Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs
by Signe Langford, Douglas & McIntyre 2015 $22.95

With a growing demand for organic, local food, raising your own chickens in the backyard is not so far fetched. Local governments are addressing the issue and apparently, according to Signe Langford, sharinga small garden with chickens is not that hard. They do like to “help” with the gardening, so better to follow Langford’s tips for a successful backyard chicken coup.

The book is divided seasonally, so tips and chores are set out accordingly; cleaning up in the spring, keeping chicks cool in summer, and extending daylight in winter.

The recipes included in the book are also divided by the seasons and are really “eggcellent” choices (sorry, had to do it!). The author explains essential uses of eggs in classic dishes, only sometimes with a personal twist. Her first section on “how to boil an egg” is a wonderful example of how the simplest of things can be more difficult than first thought. Some recipes come from celebrated Canadian chefs, and all show the extreme versatility of the egg.

The book’s photographs display stunning pieces of egg memorabilia, dishes, and linens, and the variety of recipes in the book is also very impressive. The variety of recipes in the book is also very impressive. Beautiful Iles Flottantes (p. 117), a Decadent Orange Cream (p. 106), giving tips on using egg whites to make our drinks “bartender frothy,” and a great original soup idea – a combination of two favourite soups in Egg Yolk Won Ton soup (p. 155) – all shine.

So even if cleaning chicken poop out of a backyard coop is not your thing, buy cage-free eggs and get cracking (sorry, had to do it again!).

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