Saturday, 25 April 2009

Eggs of all shapes and sizes

My parents came to stay for a few days last week. On their way here they stopped at my aunt and uncle's farm and came away with a dozen fresh eggs, collected from the hens that roam freely around the farm and garden. And wow... it's enough to make you want to keep chickens! I put one of the eggs into my regular box of 'large' eggs, which kind of made me think that people who sell eggs are labelling them wrongly. I suppose they're keeping all the huge eggs for themselves!

I almost expected to crack this monster open and find a baby ostrich or something inside. But no ostrich, just two gloriously yellow yolks.

I didn't want to bake cakes with these eggs, I wanted to taste them in their full unadulterated glory, so plumped for a simple omelette. I spent years thinking that I didn't really like omelette, but I have recently become a fan. They're so quick and easy. Plain is fine, but grated cheese lifts them to another level, as does the addition of whatever veg is in the fridge. I had some slivers of spring onion left over from the crispy duck we had eaten earlier in the week, so I just sauteed them and folded the omelette around them and with a liberal sprinkling of Maggi seasoning the meal was complete. Simple and delicious. I just loved the sunny yellow; positively spirit-lifting.

Another egg-related subject that is lifting my spirits right now is the multitude of new life appearing on our local canal. The canal itself is disused, but is a haven for wildlife and waterfowl, as well as being the most wonderful walk, practically right outside our door. Look carefully as you walk along the towpath and nests are visible everywhere - ducks, moorhens, swans, dabchicks and coots.

And first out of the eggs this year were the coots! And they call baby swans ugly... they're positively supermodels compared to this lot! However, they are pretty cute with their punky hairstyles, and their parents obviously love them - this pair attentively fed each of the six chicks as I threw them bread.

More Spring-related photos coming soon I'm sure. This season really is England at its very best. I'm glad to live here.