Samuel Butler, the English poet, once commented that the hen was an egg’s way of making another egg.
Be that as it may, it has been found that on the average, a hen will lay 12 eggs for every four pounds of feed it consumes--about 200 eggs a year.
America is a nation of egg eaters. We eat them boiled, fried, scrambled, poached, shirred, coddled and deviled, as well as in bakery and other products. Our egg dishes are legion, ranging from a simple omelet to the epicurean eggs Benedict in which a poached egg is placed on an English muffin, topped with a slab of ham, and the whole lot blanketed with hollandaise sauce.
A favorite dish is the souffle, which ranges from a simple mixture made mainly from eggs and cream to a mixture featuring Swiss cheese, nutmeg and chives, with perhaps a little white wine added.
Exported to Overseas Troops
During World War II, millions of eggs were dried and shipped to the troops overseas, to be re-created into omelets and scrambled eggs, but they were never the same.
One of the hardest things to make is a good poached egg. There are molds that turn them out rather hard and square in shape, but it is generally acknowledged that the French method is best. This consists of rotating boiling water in a pan with a long spoon, and at the right moment popping the raw egg into the center. The egg must not be more than two days old or the white may separate from the yolk.
Older eggs do have their place, however. For one thing, if you boil a very fresh egg, it is nearly impossible to peel it. Better to use an egg that is four or five days old.
Eggs can serve as the main course for lunch or supper, as in this recipe for a mixture of Eggs, Potatoes and Cheese. EGGS, POTATOES AND CHEESE
4 eggs, separated
4 cups seasoned, hot mashed potatoes
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
2 tablespoons chopped green pepper
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons diced pimiento
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Beat yolks, 1 at a time, into hot mashed potatoes in another large bowl. Stir in cheese, chives, green pepper, parsley, pimiento and pepper. Fold in beaten egg whites and stir until thoroughly mixed. Spoon mixture into buttered 6-cup baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees 40 minutes, until puffed and golden. Sprinkle with paprika and serve. Makes 6 servings.