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Thursday, February 18, 2010


by Michael

I don’t have all the answers to how achieve a fulfilling life but I do have some answers on how to have a more fulfilling meal. In our quest to become more self sufficient, one of the food sources that we have come to rely on more than anything else is the eggs that our chickens produce. We have found that even in the frigid, high desert, Utah winters, our chickens continue to lay an abundance of eggs as long as we keep them warm. This is done by using a heat lamp. We are continually looking for new ways to utilize our eggs. Usually we will eat them for breakfast or as an ingredient in cakes, homemade pastas, and breads. More recently we have been trying to assess ways to use our eggs for dinner as well. Here is one of our favorite recipes for a nice warm winter dinner that has eggs as a main ingredient.

Egg Drop Soup Recipe

3 cans chicken broth

1/2 cup green onions

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 tsp soy sauce

3 large eggs

Bring stock to simer. Add green onions, mushrooms and soy sauce. Bring back to a simmer. Simmer for 3 mins. Add eggs in steady stream while stirring. Dish up!

This recipe by itself is very good and you can use it on its own. I think you can use most kinds of mushrooms but my preference is oyster mushrooms because of their meaty texture and the way they hold up firm in the heat. If you want to spice up your soup I recommend making this baked tofu recipe to go with it.

Tofu Recipe

16 ox package tofu (we prefer extra firm)

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tbs. sugar

2 tbs. ketchup

1 tbs. vinegar

dash of chili sauce

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. black pepper

Cut tofu into bit size cubes. Mix remaining ingredients. Marinate tofu for at least 5 minutes. Put in baking pan and bake 15 minutes. Stir, bake 15 more minutes.

We started eating the tofu as a side dish to the soup and I don’t remember how but someone in our family decided to put their tofu in the soup and it was wonderful. Here is the best way to make it. Marinate the tofu like the recipe recommends. Cook the tofu in the oven for 15 minutes. Stir the tofu, and put it back in the oven. Then make the soup while the tofu cooks for the second 15 minute period. Dish up your soup and add some of the Tofu and soy sauce into the soup and you are in egg drop soup heaven. This is a fresh, light, but filling dish that we love in the cold winter months.


Dale Johnson said...

Great recipies Michael, I can't wait to try them. Please disregard my negative comment about tofu in my next article.

Lindsay said...

This is good to hear. Can you tell me how many chickens you have in order to have an abundance and is it cost effective. (I know this is not why you do it, but still I would like to know)!


mike said...

We have a family of 5 and we have 7 chickens. I would say that we average 5 eggs a week per chicken so we get about 3 dozen per week. Most of the time I would say we consume most of our eggs but if we have a week where Marisa doesn't bake a lot then we have a surplus. We usually give them to neighbors but our son who takes care of the chickens has started to sell them as well.

It is not cost effective to raise our chickens. We spend about $25 a month to feed them and we spent more to build a henhouse. Our chickens eat a lot of food scraps so the chicken food cost is lower for us. We get about 12 dozen eggs a month. If you just take the food cost we are averaging about $2.10 per dozen although with other minor costs that come up like heat lamps it's even more. This is still not expensive and it doesn't take into account hidden benefits of children learning how to work, happier chickens, and the peace of being more self sufficient.

In review, I don't think that it is economical to raise chickens or garden if you just look at money but if you add in the benefits that are hard to put a price on, it is worth it.

megan said...

Not to mention knowing where your food came from and knowing it's fresh. AND knowing the animals were treated well...

Laura-Lisa said...

When we have a surplus of eggs we freeze them in mixes...I make a lot of quiche...so I mix all the ingredients with the eggs and pour them into ziploc bags. I lay them flat on a baking sheet to freeze. This way they stack better later on. When one of the kids wants one they can just defrost a bag in cool water and pour into one of my frozen pie shell (rolls that I freeze too) and bake...home made tv dinner.

Laura-Lisa said...

@ Mike is that $25 on organic feed? That is about how much our organic feed costs us for a 50lb bag but we are feeding 25 chickens but for a dozen organic eggs at the grocery store it is $4.00