Home Delivery

May 26, 2014

Since the demise of the cottage-that-sells-eggs at least as a place that sells eggs, we have been buying our eggs from the landlord when they have a surplus – they’re cheap enough and we know that not only are our food miles minimised, but that the hens are happy and free range, having now got the run of the grounds. Just how free range they were became apparent this afternoon:

hidden eggs

It’s a sign of how little gardening I do (well, you know, we’re very Chelsea here) that it’s taken me at least a week – based on the number of eggs and assuming it’s just one rogue hen – to discover this little treasure trove nestling in the flower bed right by our front door (‘she could at least have rapped on the door with her beak to let us know’ the other half said)

After a brief wrestle with my conscience I phoned up the landlord to admit that the mystery of the declining egg production was solved, although the prospect of a free freshly laid egg appearing on our doorstep every morning was rather tempting (food miles? Food yards? I’ll give you food inches…).

found eggs

Meanwhile we get to keep the seven that we found. I think I shall be cracking them open rather cautiously though.

Food Yards

June 6, 2013

chickens in the mist… 

The landlord’s hens are settling in well, it seems, as we’ve just been offered a regular supply of eggs – £1 a half-dozen which is a bit more expensive, but also possibly more practical, (and definitely more ethical) than the other half’s plan of luring one of the chickens into our yard and training her to lay eggs somewhere handy. By way of a bonus, it also means we’ve found a good home for our tower of egg boxes which have been waiting a suitable recycling opportunity for months.

This means that as soon as the vegetable garden decides to start producing something other than weeds and the odd handful of purple sprouting broccoli, we’ll be able to sit down to entire meals where the ingredients have been produced within yards of our door, at least as long as we’re prepared to subsist mainly on what I’ve dubbed ‘random veg frittata’, the last refuge of the desperate home-grower…

I do not Like Green Eggs and Ham

March 3, 2012

A friend drops by for coffee bringing eggs from her hens, one of which is an Araucana of some sort, hence the green egg.

It looked extremely disconcerting, I have to say, as if it would be sulphourously vile inside

But they made perfectly delicious gegs*.


*scrambled eggs.

Stone the Crows

April 1, 2011

A neighbour rang (no, not that neigbour) to ask if I would do her a favour – collect her eggs while she was away during the day this week. I didn’t need to feed her hens, or clear out the hen house, or even give her any of the eggs – she just wanted them collected. The problem, you see, is that the crows around her have learnt that hen houses contain tasty treats and have taken to following the hens in and pinching the eggs. So all I had to do was nip in when the hens had done their business, as it were, and get the eggs before the crows did. She reckoned that would be around 12:30 or so

Sounds simple, no? Well that’s before accounting for the fact that crows are fairly bright and we are – well, it turns out, a bit poor at time keeping these days. Normally being a few houses up the road at a particular time every day during the week would be no problem, but this week I happened to be fairly busy and couldn’t quite make it on the dot of 12:30. To be honest, I didn’t realise crows could tell the time quite so accurately. Or maybe they just count the number of times the hens go in looking pensive and come out looking relieved and choose their moment to strike. Either way, the score for the week is crows 2 and humans 3, although I’m not convinced the crows didn’t sneak in and pinch one on Thursday…

Still, the upshot is that we have a nice stockpile of freshly laid eggs, albeit not as big a one as it might have been. Frittata tonight, I think. And poached eggs with everything for a while…

Its Own Reward

February 1, 2010

It struck me, as I walked up to the garden this morning to help feed the landlord’s chickens, that they make the perfect pets (chickens, that is, not landlords. Landlords will make a terrible mess of the carpet). I’m chicken-sitting at the moment (I did warn them that, as a family, we don’t have a great record on this…) and it was quite pleasant – a good excuse to be up in the garden first thing in the morning, plus my very own daily easter-egg hunt (hens are rubbish at hiding them though. The nest box was the first place I looked). They’ve got a low carbon footprint, they eat slugs, they’re reasonably attractive – what’s not to like? And you shouldn’t have much difficulty finding someone willing to look after them whenever you’re away. No need to find that last minute naff ‘thank you for looking after my pet’ gift at the motorway service station. Because the chickens will generally have handled that side of it for you

Now all I need is a recipe that requires two very fresh eggs.

Readers, We Ate It

March 3, 2009

Thanks for all the suggestions (you can stop now) – we* had an omelette. I would have taken a photograph first, but then it would have got cold, so I just ate it. It was delicious but, despite the largeness of the egg, rather small, so we had another one, with just a regular egg. It was also delicious.

Some other observations:

  • duck’s eggs taste more or less like hen’s eggs.
  • there appeared to be no baby duck in there, sorry Jane
  • I have grown no extra limbs, yet, but it’s early days

Well, this meta-blogging has been fun, but I don’t think I’ll overdo it. Back to normal tales of country life, if anything ever actually happens to me, tomorrow.

*I had to share, because the other half was the one who actually cooked it.

Married to the Blog

March 2, 2009

One large egg ...

‘Why are you taking photographs of our eggs?’ asked the other half. ‘You’re going to blog about them, aren’t you? And then you’re going to ask them what to do with one duck egg.’

He reads me like a book. We thought for a while that the Cottage-that-sells-eggs was going to have to be renamed the Cottage-that-used-to-sell-eggs but we wandered down there last evening and, glory be, the box was back outside with three egg boxes all containing one large egg, which we’re guessing with our limited townie knowledge to be a duck egg, three normal sized eggs, and two emergency backup eggs.

‘Well what do you expect me to blog about?’ I asked. ‘I don’t get out much.’

‘You could blog about how I asked you why you were taking photographs of our eggs,’ he suggested.

‘Nah, that’s getting a bit self-referential,’ I said. ‘I’m not going to do that. And besides, I don’t know what to do with one duck egg…’

He’s suggesting a cake. Any advance on that?