This week we're residing in a lovely part of Berkshire, amongst glorious farming countryside, just thirty minutes drive from Oxford. Holding the reins with three delightful fury four legged friends who are the best company and an absolute pleasure to take walking. A bumptious elderly donkey, a well retired welsh mountain pony and a delightful childs pony who is having a short stay in the country with the elderly folk. Also a very large number of chickens - will give a more decisive number by the end of the week.
So with all these chickens come eggs, eggs and more eggs. I’ve done my level best to give away as many as possible with any visitors but that hasn’t made a dent in the pile. So the biggest challenge this week is how to have fun cooking with all these eggs - can’t have the same thing twice. Although David would be more than happy to have poached eggs on toast (Aga toast) every day if possible.
We only have to raise our gaze in the kitchen to find 89 cookbooks!!! Seemingly covering everything you would ever want to cook, from the Constance Spry Cookery Book to Nigela Lawson, Jamie Oliver, Rick Stein, Gary Rhodes, Delia Smithers and the list goes on. But nowadays it’s been much easier to follow a few fun cooking blogs and get some ideas from them.
So the top sites of the week are … http://www.eggrecipes.co.uk http://theeggsfactor.eggrecipes.co.uk
This is a great site with all sorts of ideas and even a fab podcast that answers all those questions you ever wanted to know about eggs!!!!! But I think this was preaching to the converted.
So here’s how the week went………am cooking on an Aga which is ancient and a bit temperamental at times. Heat fluctuates and the top oven doesn’t reach the higher temperatures so have a good excuse lined up when they don’t look the same as the pics.
Day one - Tomato and cheese omelette.
Simple as and nothing much can go wrong.
Day two - Home made Vanilla ice-cream
One of our favourite treats - commercial ice-cream doesn’t stand a compared to this.
It’s an absolute winner, so simple and guaranteed a hit that I make it regularly for clients as we leave. Its almost become our trade mark parting gift. This one’s you you Christopher!!!!
Day three - Poached eggs on toast
Now this one is the simplest you could think of … or is it? There’s more of an art to poaching the perfect egg than you realise.
Day four - a Cheese soufflé
The jury is out on this one, think I’ll put it down to experience and being able to tick it off the list. A lovely light lunch but needed more definite seasonings.
Day five - Chocolate soufflés
Again I don’t think they were a winner with us, a bit sweet and empty but have always wanted the excuse to make them.
Day 6 - Chocolate pots
A Cambridge weak spot - decadence personified and we absolutely love them. A lovely long slow lunch/dinner finished off with the ultimate in rich smooth chocolate along with a little fresh fruit followed by coffee.
Day 7 - Boiled eggs for lunch + Aioli (over Salmon) for dinner and egg custard with apple strudel.
Always hard to beat a yummy free range boiled egg with soldiers. I know they often refer to eggs as comfort food but they’re so simple and healthy .
Haha this was a nine egg day!!!!!! Jeepers and it wasn’t long ago they were saying you should only have two to four eggs a week!!!!
Instead of using the Aioli as a mayonnaise, which we did the next day, I popped lashings of it over the salmon and baked it delicious.
Day 8 - Chocolate mousse
From the book Chocolat by Eric Lanlard and described as one of the best things about the his favourite bistro in Paris, Chez Janou. Made the old fashioned way and served in a large pottery vat with a ladle ……..a dream!. With that description and ultra simple ingredients we had to try it, but sadly greed got the better of us and it didn’t get its four hours chilling in the fridge so we couldn’t give it the four stars.
What a week of food its been, a huge focus on eggs but along with that has come all those other good things like chocolate, butter, cream, cheese and wine of course.
Now we are in Hampshire and have a guess whats happening in that house, the chooks have gone ‘bonkers’, eggs for Africa!!
Heading northward, en route to London, we found an Airbnb in this stunning village of Hawkely!!!