This morning two people tweeted they were having yummy sounding eggy breakfasts.
@Ailbhetweets was having eggs with dippy soldiers.
@leafhsetherapy was having poached eggies on toast.
I think it is both their birthdays so they kind of deserve eggy breakfast.
Me, its not my birthday, but hey I fancied eggs anyway so I had fried on toast mmmm.
It’s Tuesday, it’s damp. Why ever not have eggy breakfast I say!
So what was loaf one then and how did I select it? I used a random number generator which lead me to Dan Lepard’s The Handmade Loaf p161, which has a picture on…so i flipped forward to the first recipe after that to find on p163
WHITE LOAF WITH GRATED CHESTNUTS
Sounded yum. It uses the usual Dan Lepard low knead technique that I’m a big fan of and have written about here.
It was pretty easy to make and came out with a lovely soft crumb. It made fantastic cheese sandwiches and wonderful toast.
Definitely one to repeat.
I haven’t found the recipe online anywhere so just some pictures this time.
So naughty but so lovely, lightly toasted bread with lashings of butter, what a way to start the day
Last week I got a couple (one each for hubby and me) of goose eggs via a friend. I was very excited, as I’ve never tried either duck or goose eggs before. Everyone I mentioned it to said they are much much richer than hens eggs and then proceeded to suggest the best way to have them – most favoured fried or scrambled. I umm’d and ahhh’d for quite a while and then decided that what I really wanted was soft boiled with soldiers (hubby decided on fried for his egg).
Having made my decision could I find any books that told me how long to boil a goose egg for? NO.
Hugh F-W let me down big time here – I thought he was bound to be waxing lyrical about goose eggs and giving cooking times but not anywhere I could find he wasn’t – honestly Hugh call yourself a converted country boy and you don’t mention goose eggs, just what’s the world coming to? Then I saw that Rose Prince mentions them – hurrah I thought, instructions here we come – but it was another blank – she tells us how much her five year old son really likes soft boiled goose egg as a tea time treat and also his views on how big they are (in which he demonstrates a fine grasp of the f word) but not how to cook them to perfection.
So off to the computer to see if that helped – and a quick Google search came up with the goods straightaway. Next a search in the cupboards for something to stand the egg in to eat it – at about 2½ times the weight of a hens egg it looked a bit big for a regular egg cup (even my lovely spotty Emma Bridgewater one which seems to be designed for extra big hens eggs was only going to provide a comedy moment and an unsecure stand). After much searching about and trying different tea and coffee cups I finally found a coffee cup that was a perfect fit.
Back in the kitchen it was time for breakfast. Into a pan of luke warm water went my goose egg, brought it up to a simmer and then cooked at that pace for 10 minutes (next time I’d do it for a little less to get a more runny yolk), hubby fried his egg for around 4 minutes or so and we dashed off some toast for each of us. Then to eating.
The white is a more boingy texture than a hen’s egg and a different shade of white (kind of translucent even when cooked) but similar in taste. The yolk is huge, a lovely yellow and to start with you think its not that much richer than hen’s eggs but at you munch your way through you realise its kind of cumulative and by the end I was hard pushed to think I’d want another bite. It was truly delicious, a great treat for a Sunday breakfast and next time I see any I’ll be getting another couple.
Last week I mentioned lemon curd in my Labour of love post and one comment poster asked for a good recipe.
I’ve tried a few versions in the past – some come out fairly runny, some very thick. They all taste good but the texture and richness varies quite widely depending on the amount of butter and also egg yolks (some recipes use whole eggs some use a mix and some use only yolks). So there’s quite a lot of choices in picking a recipe.
I’m going to give you two recipes here – one for a good staple curd – not too runny not too rich and one very rich one.
First the good staple which comes from Hilare Walden’s Sensational Preserves book (with various of my comments added). I’ve made it a number of times always with great success.
4 lemons (organic unwaxed for preference – the unwaxed bit is important, you’re going to be using the zest of the lemon and if its been waxed you’re going to have to scrub vigorously in hot soapy water and rinse before you can use them – what a chore)
4oz (115g) of unsalted butter
10oz (300g) of caster sugar – I like Billingtons Organic Unrefined Caster Sugar
4 medium size eggs
A heatproof bowl – e.g. a Pyrex mixing bowl
A saucepan that the bowl fits on but not in
Grate the lemon zest – being careful not to end up with too much of the white (and bitter) pith and then juice the lemons. Put zest and juice in the bowl. Add the butter cut into about 1cm dice and the sugar.
Put around an inch of boiling water in the pan and then balance the bowl over the pan (the bottom of the bowl mustn’t touch the water) – this is called a ‘double boiler’ in case you see that phrase mentioned elsewhere. Keep the water just at simmering point and stir the mixture in the bowl as it dissolves.
Beat the eggs lightly and then add them to the mixture (most recipes tell you to strain the egg mix but I don’t think this is really necessary). And keep on stirring. For as long as it takes for the curd to thicken which might be anything from 15 to almost 40 minutes (dependent mainly on the amount of lemon juice, I think). Make sure the curd doesn’t get too hot and keep on stirring especially as it gets thicker or you’ll end up with curdled curd – not a good result.
Pour into warm, clean dry jars – straight from the dishwasher is a good way to achieve this and seal with wax paper disks if you have them and a lid. Putting the lid on while its all still warm helps create a vacuum and so the contents last for longer.
Store somewhere cool and dark and in the fridge once opened. It’ll last 2-3 weeks once opened – well it will if it doesn’t all get eaten before then. Makes about 1 ½ lb (a normal jam jar fits roughly 1lb).
The richer (and it really is much richer almost too rich except in small quantities) comes from Gary Rhodes’ Complete Rhodes around Britain. It uses essentially the same technique but the ingredients are heavily weighted to butter and egg yolks. In fact it’s the kind of recipe where you need to have thought through what you are going to be doing with all the egg whites you end up with (e.g. make meringues).
3 lemons, 8oz (225g) unsalted butter (I told you it was rich), 8oz (225g) caster sugar and 5 (yes that FIVE) egg yolks. Proceed as above but spread more thinly when applying to toast.
I’d recommend you try the Walden recipe first and then the Gary Rhodes if you fancy a rich lemony blow out experience at a later date. And if you think all that stirring is too much then try an upmarket ready made lemon curd – I most recently had the Duchy Originals one – very tasty, almost good enough to tempt you to scoop it out and put in your own labelled jar to pass off as your own ?
What to have for a quick and tasty solo lunch at home?
Often its down to what’s in the cupboards and fridge – it doesn’t make much sense to want something quick but need to go to the shops first to get ingredients (well possibly if you live right next door to a good shop then it just might but otherwise its going to slow the whole thing down somewhat).
So today we found eggs and bread and tomatoes. Ah ha that’ll be scrambled eggs on toast with some grilled or sauté tomatoes.
Its as easy as 123 (and just possibly 4):
1: Get the tomatoes on to grill or sauté
2: Eggs in a jug or bowl, splash of milk, salt, pepper, whisk lightly with a fork
3: Start the bread toasting
4: Melt butter, scramble eggs
Its all ready – get it on the plate – EAT (or in my case take a quick photo first – some of the blogging stuff is just a bit weird!).
Quicker to cook than it was to eat – just the job.
After the gardening bug bit me on Saturday I decided it was time to see how my lovely little lemon tree was doing.
It lives in the lean-to that we use as a utility room and often gets forgotten amongst the never-ending piles of washing (how exactly do 2 people create so much to be washed, its not like we wear three different outfits each day – well not normally any way!).
So off I pottered to check it out.
It had been hit by another bout of scale insect (ugh ugh ugh). These evil creatures don’t look much – rather like raised brown ovals along the leaf veins – they aren’t even moving – but boy are they hard to get rid of. There was nothing for it but to don rubber gloves and attack them with warm soapy water and an e-cloth (yes those magic cloths that are great for cleaning just about everything with no nasty chemicals and almost no need for elbow grease). This of course takes ages. Even on a small tree or shrub you need to clean every single leaf thoroughly on both sides, scraping away at the nasty bugs to get them off. So on my small lemon I reckon there are about 40 leaves at the moment and it took well over an hour to do.
But it was worth it because now, after spraying the tree with safe for vegetable and fruit tree bug killer stuff and keeping a vigilant watch over the coming weeks, the one solitary lemon that’s growing will hopefully get to full size and ripen up. Maybe I’ll get some new blossom and more fruits and then there’ll be the chance to make lemon curd.
And few things beat homemade lemon curd slathered on good white bread toast (extra thickly cut of course so its crispy on the outside and delightfully soft inside).