Eggs in Hell with bread for dipping.
For me, one of the happiest things about spring is that our chickens start laying eggs again. The chickens laid eggs pretty reliably their first winter, but in the past three winters they stop laying around Thanksgiving and begin again on Valentine’s Day. Now that the days are a little longer, we’re getting about two eggs a day.
Piper in nesting box.
Since our chickens range from four to six years old, I don’t expect to get many more than that even in the summer.
We currently have five, but chickens don’t lay eggs as reliably as they age. I’ve already ordered four new baby chicks from New Farm in Orleans.
From past experience, I know that raising chicks by hand is the best way to go. The chickens become socialized, and depending on the breed, are quite docile. The whole first month we had our chickens, they lived in a small coop in our basement. All of us snuck down there to play with the chickens every chance we got. Every night before bed, I went down and held each of them.
Buttercup as a chick.
One memorable night, three little chicks fell asleep in my hands – one in my cupped palms and two others with their little heads lying across my wrists. That kind of bonding lasts a lifetime. These days when I go into our chicken run, our ladies all flock around me even when I don’t have treats to give them.
Now that we once again have a steady supply of eggs, I’ve been cooking them up in all sorts of ways. Eggs in Hell is one of my favorite egg recipes, but oddly it is something I have only made for our daughter, Julie. One day we were home alone and I had a new Italian cookbook I was excited about. I came across Eggs in Hell, which I had never heard of. It’s basically eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce and served with some nice crusty bread for sopping up the extra sauce and egg yolks. I gave it a try and we both loved it.
Eggs in Hell cooking.
From that point on whenever we had leftover tomato sauce in the fridge, Julie would ask me to make it for her again. It was our little secret recipe. I know it sounds odd, but I promise it is delicious. If you don’t like spicy foods, leave out the red pepper flakes and it becomes Eggs in Purgatory.
Close up of Eggs in Hell.