Monday, 29 July 2013

Eggs and fashionable food

The chickens are laying... and these are a new young group that I have had for only a few months,  but they are  laying regularly and I have excess eggs.... the chickens are disposing of all of my kitchen scraps,  weeds, left-overs and rubbish... and they are laying more eggs than I can use.

In the past,  I have sold eggs through a local community shop,  but this is now not legal.  It is necessary to have a special licence to do this, and the cost is prohinbitive.   I have excess eggs....
 ... and this is after using about a dozen in cooking this evening and giving another dozen away to a family member.  I used to sell enough eggs to pay for the supplementary food that I give to the hens to make sure that, even when weeds were in short supply,  they had enough food with the correct nurtients for their needs.  That is no longer an option, such is the change in the legal requirements for selling fresh eggs,  and so I need to pay for any supplementary feeding myself.  I still do that occasionally,  but it has to be on a "pension week" for sure.
Today I have given away a dozen eggs,  made 10 "creme caramels" and eaten an "eggy" dinner this evening...  vegetable fritters....
I have usually made fritters like this from potatoes and onions,  flour and eggs... but, with winter and a reduction in the amount of potatoes in the garden (they are more prolific in summer and autumn)   I have resorted to using pumpkin on its own,  or with potatoes...  and the results are wonderful....
It doesn't seem like "rocket science" but such a simple adaptation of an old recipe seems obvious now... and I'll be trying a few other solid vegetables of similar texture  (broccoli or cauliflower stalks, swedes, turnips?) in the future.  It's a matter of working out how to use the ingredients that one has,  not going to the supermarket to buy the ingredients listed in a recipe.

This is a really important issue here.  Recipe books give a list of ingredients for food that might be trendy, exotic or fashionable, but I think that being able to prepare meals with the ingredients that are available locally is important. This means collecting the vegetables from the garden in the morning and then working out how to prepare a meal from them.
I hear the idea of "eating locally" or "sustainable" stated often,  but it seems that ingredients are still being imported,  out of season, for more fashionable food preparation.
Tomatoes, capsicum and cucumbers are not locally produced right now.. at least not without serious artificially heated greenhouse, almost hydroponic production, all of which is hugely energy dependent for any production at all....
Locally, I have leafy brassicas, cauliflowers, broccoli, late potatoes, preserved pumpkins, herbs, garlic, onions and plenty of eggs... with spring in view and anticipated with joy.


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