As anyone who keeps poultry will tell you hens do not always lay their eggs where you want them to! As we have a very laid back approach with our birds and they are spoilt rotten I often find a batch of eggs in the hedge or hidden under some machinery. These eggs are almost always fine to eat but I cannot risk putting them out for sale so they go into the Dubious Egg bucket for our use only. The main rule with this is any eggs used must first be cracked into a cup, just in case. Often you can see it has been one or two hens ‘laying out’ and work out how many days they have been doing so by the number of eggs. So 14 eggs from 2 hens and they have been at it for around a week.
I try to use them up asap and my favourite high egg using recipe is Lemon Meringue Pie, from Mary Berry’s Ultimate Cake Book.
I have been a big Mary Berry fan for years, long before she regained popularity with the Bake Off. If you are not a confident cook then follow Mary’s recipes along with Delia Smith’s and you really can’t go wrong. Delia’s Complete Cookery Course is still my most used book. I have had mine since I was 16 (thanks Mum!)
I find cookbooks are extremely addictive and I have a shelf in the kitchen which I now restrict myself to. If they won’t fit on the shelf then something has to go. I think I will need to do another cull soon! I love old books, WW2 cooking, local county recipes and anything by the WI. The BBC Good Food website is brilliant and I also have a box file with recipes from there I have used.
What cookbooks could you not do without? If I only had to save one it would be Delia.