Eggs Mean... Pasta!

This time of year the eggs are pouring in.  We are getting 16-20 eggs a day, but only selling a few dozen a week.  It always takes people a month or two to remember how much they liked duck eggs last summer - they start buying more as my supply levels out in June and July, and then start getting upset in September when the ducks really drop off.  Basically, the demand curve is the opposite of my supply curve!  

These couple of months that we are living among piles of eggs, I try to use them every way I can.  Years ago, I was making rice pudding, and realized the Moosewood recipe said "egg-free!" across the top.  Wait, you can put eggs in this?!  I found another cookbook :)  Last spring's find was a fluffy flourless chocolate cake recipe that (doubled) used a dozen eggs.  It's so simple - melt a stick of butter with a pound of chocolate, blend in one cup of sugar and 12 egg yolks, and fold in 12 beaten-stiff egg whites.  Bake in a 9x13 pan for (guessing here, I always wing it) 45 minutes at 350*?  A little whipped cream - amazing!

This spring, I'm returning to an old standby, pasta.  I'm trying to make a batch a day - I sell what I sell on the farmer's market, and the rest will be stored for us to use later.  I am making spaghetti, fettuccine, linguine, and bow ties.  So far, the bow ties are the best-selling, although the hardest to make.  I have a nifty pasta machine that rolls and cuts the long noodles, but the bow ties are a bit different.  We roll the sheets, then roll and cut pappardelle noodles - the 2" wide ones - and then cut them crosswise into squares.  Then we pinch them into bows, and dry them on cookie sheets. Liam is a big help with all the pasta, he does all the cranking, and helps shape the bows as well.  

Pasta making is also surprisingly simple.  I use about 4 cups of flour, maybe a bit more, and 6 duck eggs.  That's it.  Chicken eggs would probably need 7 or so.  (Personally, I really love yolk-only pasta - the dough is so silky and soft without being sticky, and a beautiful golden color, but then I have all those whites to use up separately - it takes about 9 yolks for 2 cups of flour.)  The dough turns out best if I stir the eggs together, and then continue stirring them while slowly incorporating flour from around the edges.  It takes longer, but it's the equivalent of lots of kneading, and makes a supple dough.  When it gets too thick to continue stirring, I chop it into the remaining flour as thoroughly as I can, and then bring it together and knead into the final, pretty firm dough.  It rolls much better, and is softer if it rests for a while - ideally a few hours on the counter.  I usually mix in the morning and roll in late afternoon.

So far, I am turning out about 8-10 pounds of dry pasta a week, but now that it's planting time that may drop precipitously.  I have finally gotten the hoophouse cleared of bolted things, now I just need to till and plant some corn, beans, squash, gourds, and okra.

Comments

today

Hope you had a wonderful mother's day, Amy. Your boys are so lucky to have you!

Wonderful report! Where are the photos?

Wishing to see you (and Liam!) at work pinching pasta bows--nice descriptions--sharing :-) Love to you all!

photos

I wish I could have photos for all the entries here, but they have to be sized properly to not bog down the page's loading. Its very time-consuming to do that on my phone, and I can't place them anywhere except at the top of the entry. I try to do pictures whenever I can, though, but it means a trip to a real computer :(

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