22 February 2020 – Egg Saturday

Today is Egg Saturday so no prizes for guessing what I’ve been up to. Today is also the start of Shrovetide, so it’s also known as Shrove Saturday, and if you’re in Oxfordshire or Lincolnshire, you might even call it Brusting (bursting) Day after a thick, crumbly pancake called a brusting pudding.

Anyhow, breakfast was an easy win.

Lunch was also relatively easy as I made another favourite, okonomiyaki, a savoury Japanese pancake made with cabbage (with apologies for such a rude interpretation. It’s also ridiculously tasty with sweet potato).

However, dinner needed more attention. I’d managed to persuade my good friend, Susannah (she of the wassailing and haggis hunting) to host a little tapas evening in honour of some friends coming to stay for the weekend. This gave me the perfect excuse to ask Javi (also of the haggis hunt) to make one of his to die for Spanish omelettes. Meanwhile for my contribution to supper, I went half Abigail’s Party with some devilled eggs, and half Bake Off technical with some Portuguese egg custard tarts.  

Having not devilled an egg for rather a long time, I couldn’t remember what they were supposed to taste like. As I still had some salad cream left over from Pete’s Hot Potato Pickle Salad, made when I had a cold, I substituted it for the mayonnaise. Then I didn’t have any Tabasco, so I chucked in some pineapple hot sauce. Next, because I’d boiled the eggs for too long (can’t stand the sight of a juicy yolk), the colour seemed a bit off, so I added turmeric. Then because all I could taste was salad cream, I put in more paprika, more mustard and more salt. And then some celery salt. And then after some white and black pepper. And then I ate some tart blueberries to cleanse my palate as by now I couldn’t taste anything. Eventually I stopped fiddling and piped the yolk mixture back into the whites and covered them with more paprika and some chives. At least, I consoled myself, they looked pretty.

Next were the Portuguese egg custard tarts. There are lots of egg custard tart recipes roaming around the internet, many calling for some sort of oven steaming which sounded like a lot of hard work. So finding a really easy looking Jamie Oliver Youtube tutorial seemed too good a gift horse. Plus I could use pre-made puff pastry. 

And they were very easy, especially as I didn’t bother with the caramel topping. Levering them onto the cooling tray, I promptly up ended one, which swiftly got used for quality control. As the pastry was still a bit raw on bottom, I shoved them back in the oven for another couple of minutes. However, due to my impatience, the one I’d tried was still shockingly hot, leaving the roof of my mouth a teeny bit blistery. So I comforted myself with the leftover filling I’d put in a little tin. So good.

By now I was feeling very full of egg. The house smelled very full of egg. The bag I was using to transport the food was very full of egg. So I opened some windows, and waddled off to Susannah’s house for tea. 

Despite my misgivings, everyone seemed to like the food. I’m always worried about feeding my friend Fiona as she teaches cookery but she nodded approvingly at both offerings. The devilled eggs went within 15mins and it was seconds all round for the tarts. And Javi’s omelette was still to die for. Props also to Susannah for her wicked paella (a bold move given Javi is Spanish) and her impeccable hostess skills. 

As much as today was rather tasty, my stomach is feeling a little heavy. I’m hoping I’m still on track for what I have planned for tomorrow, but you never know, I might need to do some more folklore research in case tomorrow turns into Constipation Sunday…


Resources

Cooper, Q. and Sullivan, P. (1994) Maypoles, Martyrs & Mayhem: 366 Days of British Myths, Customs & Eccentricities, London, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Day, B. (1998) A Chronicle of Folk Customs, London, Hamlyn

Roud, S. (2006) The English Year: A Month-By-Month Guide To The Nation’s Customs and Festivals, From May Day to Mischief Night, London, Penguin Books

https://www.olivemagazine.com/recipes/quick-and-easy/easy-okonomiyaki/

http://projectbritain.com/pancakeday/shrovetide.html

NB. The recipe cards photographed in the header are my mum’s original 1970s Marguerite Patten ones.

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