Sunday, May 04, 2008

quail eggs & morels

It seems like Don's quail were just hatched in his classroom. And they are so grown up now. A week ago this one, above, was a little over 4 weeks old.

Saturday, when they were five weeks and three days old, one - or maybe two - laid their first eggs! All we know for sure is that there were two eggs in the brooder. None of the birds 'fessed up. Don is trying to figure out which are male and which female. (Sharon?) We can discern at least one rooster: he crows incessantly. Maybe you already read about this monumental event over at Don's blog (or in your newspaper).

It takes about four quail eggs to equal the size of one large chicken egg. They are fairly common on sushi menus (cute on top of the salmon eggs) and you'll see them on fancy menus in other restaurants too. I found a recipe for Quail Eggs with Toasted Sesame Salt we're going to try.

Saturday I threw the first morel mushrooms of the season (!) into a pan, and Don cut open the quail eggs with a knife (they're too fragile to crack on the side of a bowl) and slid them in too. Wow, did they ever bubble up!

You can see the top egg was double yoked. But even if it hadn't been, a quail egg yoke is higher in ratio to the white than in chicken eggs. But they're little, so we're not too worried about cholestrol. (I suppose if we ate their equivalent to chicken eggs, like 4-6 of them, we'd need to watch it. BUT, Don read that eggs from free range hens have 1/3 less cholestrol than grocery store eggs; maybe that is also true of quail eggs. The math is starting to hurt my head.)

We each had three morel mushrooms and one quail egg (let's see, it took five bites each - two for each egg) as an appetizer before eating a bowl of Don's venison chili. We drank a toast of 'three-buck-Chuck' to our egg-layin' quail and our finger-nail sized morels and gobbled them up. The eggs were refined, the mushrooms fresh and tasty, having been soaked in salt water, then milk, then dredged in flour, before salting and peppering them and sauteeing in butter and oil (oil helps keep the butter from burning).

And below, in the fridge, is the lone egg from Sunday, waiting for more mates in the carton Don's quail eggs came in before they hatched.

Don broke this latest quail egg open this evening (after we moved the chickens into the chicken coop) and wasted it because it looked deformed, and he didn't think we should eat it. It was a double yoked model. Don said first eggs that are laid can be strange.

We didn't know the insides were blue.


sandy said...

How can someone even make a refrigerator photo look beautiful!

Ya got the eye Ruth.

I enjoyed Don's update and that photo at the top of his post is so wonderful.

And...always enjoy coming here reading your updates. Great pic of Don with the quail on his shoulder.

and if I forgot, thanks for the answer below about your time in Turkey.

sandy said...

and to add more...yeah, the inside of those eggs..I would have never known something like that.

and the meal looked tasty..

I'm having Pizza Hut tonight cause were dogged tired after working all day in the yard.

Ruth said...

Sandy, it's a good tired, right? I'll bet the yard looks great.

Don is dog tired too. He knew he had to get those chickens to the coop today, so he just kept at it. And yes, I kept at my closet, but I didn't get done the way he did. But the clothes I'm keeping are back in the closet. Now, what to do with the rest of the piles?

I'm so glad you came and got our updates, you are such a good pal to be interested in our comings and goings. Check out Flying tomorrow for a funny variation on the photo you like.

Mmm, Pizza Hut, mmmmm.

Sharon said...

Gosh Ruth, I think Gwen may have overestimated my expertise but if you completely loose all sense and decide to start breeding gerbils, I'm here for you!

Sandy's right, I don't know how you've enchanted that camera but your photographs are amazing, especially the bowl piece.....the lighting...the single quail egg amongst all of the chicken eggs just screams content and metaphor (belongs in a gallery). I'm really knocked out by the window shot on Don's blog too, but I'll comment on it there. What beautiful eggs!

sandy said...

Hi Ruth, I'll be sure to check it out.."flying" blog. This week I'm going tackle my closet.

Yes its' a good tired, but I'm OVER maintaining this yard. We only have an acre but 3/4 of it needs maintenance constantly, by the time you get done in one section and move on and finish all around, it needs it again. I can still physically do it except my back aches, but I don't want to do this all the time.

We should have never landscaped this much...just a little area would have been fine.

next will be all natural except for close to the house.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Ruth I feel like I spent the day with you... thank you for letting me in...

I could taste it.. i could smell it.. I could even hear it sizzling........

and the blue inside the shell ... the best!

I never would have believed that these tiny birds would lay eggs at such a young age.. thanks for showing the evidence..

Loring Wirbel said...

Do the morels grow right on your property? I remember we used to find quite a few on the riverbank right behind our house. Unfortunately, I never developed a taste for morels until long after I left home, and now I rarely see them.

Ruth said...

Sharon, no matter, you will always be known to me now as a gender discerner. Thank you so much, I'm glad you like the photos. The subjects are so inspiring - the chicks, the eggs, etc. - I am just having way too much fun. And Don does all the work! Well I lend a hand now and then.

o - 0 - o

Sandy, way to go on the closet! The author of the wabi-sabi book recommends completely emptying it first. Make 4 piles: throw away, give away, put back, save 1 year if you can't part with something but aren't sure. It was very freeing!

About your yard, oh, don't you hate that? That you would make a different choice now, but you still have to maintain? Is there any way to take one section at a time and give away plants and let it go natural? I imagine in CA that would be difficult. But I also bet it's gorgeous. Such amazing plants there. We lived in Pasadena when the kids were born, and I loved the birds of paradise, jade, bottle brushes - growing in the yard!

Ruth said...

Gwen, it is just such a treat to be here right now. I don't like making long posts several times in a row, but I can't help myself, there is so much going on, and I love sharing it with you. Having friends be genuinely interested in this little place is such a joy. I would LOVE to see what you would draw, paint or otherwise design if you were here. It would be a whole 'nother level.

o - 0 - o

Loring, normally I would have made a post just about the morels! We always jump up and down when we find our first back by the old apple tree (now down), by the pond or in our side yard. Our first year here (2003) was my first time seeing or tasting one, and I fell in love hard. I might not have liked them as a young person either. Don says after the bad fires - was that CO a couple years ago - there were so many morels people were driving from other parts of the country to hunt them.

Heather said...

Ruth, I felt that I had sat down to the meal with you. Don's right, though. First eggs can be kinda weird. Double yolks are always a fun surprise.

Loring Wirbel said...

Ruth, those were the Hayden fires of 2002. We almost got evacuated - gargantuan mushroom clouds 40,000 feet high were visible over the front range, ash was in the air, the sky was purple-green, and we were headed to Alaska, just hoping our house wouldn't burn down while we were gone. They controlled the fires before they jumped the mountain range. I heard there were morel-hunters near Deckers and Woodland Park, but I never made it over there for the great search!

Ruth said...

Heather, did you guys ever have quail? I can't recall if you told me. Heh, I can't stop myself telling the whole story. Thanks for reading it all.

0 - o - 0

Oh goodness, Loring! Maybe it was the mushroom clouds that made the mushrooms, bbwwwwaaaaaah. Sorry. Well thankfully you didn't lose your home, but it must have been hard to take a trip at the time.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading this post with great interest, it is amazing, it never occurred to me that you can eat those eggs....I am glad you don't farm have to invite the neighbours to finish one egg...;)and than blue colour inside...I wonder what inside colour the Robin's egg will have....
I can just 'picturit' both in the kitchen and preparing that meal....eetsmakelijk. (enjoy your meal)

Anet said...

What wonderful pictures! Are the quail eggs blue on the insides?
Oh, and do they taste like chicken eggs? so many questions....

Heather said...

Ruth, we never had quail, but we did have Guinea Hens. They were pretty funky birds. They don't fly so well and they have heads that kind of look like turkey heads.

Anonymous said...

My mouth is watering and I just finished dinner! Morel mushrooms...I'm gonna come out and find some soon. Mmmmmm.

Ruth said...

Haha, Astrid, an ostrich egg would be a feast for the neighborhood, so funny! Heh, I don't know what a robin's egg looks like inside. But when the quails Don got from the University hatched, the inside was not blue then. Thank you for the 'eetsmakelijk.' Did Ginnie tell you before every meal at the cottage Wilma says that!? And then Don says "eat smartly."

0 - 0 - 0

Thanks so much, Anet. Well, this quail egg was blue, but not the ones that hatched. So something happens between (Don says a lot of poo happens).

0 - 0 - 0

Heath, Guineas. I think Don's principal had some of those, so she could paint them. But their dog attacked a couple, thinking they were breakfast.

0 - 0 - 0

Sure, Bo, come on out, we'll each have 3.3 bites. Hehe. I don't think you've found one yet, have you? You need to find some of those hand-sized ones, none of these little fingernail models.

MYM said...

Seriously, you make the most mundane things look & sound so darn romantic!

I love the colour of the inside of that broken egg ... so pretty.

Ruth said...

Aw thanks, Drowsey. And you make the most mundane things sound hilarious. I know about that blue . . . who knew!

Ginnie said...

I am just loving this saga unfold before our very eyes, Ruth. You and Don will NEVER forget this fabulous experience!

Ruth said...

Boots, I feel that fresh excitement you get at the start of anything you love. We're just trying to take it all in. They will be full grown when you see them on Farm Day (you ARE coming, aren't you? I think I remember Donica putting it on her calendar).

Anna said...

What a delicious post! I'm hungry, now. *L*

Quail eggs are so beautiful.

We had morels on the farm I grew up on. smacznego, my parents would say of them - delicious! I loved finding and picking them, but I could never bring myself to eat one - their caps looked too much like brains, to my childhood mind. *L* I'd be willing to try them today, but I haven't seen them in years.


Ruth said...

Boubou, heh, I wonder if you'd like them now. I completely understand that mushrooms are an acquired taste, especially when they look like brains! As for morels, I think the texture is quite nice, not mushy at all. And soooo delicious. Maybe you'll get an opportunity to try them out.

Bob Johnson said...

Who knew quail eggs would taste and look so good? you take great food shots Ruth, oh and by the way keep the math coming, love math,lol.