Friday, 18 January 2008

A time for firsts

It's been said a million times or more, but as each new year cycles on, the human cannot help acknowledge the various firsts; the frog spawn, the primrose, and now the first duck egg.
I have a faithful troupe of Aylesburys, a fabulous meat breed but not so generous with their eggs, unlike the highly productive Khaki Campbell. Even so, these Jemima Puddleducks have been holding on to their eggs as if I might want to eat them; there has been not one egg for several months.
Having got used to the fabulousness of a duck egg, I really don't enjoy the comparative blandness of a hen's, so it was with glee that I retrieved this from the duck house this morning. And no, ducks don't lay cob nuts or almonds; I was trying to achieve a sense of scale so that you too could enjoy the glory of this king sized special.

And as a wee postscript, and with a mind half on primroses, my Good Things in England book has a recipe for primrose vinegar:
Boil 30 quarts of water with 12lbs of brown sugar for ten minutes. Before it is cold add a peck of primrose petals. Cream an ounce of compressed yeast with a little sugar and let it work for a few days before adding it to the primrose mix. Put the mix in a barrel and keep it close and near the fire. Let it stand for a year.
If anyone knows a good use for this, do let me know. It sounds a bit like the recipe that says boil a cormorant with a stone. When the stone is soft, the cormorant is cooked.

12 comments:

Swearing Mother said...

Hey Mopsa, tried my first duck egg at Christmas. It was wonderful. I don't really know why I haven't had one before except it just didn't appeal for some weird reason. Now I'm hooked and have just discovered how expensive they are.

Worth paying for good food though.

Hannah Velten said...

That looks like a belter. How do you eat yours? (and no, that is not a reference to a variety of chocolate egg...just a question)

I loved having ducks around when I lived on the farm - they are such great characters. Sorry, can't help you with the primroses...

Mopsa said...

SM - they are yumalicious.

Hannah - I eat them like any egg - fabulous egg mayo, fried, boiled, scrambled, poached, omelette, in baking etc. Every which way.

mountainear said...

Was scared off ducks' eggs by a poultry expert mother (we've got a lot to blame mothers for...)and have never yet tried one.

Late 2008 resolution: try a duck egg.

Mopsa said...

M'ear - no need for nervousness. The myth is that they absorb salmonella etc as the shells are more porous but then I always clean my eggs as soon as I pick them up in the mornings, so that's irrelevant. They keep a week or so happily in the fridge. And as I am fearless, a fortnight for me, if they last that long.

Winchester whisperer said...

Didn't they drink primrose wine in Wind in the Willows?

Eurodog said...

Add flower and salt to the vinegar to clean brass.

Mopsa said...

WW - I don't know - will have to unearth my copy. Sound feasible though!

The very idea of my cleaning brass Eurowoof, is laughable! I barely manager to mop the floor.

Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said...

A most interesting and unusual post.

lady thinker said...

Hi there - i've just tagged you if you would care to pick it up on household tips.

Mopsa said...

Lady T - that is MOST kind. But for 2008 I think I will steer clear of memes - I rather dislike household chores - elbow grease and I just don't mix in the house - on the farm it's fine!

paula said...

Bakes the best cakes - with fab colour.