What a roller coaster! Watching the horses sweat and the kids in t-shirts and barefoot, it’s hard to comprehend that last week we had an ice storm! Spring is a slow one this year – most plants are two or three weeks behind their normal growth at this time of the year.
I was planning on a CSA start date of May 16th – and it still might – things often take off very fast once it warms like this – but I was starting to wonder! I’m happy we have plenty of room in the greenhouse and hoop houses. A few more weeks of winter has sent us scrambling for more firewood (for the houses and greenhouse), and we are scraping the bottom of the hay barn for the horses and cow.
But the chickens are laying lots of eggs! If you’re in the area, come by for some eggs – until the CSA starts, they’re only $5/dozen. We have some new pullets that are laying little eggs – and they’re only $4/dozen. We feed our laying hens our own sprouted grain (organic oats and barley) as well as certified organic feed. The last time I went to the feed store to get layer feed, they accidentally sold me GMO-free feed instead – and claimed that it was ‘organic’. It’s not the same thing, folks! We pay extra for the feed because we feel like it’s worth it – I like knowing that I’m supporting other organic farmers when I buy my chicken feed, and have the assurance that it has been grown responsibly.
Here’s a recipe for some cured egg yolks – I made them last week and they’re fantastic! So far we have eaten them on pasta, and on salad. They’re salty and rich, like little umami bombs. You can use them on anything that you would use grated parmesan on – I like to grate them with a microplane (or a really fine cheese grater).
Cured Egg Yolks
1 pound sea salt
1 pound sugar
12 egg yolks
Find a glass or porcelain 9 x 9 inch casserole dish, or a bowl that has enough surface area to hold 12 egg yolks with a good couple of inches between them and an edge about 3 inches tall. Measure the sugar and salt (if you don’t have a scale, just shoot for about 2 cups of each) into a bowl and mix it well. Use about 1/3 of the salt/sugar mixture to coat the bottom of the dish. Use an egg in the shell to make 12 little indentations for the yolks to rest in – with space in between them. You want each yolk to be completely surrounded by the salt/sugar mixture and not touching one another. Place the yolks in the indentations and then pour the remainder of the salt/sugar. Each yolk should be covered with it. Wrap with plastic wrap (or like a wax fabric wrap if you’re a hippie like me), and place it in the fridge for 3-4 days. Check it after 3 days. The yolks should be firm. If they’re still a little soft in the centre, let them go for another day. When they’re cured, remove them from the curing mix, rinse them under cool water and dry them. Dry them at 150-200˚ for an hour or two in a dehydrator, or an oven set to its lowest setting – you’re trying to dry them, not bake them. And they’re done! They will keep for a month in the fridge – just keep them in an airtight container.