A s kids we called them "googie eggs" (sorry I have no idea why) then as we moved on to our early misspent youth years they were referred to as "bum nuts".
If they weren't from our own fowl house then they were from our grandparents' very open hen run. When I think about it, our hens originated from our grandparents' hen run one way or another - either as fertile eggs that were slipped under a sitting hen in our fowl house or the young pullets were transferred from our grandparents' Otatara farm.
No food would be more versatile than the egg.
They can be cooked in the shell or out, simply or lavishly solo or with something sweet or savoury. Where would we be if we didn't have eggs to leaven our angel food cake or souffles, colour and thicken sauces, bind the croquettes, emulsify mayonnaise, clarify aspic, give batter its crisp, fragile crust, glaze baked goods, smooth icecreams and candies and enrich the flavour of everything. High in vitamin and mineral content, the egg is low in calories and, because of their near perfect protein, they claim the title of "nutritional bombshells".
When it comes to cooking, hen eggs are not the only ones suitable although we do tend to overlook those from other fowl, such as duck eggs - which are delicious especially if the ducks have been swimming on clean ponds.
Duck eggs are also very useful and, in fact, interchangeable with large hen eggs when it comes to baking.
Eggs from geese are also very useful; simply replace the weight of hen eggs with goose eggs for any recipe replacement. Quail eggs are also useful but generally served as a garnish, poached or fried rather than as a substitute for hen eggs. This week, let's make a real tasty breakfast or brunch style dish, very American and very satisfying.
SKILLET EGG AND POTATO BREAKFAST
For 4 portions
8 slices streaky bacon
2 cups diced cooked potatoes
1 small peeled and very finely chopped onion
3/4 cup coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese
Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
Cook the bacon until nice and crisp in a heavy based skillet, drain on paper towels.
Pour off all bar a couple of tablespoons of the dripping in the pan then brown the potatoes and onions in the pan for about 10 minutes over a moderate heat.
Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste then break the eggs over the potatoes spacing them evenly. Turn the heat to low and cover and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the eggs are done to your liking.
Lightly sprinkle with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper and a cheese and the chopped bacon over the top and it is all ready to serve.
HOW TO HANDLE EGGS
The Southland Times