LINCS LITTLE HENS - Elly's kitchen

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Elly's Kitchen
Recipes as made by Elly Spilberg
I used to love it when my mother came to stay. She was a whirlwind of domesticity, throwing together magnificent meals from leftovers and her imagination. I remember one busy Sunday when we were cooking a roast lunch, and she wanted to help, so she asked for the oil from the roast vegetables and set about making mayonnaise. Look, it's easy, she said, and proceeded to beat up the oil with some egg yolks until we had more mayonnaise than we could ever eat in a month (although I think we did). But if you are making mayonnaise, you are left with the egg whites, and that is where meringues come in to their own. I never make meringues, as I did yesterday, without making mayonnaise - or the other way around.

To make mayonnaise: Take some free range egg yolks and some freshly ground black pepper in a bowl, and a few drops of oil (I used mostly vegetable oil, with a little bit of olive oil for flavour). Beat with a hand whisk (I have wasted so many egg yolks and bottles of oil over the years trying to do it with an electric whisk or the Kitchenaid, I always do it by hand now). Add a few drops more, and beat again, and so on until the mixture looks like mayonnaise, and then decant into a sterile jar and refrigerate (because mayonnaise contains raw egg, this is important). It should last for a month or so, and it should look like this:
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A lot of people are afraid of making meringues, but they are easy when you know how. Unlike mayonnaise, which is best made by hand, meringues are best made with an electric food processor if you have one, because the egg whites take a lot of beating! Take the egg whites, and measure out two ounces of brown sugar for every egg. Beat the egg whites in a very clean, dry bowl until they reach the "stiff peaks" stage (when you can turn the bowl upside down without anything falling out). A lot of people read the dire warnings about over-beating in the recipe books and don't beat the egg whites enough; if you can turn them upside down, they will be fine. Very slowly add the brown sugar, whisking in each spoonful before adding in any more, and then spoon out on to a baking sheet and cook in the oven for an hour at 150˚c. Keep in the oven until they are needed so that they stay dry, or put them straight into a sealed container. They can be frozen, if you end up making more than they need. Best eaten in the summer in Eton Mess, with fresh fruit and cream.

I can see the new girls still pecking on the lawn, long after the rest of the flock have gone inside to roost. They will go to bed, but the novelty of freedom has not worn off yet. I wonder what they would think if they knew what I had been up to with all the eggs they laid this weekend? I haven't made cheese, or brewed my own beer or wine, but I have done this, and made some jars of gooseberry jam. A little bit of self-sufficiency is better than none at all.
Taken from Elly's blog - "Saving the planet-One egg at a time"
 More of Elly's fantastic recipes coming soon, not all involving eggs but helping YOU become self sufficient!