Spring means eggs are "in season"! The seasonal aspect is one of the biggest challenges we face with bringing products from our heritage breeds to market.
People expect hens to lay an egg a day, like the industrial chickens now do but our old-fashioned hens follow nature's rhythm. This means as the days become longer, our old fashioned girlz kick into seasonal production (aka reproduction) without regard to the farmers market season. As the daylight declines, their production declines until they cease for a couple months of the year.
When the eggs are plentiful, we make egg recipes including bread pudding (sweet) and strata (savory) as well as rice pudding. My Great Grandma made often made bread pudding to use up stale bread! This vintage recipe is one of our favorites.
- 1 cup pure cane sugar
- 6 large beaten eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla - I like Cook's Pure Bourbon Vanilla Extract
- 2 cups of bread cut into 1 inch cubes - egg bread makes it more like flan
- 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg (or 1 cup of fresh or frozen rhubarb cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13x9" baking dish
Cut the bread into cubes (no need to be precise) and spread out into baking dish. (add rhubarb if using that now).
Combine the eggs, sugar, milk, and vanilla (and cinnamon/nutmeg if using that) & beat to mix together.
Pour the egg, milk, sugar, vanilla mix over the bread and gently submerge any floating bread to make sure it is completely coated with the egg mixture.
Let stand for about 10 minutes so the bread can absorb the egg mixture then bake at 350 for about 30-40 minutes or until the center rises and a knife or pick comes out "clean" when inserted into the center of the pan.