June 20, 2009


Everybody has their own favorite way to eat eggs. Personally I could eat the Salmon Eggs Benedict from Zell's Cafe in Portland everyday of my life. But it's a little to far of a drive these days just for a simple, if amazing, breakfast. We eat a lot of eggs in our house, at least a dozen and a half per week. Spaghetti Carbonara, French Toast, Bacon Egg and Cheese Sandwiches, Souffle, Quiche, not to mention all the eggs we consume in desserts and sauces. We're just an egg kind of family.

But today was not your average egg kind of day. Today was the first time we were eating eggs from our own chickens. Yes, the hens have been laying off and on for more than a week, but since it's not quite regular yet, none had cropped up on our feeding days till today. But this morning, there it was, a little bitty (they will get bigger as the hens mature, right now they are considered "pullet eggs") perfect brown egg. And on top of today's egg, we had an egg from yesterday that Elvira had brought over from the coop in honor of Will's birthday.

Will and I debated egg cooking methods this afternoon, trying to decide the best way to enjoy a very fresh and very local egg. Fried? Hard Boiled? Scrambled? Poached? In the end, the kids decided for us.

"We want egg soldiers!"

Perfect. Briton saves the day.

Egg soldiers, which is, I believe, really called Eggs with Toast Soldiers, is a favorite afternoon meal in our house. And it's so simple that I sometimes forget all about it when I'm trying to decide what I'll feed the kids to tide them over till dinner*. Soft boiled eggs with their tops whacked off to reveal the runny yolks inside which is fished out by strips of buttered toast. If you've never tried it, you should. It's eggyness at it's very best. Salty and satisfying and with some fruit or vegetable, a great little meal. I'll even admit that I sometimes make three Egg Soldiers so that I can have one for myself. So, yeah, it was the perfect way to try out our first eggs.

I had to guess at the timing, usually I buy large eggs and pop them in boiling water for as long as it takes our toaster to brown a slice of bread. Since these eggs were pretty small (I actually looked it up and they would be classified as "pee-wee" sized eggs if they were sold in the stores) I halved my time and boiled them for 2 minutes and 30 seconds which turned out to be just right for the smaller of the two and just a tad short for the ever so slightly larger one. But when it comes to Egg Soldiers, runnier is far preferable to hard boiled.

So how were they? Well, they were perfect. Briton commented that they tasted different. Very eggy. I told him that was what real eggs tasted like to which he replied "So we've been eating fake eggs all this time?" Smart-Ass. I don't know where he gets it from.

*In our house the kids eat "tea" at 4:30ish and then have dinner with us at 6:30 or so. That way I know they have gotten a full meal but I can cook things they may or may not like for Will and I. The name "tea" comes courtesy of our Ireland days when my friends would have us over for an afternoon meal for the kids and some play time and the name and the tradition stuck.