Thursday 16 September 2021

All Your Eggs In One Basket?

 Our language is full of egg phrases

  • she's a good egg [or a rotten egg]
  • can't boil an egg
  • the goose that lays the golden egg
  • you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs
  • the curate's egg
  • to egg someone on
  • egg on your face
I'm sure you can think of others. I love the fact that it is so easy round here to find fresh, free range eggs. I usually get mine from the farm at the edge of the village. But on Sundays, the cottage near the chapel has this sign outside
I love the idea of eggs being described as fruit, drops, or berries. I'm not sure I've ever eaten duck or quail eggs though - have you?

When I was making my terrine of summer fruits for dinner with Adrien and Marion, Delia instructed that "strawberries must be halved if they are larger than a quail's egg" How big is that? I wondered.

Here you are - hen's egg at the top, quail is smaller, duck is larger. Average sizes of these [height/diameter] as follows
duck 65/44 mm
hen 58/40 mm
quail 35/27 mm
Quail is clearly a lot smaller. I didn't want to spend an afternoon with a tape measure, checking every piece of fruit - so I worked out a quick solution.

top tip of the day - 
 if your strawberry will sit neatly inside an upturned bottle cap, that meets Delia's size requirements
I still have not eaten a quail's egg though [you don't seem to get much bang for your cluck buck] 

UPDATE thank you to Anne, who graciously emailed me to point out I'd put cm not mm in my egg sizes. Oops! She gently suggested that the idea of a hen producing an egg 2 feet high is a bit eye watering. Do you remember the Good Life and Margot's Cracker Joke?


  1. Ah yes, there are a lot of egg phrases!
    I've eaten all 3 eggs but can't remember what quail ones taste like. Duck ones are yummy x

  2. Quail eggs don't taste very different to hens eggs really - perhaps a little more subtle in flavour - however they are really difficult to remove the shell when hard boiled (how they are normally prepared).
    Duck eggs tend to be bigger than hens eggs with a large, deliciously rich & tasty yolk. They are very good in cake baking too - should you ever have a glut to use up.

  3. Oooh, I love Duck eggs! Poached Duck eggs on a couple of thick slices of buttered sourdough toast is absolute bliss!
    I always get Duck eggs for baking, they give sponges a much lighter, fluffier texture!
    I like Quail eggs, but we don't have many 'posh' occasions here these days, so very rarely get them anymore.
    I had a Goose egg once, I wasn't keen on that, a bit too 'greasy' and a weird flavour.
    Did you know you have been using a Viking word throughout your post? Egg!

    1. Oh thank you for the Viking word! I never knew that [I did know berserk and ransack were Viking words] What a great fact!

    2. No I didn't like the goose egg I tried either - for exactly the same reasons as you :)

  4. SO - duck eggs seem popular - but quail eggs less common. Maybe I'll buy some duck ones - I have a sponge cake recipe where the weight of fat, flour and sugar is twice that of the eggs. Col's fluffy comment is interesting

    1. ...and clearly goose eggs should be avoided if Col and S&D are right [unless your goose lays golden eggs]

  5. Quail are easy to keep, lay for England, and their eggs make dainty scotch eggs. One is just right for egg wash on pastry, a dozen makes an omelette.

  6. Quail eggs look too dainty and fancy in the shell. I'd feel that I was robbing a nest if I had any!

  7. You're very welcome, Ang. My eyes are still watering! 🤣

  8. I've only ever eaten hen's eggs, but, I've seen quail eggs for sale in the ethnic grocery stores, here.

  9. I have had both - the quails' eggs are often used as a canapé sort of thing - a bit of a fuss to peel and yes, much like a hen's egg.
    I was a bit nervous the first time I had a duck's egg - for some reason I thought it would be "gamey" - but it's not - just nice and rich and very big! I've never baked with them - they are hard to find in the shops and I'd have to go "British" and weigh my ingredients rather than just plopping in 2 or 3 hen's eggs! :-) Well worth a try.

  10. Having eaten quail's eggs a few times at posh "do's" I thought I was tempted to buy some. Peeling them was such a faff that I only did it once!
    We frequently buy free range hen's eggs from the kiosk at our local farm. The sizes vary so much that on one occasion we decided to weigh them and found that in the box of six there was a large egg that weighed over 80g and twice as much as the smallest!

    1. Our egg farm asks customers to take eggs from the top tray, and now 'cherry pick' the large eggs from lower down - so we get mixed sizes too.


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