Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The perfect omelette

"I break some good eggs into a bowl, I beat them well, I put in a good piece of butter in the pan. I throw the eggs into it and I shake it constantly. I am happy, monsieur, if this recipe pleases you." Madame Poularde as quoted by Elizabeth David in “An Omelette and a Glass of Wine”

Now that the days are lengthening ever so slightly, the chickens have all started to lay again and I am relishing a simply cooked omelette... made with “good” eggs.
I love everything about an egg; nature's most perfect package. I turn each porcelain orb in my hand on the way back from the hen house, enjoying its unique shape and colour, speckle and lustre. Here's what I find.
Fig 1.
Nifty is a small, nearly white hen who lays an enormous nearly white egg. 
Biggest egg to date... 100 grams!

Fig 2.
Saffy favours a deep, coppery-brown burnished shell. 

Fig 3.
Darcy, the matriarch at 6 years old, (and the only surviving hen from our original four) leads by example and still lays a lightly speckled egg most days. 

Fig 4.
Little Hulanicki, hardly the size of a pigeon, lays a surprisingly large, pure white egg. Young and slim she struts around around in sixties style monochrome. I had been struggling for a name for her until I read Barbara Hulanicki's brilliant autobiography, 'From A to Biba'. The first Biba stores all had black and white chequerboard floors. Problem solved!

Fig 5.
Weighing in at a mere 12 grams I’ve no idea who laid this teeny egg. A phenomenon  called "fairy" egg, it didn’t have a yolk and was probably the result of a reproductive cycle getting slowly into gear. Not much good for the omelette.

Fig 6.
Binky lays a small roundish egg. She is a creature of habit with a passion for industrial architecture. She shuns the country-style nest box in the hen house and runs the length of the garden to lay under the oil tank. And the later I let the chickens out in the morning the faster she runs!

Who'd have thought egg collecting could be so much fun?

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