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It’s Egg Season! – “Home Cooking With Kat & Friends”

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  • Ruth Pepler
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Spring on Dogwood Hills Guest Farm brings so many things to life. Many people don’t realize it also starts the egg season. Hens require daylight to naturally begin the process of laying eggs. Once they start, there is usually a bounty and the quest for things to do with all of the eggs begins.

Egg Choices

First let’s start with what’s out there – so many choices. Eggs are raised and marketed in a variety of ways. You may see simply “eggs” with no explanation of their source. Then there are “farm fresh” also with no further explanation. “Cage free” tells you that they were allowed to move about in a barn, etc., while “free range” says they have had access to the outdoors, possibly pasture. “Grain free,” in addition, lets you know they have not been given supplemental grain feed. “Non-GMO” states that any feed given is a non-GMO feed. Finally “organic” means that their practices from maintenance to feed are organic. Their label may say “certified organic” or “organically raised”. You can find a combination of labels on the eggs you purchase. When you buy from a farm, you can ask the farmer how they are raised. When you have the information, it allows you to better choose your food products. This holds true for all food, not just eggs.

So, now that we know a little more about how to select the eggs we purchase, what can we do with them?  On the farm, the first things we do when we have brought the eggs up from the hen house is wash them, dry them and either use them or refrigerate them. When you pick up eggs in the cooler, they have already done this step for you.

Cooking With Eggs

When cracking eggs to use, we recommend that you crack them into a small bowl, one at a time, and then pour each into the bowl you are using for your recipe. This avoids getting a possible piece of shell in your ingredients.

We will start with:

“Basic Scramble”

Crack two to three eggs in a bowl (if looking to lower the fat or cholesterol leave out a yolk or two). Whisk with a fork and pour into a hot pan that has about one teaspoon of butter or oil in it. Salt and pepper them, and let them sit for a second; then, gently push them with a wooden spatula or spoon. As the eggs cook, keep pushing the eggs in the pan. This gives you nice, fluffy scrambled eggs.

“Dirty Eggs”

Have some on-ion, veggies, crumbled sausage left from another recipe? Add these to the pan first with the butter and get them heated. Then, pour in the eggs and continue with scramble directions.

Dogwood Hills Farm 2 Egg Omelette

“2 Egg Omelette”

When your pour the eggs into the pan, let them set until the top of the egg is not loosely wet. When set enough, use a spatula to flip the eggs over to just set the top. Turn off the heat, so you don’t dry out the eggs and add your choice of fillings. This is a great way to use what is on hand: spinach, chopped broccoli, mushrooms, onions, diced ham, crumbled, cooked sausage and any type of shredded cheese you like. Be creative and resourceful! This is also a good way to have kids help in the kitchen and try new things. The most important step is to prepare your fillings ahead. This can even be done the night before when you are making dinner! When we are slicing and sautéing onions for dinner, we usually make some extra for the next days breakfast. Watch for a demonstration of this recipe when we join you for “Home Cooking With Kat Robinson” on Arkansas PBS Thursday, June 4, at 7 p.m.!

Waste Not, Want Not

Speaking of extra, what do you do with extra eggs? Hard-boiled eggs are excellent for egg salad or deviled eggs, or you can freeze them! Truly!

We also often have reci-pes that may call for just the yolks or just the whites. Separate the eggs and put the whites in a freezer proof container with the number of whites written on top.

You can also freeze whole eggs. Blend the eggs well and put in a container. We usually divide them according to the recipe they will be used in and write that on the container, as well.

Now you will have eggs ready as either a backup or to use when the hens start to dwindle the late fall – and it’s time for all of your holiday baking!

Ruth and Grace Pepler

About the Author

Ruth Pepler and her daughter Grace run Dogwood Hills Guest Farm on 82 acres of Ozark hills with her husband, weekend warrior/reluctant farmer, Thomas. Their homestead was inspired through Grace’s 4-H projects — eventually leading to a dairy operation, and the additional land came with a guest house. Guests’ desire to participate in farm life inspired the Peplers to begin hosting farmstays where guests are welcomed to help feed cows and baby goats, milk cows, and tend to and feed chickens and ducks. Guests are invited to join the Peplers for hearty, farm-fresh meals and encouraged to adventure out on their own to explore the Ozarks, nearby Buffalo National River and local community. Dogwood Hills Guest Farm also hosts monthly, five-course gourmet dinners that are about as farm-to-table as you can get. Learn more in “Home Cooking With Kat & Friends” Thursday, June 4, at 7 p.m.

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