Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Eggs

Since the solstice, the chickens have been laying eggs faster than we can eat them.  I used to sell the surplus, but in recent times, no one wants the eggs with poo or feathers attached and that means that I need to wash them and make sure that they look like "shop" eggs.  I probably should do it, but I still have a few people who take them for free (unwashed) and that's ok too.
This week though, they have really got away from me....
 ... and so I have decided to be a little more creative.  Eggs make very good noodles, and these keep really well.  I even think that one of the reasons that pasta has been such a staple food in Italy may be due to the fact that eggs could be preserved as noodles for the winter when the chickens go "off the lay."

I have tried all sorts of methods for preserving eggs in the past.  For the relatively short term... months... I have used waterglass (sodium silicate) and that works better than vaseline.  I've tried high protein fruit cakes, but we don't eat a lot of sweet foods.   I have dried fettucine but it is so brittle that it's hard to store also... noodles break and are good for soup or casseroles, but not like the usual pasta dishes.   My serious lack of space doesn't help either.

Lately, our predilection for lasagne has made me try again... and so tonight I have been preparing noodles ( about 12 eggs worth) for lasagne.  Lasagne is such a good way of using odd vegetables and left over odds and ends... I think that peasant women in the past had more clues than I have caught up with.  "Trendy" versions of traditional dishes don't seem to preserve the frugality of the original versions.... or so I am beginning to believe.

We often eat lasagne... a favourite around here so it seems like a good plan... to try to make my surplus into something useful.  It's one of those commonsense ideas that seems to be surplus to requirements when we can but out of season ingredients to make whatever we wish in recent years.


And so I went to work after dinner tonight...  I made the dough and finished the kneading with the pasta machine on number 1.
 I thinned the noodles to number 4 (just a guess) and hung each piece over the same sticks that I use to dry the fettuccini...
 Once it was all made (12 eggs worth) I took each piece and cut it into three....  then I packed it between plastic sheets (old bread bags - I don't buy plastic except for when it comes with other purchases.)  And here it is....
 .... all packed into a carton that I used to bring my groceries home from the local IGA. I ususally make use of the cartons as kindling for the kitchen stove, but some boxes are taken away for more noble purposes....
 I did put a 'lasagne' label on top of the noodle sheets....
.... I hope this works.  Next is to see how frozen noodles go in lasagne!  I'll need to make this on the weekend.

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