Monday, March 24, 2014

Prairie Kitchens - Scotch Eggs

Eggs were an important source of food for the pioneers. They were also money in the bank. Every farm family had a flock of hens, most often in the care of the women who sold the extra eggs in town, along with homemade butter and cream.
The eggs were packed into a bucket of oats for the bumpy wagon ride. The horses ate the oats before the trip back home. The resulting "egg money" was used to buy groceries and small luxuries such as new shoes, material for school dresses, piano lessons, garden seeds and household goods.

One farm wife, Bertha Riekman of Rosthern, saved up her "egg money" to buy a freezer, according to the book Egg Money: A Tribute to Saskatchewan Pioneer Women. "Egg Money" is also the name of a bronze statue at the Saskatoon Farmer's Market depicting a woman and her children feeding the hens, circa 1900. It recognizes the economic contribution of "egg money" to the wellbeing of the pioneer family.

"Like every member of the family, the woman had the satisfaction of knowing that the work she did was essential… Eggs and butter often set the family table and bought the family clothing," writes Kay Parley in her history of Moffat, near Wolseley, which was settled by Scottish immigrants, including her grandparents, in 1882-3.

Despite the name, Scotch Eggs are an English creation and were popular in Victorian times for breakfast, lunch, picnics and train travel.


Scotch Eggs
8 medium eggs, hard boiled
Flour seasoned with pepper and salt
1 lb seasoned sausage meat
1 egg, beaten
1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
Vegetable oil for deep frying

Cool and shell the hard-boiled eggs. Roll each egg in flour, then coat with sausage meat, pressing well with hands and making sure there are no gaps. Roll in raw egg. Dip into bread crumbs, pressing the crumbs into the meat. In a saucepan, heat oil on medium high. Fry eggs until golden brown. Lift out and drain. Serve warm or cold, perhaps with gravy or chutney.

Note: Purchased sausage meat should be of good quality and lean. If you like, add extra flavour with finely chopped parsley and a dash of Worcestershire sauce.

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(This article first appeared in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix.)

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