Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Spring Eggs and Carrot Cake

 It is always sch a delight when the spring eggs start to appear. A little bit of spring magic that happens while it is still cold and the days still feel short and dark. As the children close the coop, they check for eggs and suddenly, they will rush back to the house to show three beautiful fresh eggs, then four the next day and five the next until there are twelve to eighteen in one day! Of course, it only takes a week or two for us to lose the excitement of getting eggs again and to start to feel as if it is our due. 

What?! Only two eggs today!

Many of us do not want to admit that we feel this way but as with everything the newness and shininess wear off. This is not to say that many of us are full of ingratitude; it is to say that if we are not intentional, it is easy to forget to appreciate everyday miracles.

With our spring eggs, we must rush to pick everyone up. March and early April are not the time to welcome new chicks to our coop via a broody hen. We have a couple of wonderful mamas but the cold and crankiness of other hens is not something to be contended with this time of the year. If Daisy is sitting on the nest in the morning, we must take the eggs for at least two days two to three times a day to discourage her. Thankfully she thought about it only during two nice days this month so far and a cold snap has encouraged her to wait a little longer. 

Now that eggs are in the pantry again, we have been enjoying baking: pies, cookies, muffins. All the deliciousness I tend to not bake during January and February because I would have to buy eggs. Do I buy eggs? Sometimes. Do I like it? Not one stinkin' bit. It fact, it makes me stingy with eggs because they aren't as nutritious (their yolks aren't orange!) and I hate supporting big ag. So I try to do without. My kids do not enjoy going without so as with everything, there is a balance. 

However, I digress. Spring eggs have arrived and with it, soft-boiled, medium boiled, hard boiled, puddings, custards and baked goods. I can make double Challah on Fridays and we can have French toast with the extra. I don't feel guilty using 5 eggs on carrot cake. I do, however, cringe when I soft boil a dozen eggs for breakfast and hear, "Eggs, again?" I think I will make Scotch eggs with them instead.

Last night, I appreciated all the spring eggs as I cracked open a cookbook and decided to bake carrot cake. The recipe I found forgot to include coconut, so I added some; didn't use maple syrup so I adjusted the flour and sugar content; contained too much cinnamon and no cardamom... so you know, I fixed that too. 

The end results is not from a book but from my own desires and came out quite delicious. So delicious that it was eaten before any pictures could be taken but carrot cake is carrot cake; the only reason to look at carrot cake is to see if someone put raisins in it. Top with cream cheese frosting or maple cream if you wish or leave it plain as a lovely breakfast cake.

Carrot Cake

2 - 2 1/4 c. flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 - 1/4 tsp. cardamom 
1 tsp. salt
5 eggs
1/2 c. butter, melted and cool
1 1/2 c. maple syrup
3-4 c. carrot (3 packed cups or 4 lightly filled cups)
3/4 - 1 c. pecans
1/2 - 3/4 c. coconut

Preheat oven to 325°.

Butter a 9" x 13" baking dish.

Mix dry ingredients and set aside.

Mix eggs, maple and butter well. *note* I added the warm melted butter to my bowl with the maple syrup and mix. This cools my butter and warms the maple syrup but not so hot, the eggs will start to cook. Then I add one egg at a time while the mixer is running. Make sure the three wet items are well blended before adding the dry ingredients.

Gently add the dry ingredients.

Fold in the carrot, pecans and coconut. *note" you can add whatever add ins you want but I am a sucker for coconuts and pecans.

Bake 40-50 minutes until the center is set and your tester comes out clean.

This is best enjoyed with maple cream but if you don't have, simple maple butter is almost as good.

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