Meet (left to right) Gwen, Mildred, Maud and Gerty. My daughter and her wife recently got four hens. They live in a 16th century farmhouse in Worcestershire, at the end of a long unmade-up road surrounded by farmland. They’re not farmers themselves, but at their home they’ve created a wonderful bucolic living space where they grow lots of fruit and vegetables and the hens run freely and harmoniously with three cats and a Labrador. And from the house there are glorious views across the pastoral landscape.
The lawn is currently being reseeded, so not at its best in the above photo, but you can see the hens roaming on it and how gorgeous the views are from the house. And there are all four pecking away in the grass below!
And here they are chilling with the dog and cats.
If a chilled, happy life amongst beautiful surroundings with plenty of companionship affect the taste of eggs – free range and organic as well, of course! – then the results can definitely be found in Gwen, Mildred, Maud and Gerty’s eggs. They are really very special. Such a wonderful flavour and gorgeous deep yellow yolks.
I brought six eggs home (though there were only four left when I thought to take a photo). When you collect them from the hen house they’re remarkably warm. And they come in different colours!
The first two eggs went into some banana and blueberry muffins. Perhaps not the best way to appreciate their taste – but the muffins were good!
Yesterday it was so hot and humid I couldn’t face anything hot for supper and made a salad instead. I had spinach leaves, tomatoes, cucumber, new potatoes, a small tin of good quality tuna – and the eggs! I boiled one and split it into 4 to top the salad. This time I really did taste and appreciate the egg!
This evening I decided to make an omelette. Usually I made a two-egg omelette but the hens’ eggs are quite small so I decided to use the remaining three. I had mushrooms and an opened tub of mascarpone in the fridge so put together a nice creamy mushroom sauce to fill the omelette:
Omelette with Mushroom & Mascarpone Sauce – Serves One
- a little olive oil and butter
- a small shallot, finely chopped
- 4 large mushrooms, sliced
- a handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- a little finely grated garlic
- a heaped teaspoon mascarpone
- 3 small (or 2 large) eggs
- a dash of milk
- salt and pepper
Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan with a small knob of butter. Fry the shallot for a minute or so, add the mushrooms, parsley and a little finely grated garlic (depending on how garlicky you like your food!). Stir frequently over a low heat.
When the mushrooms have cooked through and softened add the mascarpone and season. Stir well to mix everything together. Set aside on a very low heat to keep warm.
Break the eggs into a mug, add a dash of milk and some seasoning, and whisk well with a fork. Heat a big knob of butter in a small frying (omelette) pan on a medium heat and when it bubbles, tip in the egg mixture. I like to gently lift the edges of the omelette with a small spatula, tipping the pan slightly, to let the uncooked mixture run beneath the cooked bit and then it all fluffs up nicely as it cooks. When it’s almost cooked (I like mine slightly undercooked in the middle), tip the mushroom mixture onto one side, slide onto a serving plate and fold over the plain side as you go – try to do it in one action. Eat straight away – omelettes don’t keep!
Well doesn’t that look good!
I served the omelette with a plain green salad.
It was a lovely supper and perfect for the warm night – a warm dish but not hot. The omelette was so delicious; those eggs are really full of flavour. And my spontaneous mushroom filling worked well.
I always love to visit my daughter and her family … and now I can look forward to the hens’ special eggs too!