Wednesday, July 8, 2009

garden update and how to use duck eggs

Well, we turned over the rest of our potatoes and the results were about the same. Just a handful, all small. We had a long period of heavy rain this spring, followed immediately by a long period of very high temperatures. So the pill bugs came, then as soon as they left the fire ants came. Ehhh...maybe next year will be our year for potatoes.

Our beans have mostly tanked in the heat, although we are getting a small quantity of cow peas and limas. The greens are really holding their own, though. The swiss chard is hanging in there and the New Zealand spinach (a heat tolerant variety) is really taking off. We had our first salad of that stuff a couple of nights ago and it was lovely to have salad from the garden again...or anything, for that matter!

In the poultry yard, it turns out that our one adult muscovy duck is our most reliable layer. Normally we'd let her set them, but with no mature male at the moment, we've not much choice but to pick them up. Besides, they're divine! We especially like them boiled, as they have a very smooth, creamy texture. Having grown tired of egg salad (!), I found a new and really wonderful use for them. I urge you to try this at home - even if you don't have access to duck eggs, it would still be good with boiled chicken eggs. Also, feel free to substitute vegetables as they are available. I can imagine this also being delicious with garlic and greens, or onions and zucchini.


1 lb spaghetti (or linguini or angel hair)
6 T. butter
1 shallot, minced
1 cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
1 cup freshly grated parmesan
salt and cracked pepper to taste*
2 hard cooked duck eggs (or 3 chicken eggs), peeled and finely minced

Cook pasta as directed and drain, reserving about two cups of the cooking water. Melt butter in the pasta pot over medium heat and saute shallot until just tender. Add pasta and peas back to the pot and toss. Add reserved cooking water in increments until you have a "sauce" consistency you are happy with. Add parmesan, salt and pepper and toss to combine. Serve in deep bowls topped with a generous helping of minced egg. If you have crusty bread and fresh summer tomatoes to serve with this, do so!

*Note: I actually used ZERO salt in this and it tasted great, and I'm not a "no salt" type.


  1. What is the duck egg white like? A bit firmer than a chicken egg? I have geese and use their eggs in baking, but find that with the added protein in the white the texture gets too firm (making it somewhat unpleasant) when fried or boiled. So I wonder if duck eggs would be more like chicken eggs.

  2. I've heard that they can get rubbery when overcooked, but so far we haven't had any like that. They are firm, yes, but not tough. I, for one, don't care much for boiled chicken eggs because I find the whites to be too jiggly, so these are more palatable to me. If you like a softer egg, you may feel differently. I've never eaten a goose egg, so I really can't compare.

    For the record, we're using Muscovy eggs, so if you're using other types of duck eggs your mileage may vary. Muscovies aren't typically raised for eggs because they're such good producers of meat, but their eggs are delicious all the same.