, they are going in the quiche no question.

step one - place your pie crust in the oven and bake until it is half cooked.
step two - crack your eggs and beat them.
step three is optional - add some milk to the mix
adding milk makes the quiche a little bit lighter when cooking meaning that it causes the eggs to puff up some. making a quiche without milk just means the eggs set lower - not a big deal to me and either tastes great!

step four - chop your veggies,
prep your herbs and spices,
and gather your cheese or any other items you think might be good inside.

remove your pie shell place the chopped up veggie, cheese and herb goodies inside the pie shell.

step five - pour the egg mixture over the goodies.

quiche #1 above is red pepper and local herbed goat cheese with extra dill
- i love dill -

quiche #2 is an okra and local goat feta cheese with rosemary and lavender from the home garden

step six - pop the whole bit into the oven and cook at 325 or 350 for about 40 minutes. test for done-ness by piercing the center with a knife. the knife will come out clean when the quiche is ready.

you can see here the puffed up bit i was referring to when adding milk to the mix. i did add milk this morning which leads to super puffy quiche. don't get too excited, the puff settles as the quiche cools. what you should get excited about is the yummy soon to follow.

step seven - eat!
so that's what we are doing with some of them eggs in the hippychick universe.

note: yup i admit it, i cheated on the pie crust today.
i'm not a perfect specimen of the human species yet.
working on it.

got a good pie crust recipe?
please oh please send it my way
natural and organic recipes preferred.

later in the same day...
moving that which was once big ole' bags of horsey poo, leaves, pine needles, spent hay, weeds and unwanted veggie bits.

yup, it was a big darn compost day. the plan was to turn it but clearly i had not been watching this particular pile close enough. the pile was done, completely composted and ready for distribution.
ding! ding! ding! ding!
i guess the hot weather is good for helping something.

the timing is perfect. two rabbiteye blueberry bushes, 2 thornless blackberry plants and 1 heritage raspberry are coming today and will need to be planted pronto.

so i fetched my trusty garden cart and my trusty garden fork and started to work. it did not take long for me to prep the location for the new babies. i roughed up the existing soil, spread a bit of pellet sulphur (berries like a more acidic soil) and watered it well before setting the new compost on top.

this particular pile of compost was 3'x3'x3'height so i had a lot left over once i got the berry area prepped which was great. i had enough to place a good 4" to 5" thick layer over each and every fruit tree in the yard. that includes:
  • 4 blueberry
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 fig
  • 1 apricot
  • 1 plum
  • 2 peach
  • 2 apple
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 2 thornless blackberry
  • 1 heritage raspberry
  • 1 crabapple
  • 4 small (baby) olive trees (italian and spanish)
  • 1 plum
i felt no worry to hit most of these trees and bushes with this second round of compost. i had done this very same thing a month or so back but with the heat and wind as steady as it is, i believe this can only be of benefit to the food producers. honestly, i don't know how anything makes it through these rough conditions.

i have to tell you, i am a compost geek. there is nothing like the softness of a good finished batch of the stuff. you can feel it's water holding power and if it's loaded with earthworms well then baby you've hit the jackpot because those worms are going to better the condition of the soil they are transferred to. it's a win win when it comes to worms.

well it did not take too long to move the 7 fine loads, distribute and water it in. all the plants are happy and i'm back inside for a bit to consider a bit of lunch although i guess it is actually closer to dinner time.

no matter all is well
i love my compost pile

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