Spring and eggs simply go together. They are intimately connected by a shared promise of new life, rebirth, growth, and change. As the cold, slow days of winter fade, and signs of spring emerge, I find myself craving eggs. I want to eat them, but I also long to look at them. I love to see farm fresh eggs all lined up in a row, or piled in a bowl, with their varying colors of ivory, brown, and blue… some spotted, some pure and white as snow. I’ve been known to arrange these beauties just so in my refrigerator for optimum gazing.
In my home, eggs travel beyond the kitchen. I have a wreath made of crafted eggs that hangs in my office year round. I never tire of seeing all those pretty eggs united in a circle on their grapevine base! Eggs hold a permanent place in our nature collection too, with found shells of all sorts displayed on the nature table by my front door.
In celebration of spring and its long-associated talisman, the egg, I bring to you “eggs two ways” – one way to cook, and one way to craft. So now you too can celebrate the egg — both in your kitchen, and beyond!
Eggs to Eat :: Kale, Mushroom, and Chevre Quiche
I consider quiche a quick meal in my home, because I can whip one together with minimal fuss for any meal of the day. Keep a couple of all-natural, ready-made pie crusts in the freezer so you can just pour in your filling and bake. If you have more time, or prefer a homemade crust, I’ve included Cynthia Lair’s crust recipe from Feeding the Whole Family – I wouldn’t dare try and write my own!
1 1/2 cups organic whole or 2% milk
4 local, pastured eggs
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups lacinato kale, de-stemmed and cut into thin ribbons
2 cups exotic mushrooms (try a mixture of shiitake, porcini, or cremini)
4 ounces crumbled chèvre (goat cheese)
1 frozen, all-natural, deep dish pie crust
Preheat oven to 375˚.
To make the filling, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet on medium-high. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 5-10 minutes, until deep brown, rendering out the moisture. Add the kale and sauté another 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle the veggies in the bottom of the crust; top with crumbled cheese. Whisk the milk with eggs and salt, then pour over the top of the veggie and cheese mixture. Bake 35- to 45 min. or until the top is golden and a knife inserted into the center of the quiche comes out clean. Let pie cool slightly before serving.
For a Handmade Crust
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons ice-cold water
Put flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut butter and coconut oil into flour until crumbly. Add water slowly to the dough, blending continuously with a fork. Gather dough into a ball; it should be moist and pliable. Roll out into a crust on a floured surface or a piece of wax paper. Transfer to an 8- or 9- inch pie pan. Trim the edges.
Eggs to Craft :: Wooden Eggs for Play or Display
These wooden eggs are a breeze to make. They look pretty on display – perhaps perched in a nest, under a cloche. And they are perfect for tucking into a child’s Easter basket for playtime year round. I gave my girls a half dozen last spring, and they store them in their toy refrigerator for baking, picnics, and all sorts of non-cooking related play. So here’s what you do:
First, gather the eggs. You can buy unfinished wooden eggs at most craft stores (stock up early, as they go quickly this time of year), or you can order them online (search for wooden craft eggs). You’ll also need craft sponges, a paint brush or old toothbrush, and acrylic paint in your choice of egg-like colors (I used Joann Craft Essentials in Robin’s Egg Blue, Au Natural, Dark Brown, and White).
On a covered work surface, paint one side of each of your eggs in a solid, light color. Allow to dry completely, then turn the egg over and paint the other side. Once the whole egg is dry, use a paintbrush or toothbrush to flick a darker colored paint onto some of your eggs, creating a spotted effect. (This part is so fun!) Allow to dry completely.
If gifting your eggs, consider packaging them in a recycled cardboard egg carton (cut it down for smaller sets), or in a natural nest, available at most craft stores.
Elizabeth Sniegocki writes about creating a natural and mindful environment around you and within at a Natural Nester. She offers everyday inspiration and informative feature articles on seasonal living, community building, conscious parenting, organic gardening, and wholesome cooking, from her nest in Sarasota, Florida.
Join Elizabeth for her spring e-course, A Sense of Place ~ Keeping a Seasonal Nature Journal, beginning March 18. Visit her website for more information, or to register for this pay-what-you-can creative workshop.