There’s a reason eggs are associated with spring

Last weekend, I was making French toast for breakfast, and pulled out the carton of eggs we received with our last beef CSA shipment.  Upon opening the carton, I was surprised by how much smaller the eggs are now that the seasons have changed.  Where I would normally use two eggs, I used four.  As a result, the eggs were gone much more quickly than is normal for our household, so today I headed down to the farmers' market to get some more eggs.

I got to the market right when it opened at 11 and made a beeline for the Skagit River Ranch booth.  Other people had the same idea--by the time I made it there, the line was already five deep.  I was pleased to see that they had a variety of egg sizes available.  According to this poultry breeder's site, egg size can be determined in part by the temperature of the laying house, which makes me wonder whether the Methow Valley chickens that provide the eggs that come with our meat CSA are being kept too warm in the cold eastern half of the state, or if the smaller eggs are the result of something else entirely.  While this is a question that I will need to ask the folks at Crown S when we receive our next delivery, I needed eggs now, and happily bought a dozen large eggs, along with some bacon and sausage.

When I returned home, Man of La Muncha eagerly asked if I would be willing to make French toast.  My French toast is an easy enough recipe.  

Butter Bitch's French Toast Recipe

  • 2-4 eggs, depending on the size of the eggs and the number of pieces of French toast to be prepared.  Generally speaking, two eggs will be enough for 4 pieces of French toast.
  • Milk
  • Vanilla extract (you can also use almond if you're rather)
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon,cloves, or any other spice that you fancy.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add some butter.  Crack the eggs into a shallow bowl and whisk.  Add a little bit of milk--you really just want enough to dilute the egginess a little without hopelessly watering down the blend.  Start with a dollop, whisk, eyeball, then add another small dollop if it still looks too eggy.  Add your vanilla (I typically add a capfu) and 2-3 strong shakes of your favored spices.  Whisk the entire thing vigorously until all the spices are blended into your mixture. 

By this time, your butter should be bubbling merrily in the frying pan, translucent but not brown.  Soak a piece of bread in your egg mixture--I generally sink a piece, flip it over, and then sink it again.  If you're using standard sliced bread, it really only needs to go for a quick dip; if you're using hearty, crusty bread, it should sit in the egg mixture for at least a minute per side.  Transfer to your frying pan and turn the heat up a bit--somewhere between medium and medium-high.  When the bread starts to "breathe", flip it over and cook the other side.  When both sides are nicely browned, transfer to a plate and serve with maple syrup.

This morning, I cracked open a couple of eggs over a bowl, and was surprised to see how pale they were--the yolks were like tiny winter suns, overwhelmed by their whites.  I added the tiniest bit of milk and whisked them together with the spices (cinnamon and nutmeg in this instance).   The result was a very pale, watery mixture.  My butter was melted by this point, so I dipped a piece of bread in the mixture and popped it into the frying pan.  Oddly, the bread stuck to the pan when I tried to flip it over, so I added some more butter.

When I was done, Man of La Muncha dug into his breakfast with enthusiasm; an enthusiasm that was a bit tempered after the first bite.  The French toast was not as eggy as normal--the excessive egg whites made the French toast more gluey and less satisfying.  Next weekend, I will separate my eggs and whites so that my proportions are closer to what they normally are in the summer, and wait until spring, when large, beautiful, golden yolks are once again common.

One Responseto “There’s a reason eggs are associated with spring”

  1. Skud says:

    I cook quite a bit from medieval and renaissance era English recipes, and it's amazing how many of the ones for eggy dishes tell you to use more yolks than whites. Usually about 50% more, I find... like 6 yolks, 4 whites. I find I start to get a feel for how rich the recipes are meant to be, and adjust accordingly. And then I end up making a bunch of meringue or egg-white omelettes to use up the extra. Sigh.