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Newsletter #87  - October 31 ,2004
 

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Hi there!

Before we get to the subject of this newsletter, just to let you know that I now have an eBiz section on my website. I have become very interested in home internet business and ways and means to market products, so click here and come take a look, if this subject interests you, join the mailing list! Try out some of the affiliate schemes that I have registered with and earn some extra spending money!


I cannot believe that I have not featured recipes with eggs yet. Although I have to cut down now due to cholesterol, I still love eggs for breakfast. Fried, sunny side up, scrambled, poached, boiled and omelet, they are all great! While on vacation last week I had a sudden craving for an omelet but had to settle for scrambled as I couldn't find a place that served omelette. Scrambled is just fine, I take a slice of toast, cover it with marmalade and put the scrambled egg on top, yummy!!!

Does anyone perhaps have camping/outdoors egg recipes for me? I am sure there are some great recipes out there, please email me if you have any.

Still on the subject of eggs, I found the article below very interesting.

History

Eggs have been part of man's diet from earliest times. Wild birds' eggs were no doubt a source of sustenance for primitive man, as they are today for the last remaining hunter-gatherers. As early as 2500 B.C., however, the domestication of fowl began to ensure a more predictable egg supply, and since that time the domestic hen has been carried to every corner of the globe.

Chickens are naturally prolific layers. Selective breeding has helped to increase their individual output to 200 or more eggs a year (a goose, by contrast, lays only 15 to 30 eggs a year). Output has been boosted further by the battery -- or mass-production -- farming methods that were developed in the United States during the 1920s.

 

Search my website, type in any key word and if that word is on my site you will see it in the results, search for recipes, ingredients, place names etc

 
 

 

Quality

Quality is determined by checking the shell for shape, cleanliness and smoothness, and then examining its contents through the shell with the aid of lighted, automated racks. The interior quality is judged by the thickness of the white, the compactness of the yolk and the amount of air in the egg. In a newly laid egg, the white is surrounded by a pair of membranes that cling to each other and the shell. As the egg ages, carbon dioxide and water evaporate through the shell pores; at the same time, air is absorbed, producing a visible pocket between the membranes at the egg's broad end.

The best, freshest eggs with the firmest yolks and smallest air pockets are graded AA; slightly older eggs are graded A. Grade B eggs, only rarely available to the consumer, have thin whites and enlarged yolks and sometimes stained shells. Except for these, shell color is unrelated to quality; it is determined by the breed of hen that laid the egg. Brown or white specks on shells are the harmless result of uneven pigmentation or water molecules trapped in the pores.

Once sized, graded and packed, eggs generally reach the supermarket within four or five days. The grading date appears on the carton as a number: 048, for example, means the eggs were graded on February 17, the 48th day of the year.

Types

Hen's Eggs

While most eggs are produced by intensive methods, some commercially raised free-range eggs which come from hens having continuous daytime access to open-air runs are available in health-food stores. It is still possible, however, to buy eggs from farms where the hens live, roam and feed freely on wheat, corn and whatever they pick up in the barnyard, rather than on specifically formulated animal protein feed. These are often available in farmers' markets.

Duck Eggs

In Europe, these are available all year, but mainly in spring and summer laying seasons. Because of their size (they tend to be a little larger than hens' eggs) and rich flavor, they are particularly suitable for baking.

Goose Eggs

These eggs are available from late March and are very popular with enthusiasts who like to blow and color eggs for the Easter table, as they are about twice the size of hens' eggs. Geese are farmyard animals and likely to lay their eggs in all kinds of places without any regard for hygiene. Because of this, goose eggs should be thoroughly cooked and are particularly good in baking.

Quail Eggs

Once a hard-to-find delicacy and quite expensive, these attractive, small, dark-speckled eggs are now quite common because of the increase in quail farming. Often eaten soft- or hard-boiled, they are extremely difficult to shell when still warm, so allow plenty of time for this if serving them at a dinner party.

Quail eggs make perfect cocktail snacks or starters, such as tiny individual Eggs Benedict, miniature omelets, poached quail eggs in small pastry cases and soft-boiled quail eggs arranged on salad greens.

Tradition

As researched by Georgeanne Brennan in her lovely book, Holiday Eggs, legend and superstition have historically surrounded eggs. Lacquered eggs were given as springtime gifts in ancient China, while in pagan England, red eggs were said to honor Thor, and those painted yellow honored the goddess of light. All eggshells had to be burned and thoroughly destroyed, because witches, who were unable to cross water, could use even a tiny piece of shell as a boat. Ancient Greek and Roman cultures also valued eggs, which were exchanged between friends as gifts and even buried in tombs. The Jewish Passover seder includes hard-boiled eggs to dip into salted water, the eggs symbolizing rebirth, the salted water representing bitter tears. With the advent of Christianity, the egg became the symbol of the Resurrection of Christ, and in many cultures, traditional decorated eggs associated with spring became linked to Easter.

Ukrainian eggs, also called pysanky, are among the most elaborate of the decorated eggs and versions of them are made throughout Eastern Europe. Hollowed-out shells of raw eggs are traditionally decorated by means of a wax-resistant technique, like that of batik, to create complex, multicolored designs covering the entire egg. Adorned with symbols of the earth, such as wheat for a good harvest or chickens for fertility, and religious or geometric floral designs, Ukrainian eggs are small pieces of art.

In the United States, children are equipped with baskets and sent out on Easter egg hunts to find the colorful dyed or painted eggs hidden for them by the Easter Bunny. The tradition of dyeing eggs for Easter is said to have come to the United States with early German immigrants. Danish children roll dyed eggs down hills to see whose egg can make it down without breaking, and the winner takes all the eggs. Introduced to the White House in the early 1800s by Dolly Madison, egg rolling on the White House lawn is still an Easter tradition.


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Food and Diet - Q and A

Q: I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have a body and you have body fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain... Good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?
A: YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!!!. Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil.In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy? HELLO... Cocoa beans ... another vegetable!!! It's the best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! 'Round' is a shape!

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets!


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The Herb Section -  African Marigold


Marigolds are very easy to grow, and give a lovely orange and yellow glow to a garden. Despite their name, they are indigenous to Mexico, and the Aztecs used them for medicinal and culinary purposes many years ago.
They deter certain insects and worms, so are very good to plant in your garden, and are very rewarding.
Marigolds like sunny positions, and average well-drained soil, but they are not very fussy.
They grow from seeds planted in August, and grow well in containers.
Flowers and leaves can be used all through summer. The more you pick, the more they grow.
Marigolds make a lovely edging for your vegetable garden because of their insect repellent properties.
It is said that marigolds planted in between your rows of tomatoes, will increase their yield.

DOMESTIC USES
Chickens fed with a few marigold leaves and flowers will produce a good colour egg yolk, but you must be very careful not to feed too much, as it may upset their digestion.
Dried marigold flowers are a good insect repellent, and may be added to potpourris and insect repellent sachets

COSMETIC USES
Crushed marigold petals are used by several African tribes to clear up pimples
 

Thanks to everyone who has mailed us fridge magnets depicting your State, City or Country.
If you collect fridge magnets, I will gladly swop with you!
 Please email me and we can make arrangements. Thanx a lot!

My website is interactive, there are a few pages you can contribute to:

Elephant Stew - add your suggestion
Wacky Sarmies - add your fav sarmie (some great sarmie ideas here!)
Animal Facts - Some interesting stuff here
Discussion Forum - Add to a current discussion or start a new thread.

 

Why not post a message on the Discussion Forum. The topic can be food, wildlife, travel or photography related, or anything else of interest. Let's see if we can get some interesting discussions going

 
 

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Looking for a specific South African recipe? Email me and I will do my best to find it for you!

 

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When you have had a look at the recipes below, click here to visit the main recipe page on my site. 

Any comments, positive or otherwise on this Newsletter will be appreciated!

That's it for now,
Take care,
Peter

If you are ever in the Ceres area why not take a break and enjoy a great cuppa coffee!...and send friends and family back home an email greeting!

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The Recipes
See Links for Metric Converter

 
 

EGG FLIP

1 Egg
5ml Sugar
2ml Vanilla or 5ml Brandy or Sherry
250ml Hot or Cold Milk

1. Beat egg, sugar and vanilla, brandy or sherry thoroughly together
2. Add the milk and beat until frothy
3. Pour into a glass and serve immediately

VARIATIONS
Fluffy Egg Flip :- As above, but separate the egg white and yolk. Beat the egg whites until stiff and gradually fold into the egg yolk and milk mixture

Fruity Egg Flip :- As above, but substitute the milk with orange or pineapple juice


EGGS FLORENTINE

375ml Cooked, Chopped Spinach
30ml Cream
Salt & Pepper
4 Eggs, Poached and kept Hot
4 Slices Gruyere or Emmenthal Cheese
4 Black Olives to Garnish (optional)

1. Combine spinach, cream, salt & pepper and put into 4 ramekin dishes
2. Arrange 1 poached egg on each ramekin of spinach puree
3. Place a slice of cheese on each egg
4. Melt cheese under a hot grill until golden
5. Garnish with olives and serve with fresh toast


NEW ORLEAN EGGS

3 Tomatoes, Peeled, Seeded & Chopped
1 Green Pepper, Cored, Seeded & Chopped
1 Onion, Chopped
2 Sticks Celery, Chopped
45ml Tomato Paste
5ml Sugar
2ml Salt
1ml Black Pepper
1 Bay Leaf
250ml Fresh Breadcrumbs
4 Eggs
125ml Grated Cheddar Cheese

1. Combine all the ingredients, except breadcrumbs, eggs and cheese, in a saucepan
2. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
3. Remove the bay leaf and stir in the breadcrumbs
4. Place the mixture in a shallow ovenproof dish
5. Make 4 depressions on the surface and break an egg into each
6. Sprinkle with grated cheese, and bake at 180°C for 15 - 20 minutes or until eggs are firm and cheese has melted


FRENCH TOAST

2 Eggs
Pinch Salt
160ml Milk
6 Slices Day-old Bread, Crusts Removed
60g Butter

1. Beat eggs, salt & milk together
2. Cut bread into triangles of strips
3. Heat a little butter in a frying pan
4. Dip bread, a few pieces at a time, into the egg mixture, and fry until golden brown on both sides
5. Add more butter to the pan as needed
6. Serve piping hot with golden syrup or grilled bacon

VARIATIONS
Pain Perdu :- As above, but use 1/2 milk and 1/2 cream and flavour with a dash of vanilla. Serve with stewed fruit for breakfast
Spanish Toast :- As above, but substitute 125ml sweet sherry for the milk. Serve dusted with icing sugar and ground cinnamon for those with a sweet tooth at breakfast time
Orange French Toast :- As above, but substitute orange juice for the milk. Serve sprinkled with a mixture of sugar and orange rind


TOAD-IN-THE-HOLE

250ml Cake Flour
1ml Salt
1 Egg
300ml Milk
500g Sausages
30ml Oil or Dripping

1. Sift flour and salt into a bowl, add egg and milk, and mix to a smooth batter
2. Set aside for 30 minutes
3. Fry sausages in oil for 5 minutes until browned all over
4. Place sausages in an ovenproof dish and pour the batter over
5. Bake in a hot oven 200°C for 30 minutes


FRENCH OMELETTE

3 Eggs, preferably at room temperature
45ml Water
2ml Salt
Black Pepper
15ml Butter

1. Break eggs into a bowl, add water and beat lightly to combine whites and yolks
2. Do not overbeat, as this makes your omelette tough
3. Add salt, and a grinding of black pepper
4. Melt half the butter in a pan, and pour in the egg mixture
5. Leave for 10 - 15 seconds until eggs start to set on the bottom
6. Using a fork or spatula, pull mixture into the centre allowing the runny mixture to run to the outside
7. Do this until the eggs have set underneath but still quite moist on top
8. Spoon in desired filling
9. Tilt the pan, and flip 1/3 of the omelette towards the centre
10. Turn over again so that the omelette is folded into three
11. Roll out onto heated plate and smear the rest of the butter over the omelette to give it a nice glazed finish
12. Serve at once, do not keep warm but rather serve individually, as each one takes 2 minutes only

FILLINGS
Asparagus Omelette :- Canned asparagus salad pieces
Mushroom Omelette :- Slice and lightly cook 4 - 5 button mushrooms
Fine Herbes Omelette :- Parsley, chervil, tarragon and chives. Add 2 or 3 of these, finely chopped to the egg mixture before cooking
Onion Omelette :- Sauté 1 slices onion until soft and transparent
Cheese Omelette :- 125ml Grated gruyere, emmenthal or cheddar cheese per omelette
Bacon & Mushroom Omelette :- Fry 1 rasher of bacon and 2 - 3 mushrooms per omelette
Tomato Omelette :- 2 Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped sautéed with 2 slices of onions
 

 
 

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