“A five! A perfect five!”

Short Tony gives me a very satisfied look, like an Austrian who has just refastened his trousers having made a careful and contented tick on his clipboard against the words ‘Timmy the Dog’.

“You didn’t plant any in there this morning, did you?” he adds, anxiously.

I assure him that I did not. Five eggs!!! That is exactly one per chicken. Productivity is going through the roof.

I glance round at my new Egg-Skelter (R). This is a marvellous device for storing your eggs, and keeping track of which ones are freshest. It is overflowing with eggs. There are eggs piled up everywhere; on the table, on the surfaces. My kitchen is like Eggs ‘R’ Us. If I opened the wall cabinet, eggs would probably cascade out in a humorous fashion, burying me under a pyramid of them like the Tribbles in Star Trek.

I think the problem might be that I don’t eat eggs very often.

I should have thought this out more. If we are getting five eggs a day, divided by Short Tony and I, then that is seventeen and a half eggs per household per week. A quick burst of mental arithmetic reveals my usual weekly egg consumption as one (fried, with breakfast at the weekend). I have been coming up with new egg recipes, such as scrambled and hard-boiled, but I think my chances of raising my consumption by a significant factor are slim.

I have already given a half-dozen to Len the Fish. When you have chickens, giving people eggs is the most neighbourly thing that you can do. Unfortunately, Short Tony turned up about a minute later, with another half-dozen for Len the Fish. Len the Fish is now sick of eggs. I have given some to the other neighbours, but there are still loads left. I sense that what was once a neighbourly thing is going to turn in to ‘oh God here comes bloody Captain Egg again; pull the curtains and pretend we’re out, or vegan’.

The LTLP is getting a little tired of Egg Surprise for her dinner when she gets home; I am finding it increasingly difficult to populate my dinner parties. I am grateful to the chickens for their continued efforts, but if they could – haha – hahahahaha – ‘lay off’ – haha – a bit then I would not complain.

50 Comments

  1. The eggs from our chickens make a lovely quiche. Why not try that? You can eat quiche loads of different ways – hot, cold, for lunch, for dinner. And you can vary your fillings – bacon, onion, asparagus, tomato etc etc – so neither you nor the LTLP will get sick of it so quickly! Or vary your fillings for the omelettes. It’s what we do – your chickens are as prolific as ours!

  2. Eggs+flour+sugar + … other things = Victoria sponge. Nobody ever gets tired of Victoria sponge. Well, not me anyway.

    Can the hens lay flour and sugar?

  3. You could make some meringues or pavlova or lemon meringue pie!! Mmmm.

    You could also make some hollandaise and mayonnaise. I hear it is easy to balls these up too, so you could ‘accidentally’ have to make a second batch and use up even more eggs.

  4. I was too appalled by the first sentence to read further for several minutes.

    We sell our surplus eggs. You will have to sell them directly to the customer, though, not via a shop as they would have to be stamped on by lions or something.

  5. I can’t think of anything to say – I’m too busy laughing my —- off.

  6. egg’cellent, Jonny your a comedy genious. You have made me laugh for the umptinth time since first discovering your ever charming blog.

  7. King Fuzzyfelt

    Save them all, then set up a stall in thetfort city centre in the week running up to Haloween. You’ll do a roaring trade.

  8. Methinks a bartering proposition with the village butcher offers itself – what shall we say? 4 eggs per pork pie?

  9. Oh, Jonny. You should be grateful for every eggy offering.

    I had my cat for twenty years and never once did she leave me something edible in the litterbox.

  10. If you combined ST’s sausage machine and your Egg-Skelter, could you open a breakfast caff on your front lawn? You could entertain on the banjo while people ar eating and maybe charge for tours of the chickens.

  11. Could you not use them to make your own form of protein shake, you could sell them to the bowls team as an all natural perfomance enhancement?

    If not won’t the pub buy a few off you every week?

  12. The Toddler’s a growing girl – surely you can get her to eat at least one a day? That just leaves 12.5 for you and the LTLP to get through Hmm. I suggest you try bartering for beer at the village pub – a dozen fresh eggs a week should be good for a pint or two surely?

  13. Have you tried microwaving them and watching hem explode? Hours of free fun!

  14. Village fete, egg-throwing competition. Or is there a village ne’r do well who would benefit from having a few rotten ones thrown at him. Here in Crewe we have a by-election, the first we’ve ever had. Maybe you could send us some so we can throw them at Tories.

  15. I think you should sell them via your blog – I think a whole load of Norwich-based produce then beckons, you’ll be like the Prince Charles of the east. ‘Jonny Originals’ has a nice ring to it…

  16. Did you get your chickens before the egg then?

    To improve your Adonisesque torso get on a high protein diet. Pint of the white stuff anyone?

    Chin chin

  17. I was a bit worried about selling them as there is a bit of a dangerous bend outside and I would not want to cause an accident by erecting a distracting trestle table.

    I think selling them from here, via paypal, is a good idea. Or I could put them on the ebay.

  18. Ew. One does not expect to see Austrians referenced in a respectable family blog, Jonny.

    They don’t do dogs anyway – that would be disgusting. They just lock any available female in a cellar for a couple of decades, or take over a neighbouring country and attempt to conquer the world. Sadly, at any Austrian careers day, those are still the only two choices on offer for the boys. At least the non-underground girls get to be singing nuns.

    Perhaps you could move to Austria, Jonny, and introduce the local lads to the concept of chicken farming, seeing as you’re so good at it. I’m sure you can get a place with a nice backyard for a decent price. And soundproofed toddler-safe cellars come as standard…

  19. I was going to say something about eggstra, eggcessive and so on, but won’t, I’m just too eggshausted reading about these productive fowls.

    Donate them to homeless people. Or soup kitchens. Or bake goodies…or…I’ve run out of ideas, I’m not eggstremely productive like your chickens.

    Sorry, can’t resist a pun, overdone or not.

  20. Tom Good got Pig Breeders Monthly or something for two eggs which is a damn good exchange. Plus then you could add a pig which is what every egg-producing family needs. Eggs need bacon. And lovely sausages.

  21. My Boyfriend doesn’t eat eggs- he says his Uncle Paul was allergic. Otherwise he could have helped you out.

  22. I like eggs, I’ll take a few. Stick ’em in the post and I’ll send you a cheque. Or barter something I have in excess – subcutaneous fat, do you need any of that? We’ve got quite a lot of water too. Just let me know. I gave away a load of hairpins recently, if only I’d waited.

  23. Shipping overseas may be a bit of an issue if you sell via ebay. Just in case you hadn’t realized that.

    Spazmo, my cat leaves me half-digested bits of grass as well as litter box offerings. Prechewing the food for us maybe?

  24. I shall teach Len to make fresh pasta and then you can feed the chickens and Len can feed himself.

  25. We used to put then down during the war you know.

  26. Was that really a reference to George’s dog, Timmy? I am reeling …

  27. Oh dearie me, this post made me laugh ever-so.

    I suppose really I should think of something witty to say in return, seeing as that is the general procedure in the private-secret-diary comments boxes, but, er, I can’t.

  28. We’ve got chickens too. Here’s an idea: buy an incubator (I recommend the Brinsea Octagon 20 http://www.brinsea.co.uk/ ) and hatch a load of chicks out. Grow them up for a few months and then eat them.

    Free chicken dinners, and your egg problem solved.

    It’s purple sprouting broccoli with us at the moment, so I feel your pain…

  29. You can mix them with sand to form the base of your castle.

  30. The only real and viable birds’ eggs that eBay will let you sell are those for incubation.

    Woobie’s suggestion is nice but won’t work without a cockerel, and I don’t remember JonnyB saying that he has a cockerel (no, no, JonnyB, that’s not your cue).

    Choc pots use a lot of eggs and are delicious but super-fattening.

    Selling them is, I guess, harder to do in the country – I mean, harder to find customers, what with everyone else having their own chooks. By the way, you can’t call them “free range” or you’ll have lawyers on your case; it’s a restricted term or something. I am still at the giving-away eggs stage but one neighbour wants to go “on your list” for when I sell them, and I will be calling them “garden hens’ eggs” because one can’t say “free range”. Even though mine do free range, a little, when I can be there on the lookout for urban foxes.

  31. Have you considered roast chicken? You could also use an egg to bind the stuffing.

  32. Open up as an Eggball Centre.

    Get yourself a fine upstanding cockerel and let the hens sit upon them. Sell the chicks to unsuspecting chicken farmer freshmen types.

    Start a sanctuary. Get people to adopt an egg for a small fee.

    Or you could try selling them to your local bakers.

    Best not to put them all in the same basket though.

  33. We had the same problem with tomatoes. You would think a bucketful of tomatoes would be easy to give away. Not so.
    And our freezer is bung full of them.

  34. So as i was saying, we put surplus eggs in a galvanised steel bucket or sometimes a large pottery bowl, filled with isinglass (or waterglass) This is a gelatinous substance produced from the air-bladders of certain fish especially sturgeon. It’s used today for clarifying in wine and beer-making.
    This would be kept under the stairs or at the top of the cellar steps so one had to be careful not to trip over it. Voila! Do let me know how you get on.

  35. mind you don’t eat too many, else you’ll find yourself envying the ease with which the chickens lay thier eggs.

  36. Have you tried planting any excess eggs? I hear that eggplants make good eating, you could make ratatouille or perhaps baba ghanoush?

  37. You could murder some of the other chickens in the same way as you took out Chicken Four. Shotgun to the head.

    Woe, woe, poor Chicken Four! Oh, the humanity!

  38. Learn how to make Spanish tortillas – you’ll use at least eight eggs for each one.

  39. owned by a cat

    do any of them look like this? – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7390482.stm

  40. Could you not give them to the toddler to paint thus getting ride of surplus eggs and amusing the toddler. If she’s any good you could try and get the shown as an art exibit, toddlerart maybe?

  41. Pickle them.
    great with a packet of crisps and a pint of real ale.
    LTLP will love you later too!!!

  42. Don’t get eggbound – it’s most uncomfortable.
    Crack one into your pint (that’s an egg) next time you’re down the pub, then tip it over your head. It’s a fantastic follicular freshener.

    Mya x

  43. Some of the recipes here look quite nice: http://www.eggrecipes.co.uk/egg/asp/recipesearch.asp

    Or you could try some of these bizarre suggestions: http://hubpages.com/hub/Excellent-Uses-of-Eggs (I would leave LTLP’s Prada handbags out of this, however.)

    Failing that, you and the toddler could get all artistic: http://www.papiermache.co.uk/articles/eggs-their-uses-in-papier-mache-sculpture/1/ Hours of endless, er, amusement…

  44. I’m just beginning to see the drawback of you keeping chicks, J. Same reason I don’t keep cows, I suspect.

  45. I’ve got the answer for you. Make real Yorkshire pudding! After years of trying to make it so it rises and doesn’t come out flat, I recently found a recipe that uses 8 eggs!! (My usual recipe is one egg), and it is amazing. The pudding comes out of the oven like the real yorkshire ones that are like enormous bowls, some people put onions and gravy in it. Its delicious,and deals with all those eggs in one fell swoop!! Recipe is for a family so – it’s half pint of milk, 6 whole eggs, two yolks, pinch of salt. Use a good sized tin and leave enough space for it to rise in the oven! Good luck!

  46. Thanks Vikki… but the problem is the milk and stuff. I do not have cows, so I would have to pay for it.

    Yum. Yorkshire Pudding.

  47. Hamish, leave jonny b. It’s not like he gave Chicken #4 to the Austrian to diddle.

    Pat, you keep a large galvanized bucket of eggs in the shadows at the top of your cellar stairs. Do you bury the bodies or just let them pile up? Hamish, scold Pat.

    And you jonny, stop your whining and do the obvious with the eggs: give them to the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve to use as collateral to support the mortgage markets.

    Finally, all you internits who snickered at the sexploitation of Timmy the Dog, form a line and touch your toes. Hamish?

  48. The world looks different, upside-down.

  49. S friend of mine at University, one of those strange Geologist types that you read about in police files when they reach the age of forty plus, organised an expedition to Iceland. Like all students, he and his fellow expedition members wrote around for sponsorship. They didn’t tell each other to whom they were writing. Only one firm replied to the appeal for support. It replied to four of them. It sent each a very large case of dried egg powder.

    After a week of omelets made of egg powder, constipation struck the expedition more solidly than a lump of ignaceous quartz in a seam of pre-Jurassic granite (I made that phrase up but it SOUNDS right).

    After five weeks, they came home early, their research incomplete. It was not the continuing constipation that did for them, but the endless discussion as to whether or not anyone had felt the even the slightest of movement (hope of actually recording a hearty dump having been abandoned around week three)

  50. Ooooh, eggs, and therefore even bigger oooooooooh, custard tart. Nigella has a nice recipe in ‘How to Eat’ and it’s even easier if you buy sweet pastry from Sainsbury’s.

    I also have a little book I picked up at the Great Yorkshire Show: ‘Hens in the Garden; Eggs in the Kitchen’ by Charlotte Popescu. Chapters on chicken breeds, care, housing, illnesses and recipes (such as creme brulee, moussey buttercream cake filling, lemon rice pudding, creamy egg curry).

    I am so envious. I have to wait for my children to leave home before I have enough room in my garden for chickens.

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