Our chickens started laying last week. Well, one of them did.
We read that they would start laying when they hit around 20 weeks of age, which was two months ago. So we’ve been eagerly anticipating the first eggs for weeks and were definitely excited to discover the first one, which was no bigger than a robin’s egg and deposited right on the ground.
Altogether, we’ve had maybe nine or 10 pretty brown eggs so far from Calpurnia, the biggest and friendliest bird in our small flock. After the first one, her eggs became more normal-sized and she started using the nesting boxes like a good hen.
We’ve since used up all of our farmers market eggs and all of our eggs are coming straight from the backyard. It’s really nice for E. to be able to go outside, check the nesting box and carry in a fresh egg, cupped in his little palms. Unfortunately, he’s still allergic to eggs, so he can’t eat them yet. Fingers crossed that he’ll grow out of that soon.
Anyway, I thought I’d celebrate here with something equal parts eggy and showy, like a soufflé or ouefs a la neige or an autumnal take on pavlova.
But once I got into the kitchen I decided that a soufflé could wait, because what I really wanted was far more pedestrian: good, old-fashioned egg salad.
You probably don’t need a recipe for egg salad, but I’m giving you one anyway, just in case.
The key to a great egg salad is, of course, perfectly cooked eggs. I don’t think there’s a single right way to hard cook an egg, plenty of different methods will get the job done just fine. Apparently steaming eggs is a thing now too — it supposedly makes them easier to peel (so does using older eggs).
Maybe I’ll try steaming my eggs one of these days but, for now, I’m hard boiling my eggs the same way I have for years: place eggs in a pan with enough water to cover them by at least 1 inch and bring to a boil. As soon as the water boils, turn off the heat and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 14-15 minutes, then drain and cover with ice water to stop the cooking and make the eggs cool enough to peel. Easy peasy.
If your hard boiled eggs have a nasty gray-green ring around the yolk, it just means you cooked them a little too long.
I don’t typically measure anything when I make egg salad and you don’t really need to either, just consider these general guidelines.
So, for today, egg salad, with thanks to Calpurnia for supplying the eggs.
A basic egg salad, gussied up just a little with grainy mustard and the briny pop of capers.
- 5-6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 1 tablespoon (or more!) capers, drained
- salt and pepper, to taste
Combine the eggs, mayo, mustard and capers in a medium-sized bowl and mash everything together with a fork. I like for my egg salad to have easily discernible bites of egg, so I don't mash it much, but that's really a personal preference.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. You might find you don't need any additional salt, especially with the capers, so make sure to taste as you go. Serve, preferably with lettuce and sandwiched between a couple slices of seedy, wholegrain bread.