Yes we have been “River Cottaging Again” and this time we learnt all about eggs… Wow!!! What power packed little meals they are!!!
First we had to discover where they come from:
And for my urban kids… they weren’t too sure of those chickens!!!
And then… I think one of my hoods is a bit confused, because this is clearly a turkey!!! But since it is a bird it must lay eggs, so they aren’t totally confused!!!
And this is what we have been cooking…
- Meringues: Who can resist meringues!!! I make these when I haven’t had a chance to prepare for a group of folk coming round… because they take about five minutes to whip together and then you just pop them in a low, low heat oven and forget about them until your guests arrive. Not to mention they always look so impressive. They are great just to eat as they are, or with strawberries and cream, or as Eton Mess, or Lemon Meringue Pie, or even Baked Alaska. Knowing how to make meringues is a brilliant life skill.
- Real Custard: The thing about making meringues is that you are left with a whole lot of egg yolks!!! There is only one thing to make and that’s real custard. Egg custard is really quite easy to make and once you have made it you will never look back. You will never eat instant or box custard again trust me!!! It does require patient stirring and is ready when your finger leaves a clear line in the custard as you run it down the back of the spoon.
- Real Ice-Cream: Well if you can stand not to eat your custard when it is hot, then it is very easy to turn it into the most amazing real ice-cream… just stir some fresh cream into the custard. We popped ours into the ice-cream machine and left it to churn. If you don’t have an ice-cream machine then pop your ice-cream mixture into the freezer and every hour or so mix and mash it, until it is frozen through.
- Mayonnaise: Another thing you can make with left over egg yolks after making meringues is mayonnaise and we have never tried this before!!!
- Breakfast eggs: Finally we got onto regular breakfast eggs. And why we call these types of eggs breakfast eggs I don’t know, since we have them for breakfast, lunch and supper. There is one person in my house who just loves all things eggs!!! And I discovered that one doesn’t actually know how to cook eggs!!! I don’t remember learning but it took us quite a bit of practice to master all the techniques. The practice paid off and our kids will at least be able to cook an egg when they leave home!!!
- Omelettes: We went on to try omelettes because they are my fall back on meal!!!
- French: We tried these first, because they are what we are used to. Warm and fluffy from the pan, with a sprinkle of cheese.
- Spanish: I never thought my kids would go for this, and just more evidence that if they cook it themselves they will try it and then actually eat it!!! We did have a heap of leftover potatoes in the fridge, a finally chopped onion and a bit of feta to convince the most wary of the cooks!!! Well this has become a staple lunch meal round here…
- Sponge Cake: After all those egg looking eggs we needed a break and we tried our hand at the Victoria Sponge Cake. I loved this recipe: just equal amounts of butter, sugar, flour and eggs. So weigh your eggs and then make sure all the other ingredients weigh the same. Pop it in a medium oven for about half an hour… when a skewer comes out clean your cake is done. Once your cake has cooled, sandwich some jam and cream between the layers and then sprinkle the cake with icing sugar – yum!!!
- Chocolate Mousse: Why, oh why have I never made this before!!! I always thought mousse was tricky, well I was totally wrong!!! The reason we learnt about mousse was to master the art of folding (Nothing to do with the chocolate!!!) and a whole lot of careful folding went on!!! Did you know that you fold eggs with a metal spoon not a wooden one, a metal spoon has a thinner edge, so you don’t work the mixture too much. This folks is the ultimate dessert, quick and easy and you can make it way in advance for guests!!!
- Pancakes: We eat these a lot, and I have never been able to catch them on camera… I was so excited about this section, which had a whole project on how to host a pancake race – everyone was so excited… what a brilliant idea, what fun and what enthusiasm… only our pancakes never land on a plate for longer than a second and we certainly never have a stack of pancakes… needless to say good idea, good intentions… and we will have to keep trying!!!
- Marshmallows: Well we all thought marshmallows came in a bag from the store!!! But now we have discovered you can make them!!! Gelatin and a sugar syrup, along with whipped egg whites… doesn’t sound nearly as nice as it tastes!!!
Turns out we love home made mayonnaise and have to make it by the console jar!!! At this stage we are playing around with adding different flavors: crushed garlic, or different varieties of herbs. Yummy with potatoes, yummy with almost anything!!!
And the joy was… unanimous!!!
And that’s us!!! Another Chapter of the River Cottage Family Cook Book down and we are moving onto fruit!!! Everyone is looking forward to the next chapter packed with yumminess!!!
Just a quick reminder that if you haven’t entered this weeks GiveAway yet then follow the link and leave a comment!!!