The Chicken or The Egg?
Read more Oily Rag articles by Frank and Muriel Newman
Did you know, according to the Egg Producers Federation, every one of us consumes about 230 eggs a year. That’s about as many as the typical back-yard chicken produces in a year (they have statutory days and holidays off as well!).
It should be no surprise that eggs come in for close inspection by those of frugal dispositions. So how much do eggs cost? To find the answer we went egg shopping to a local supermarket. We looked only at the #7 sized eggs. Here’s the per egg cost, from cheapest (!) to dearest, when buying the different types and carton sizes:
| 1 dozen|| 36 cents (and 32 cents on special)|
| 1½ dozen pack|| 37 cents|
| ½ dozen|| 39 cents each|
| 1 dozen (free range)|| 60 cents|
| ½ dozen (free range)|| 61 cents|
| 10 pack (organic)|| 85 cents|
In this case, cheaper by the dozen does hold true, especially when on special. The cost of free range eggs is another perch up, and the top price perch was for organic eggs at a whopping 85 cents each. We have not looked at the per egg cost of buying a tray (2½ dozen) but some oily raggers tell us a tray costs about the same as 2 one dozen cartons - in other words a 20% saving. Then of course there is always gate-sales, direct from poultry farmers, or having your own egg production unit!
- An oily ragger in Whangarei told us how he got hold of a free chicken coup (only minor repairs required). He stocked it with three young Brown Shavers which are fed scraps from the kitchen and mash (feeding is the job of their three year old daughter!). The cage is movable around their garden so they also provide a constant source of manure which is dug in to form fertile ground for next year’s harvest.
- K.J. from Wellington has sent in this “no fail” custard recipe. “Put a litre of milk into a pan on the stove. Heat it until almost at boiling point. Meanwhile, in a big mixing bowl, beat one egg, add 2 tablespoons of sugar (more or less to taste) and a tablespoon of cornflower. Mix together with a little cold milk until smooth and very thin and runny. Pour in about a third of the hot milk, mix it all together and quickly pour it all back into the pan. Stir continually until the custard is warm and thick. Vary the amount of corn flour for thickness.”
- K.W. from Waitakere City has this quick chicken recipe to share. You will need: 1 chicken or chicken pieces, 1 cup of strained tea from a teapot, 1 - 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and 1 -2 tablespoons honey. “Cut the deceased chicken into portions, and place in a casserole dish. Mix the tea, honey and soy sauce, then pour over the chicken. Bake at 180 degrees C until cooked. Add potatoes wrapped in foil to the oven at the same time. Carrot and other vegetables can be included in the casserole too to save electricity. This is a family sized meal, but I live alone and buy only one or two portions of chicken at a time and scale it down. I bought smaller sized casserole dishes from the Salvation Army shops, and whenever I use my oven I make sure that I cook two different casseroled meals at once to save electricity. On the second night it means just a quick zap in the microwave to heat my dinner.”
- ME from Auckland buys fresh or frozen whole chickens on special and cuts them up (known as jointing, but its really dis-jointing!). “It is so easy, and you get 2 full chicken breasts, 2 thighs, 2 wings, 2 drumsticks and a carcass for chicken stew and dumplings. Cooking for one, a chicken can last me up to two weeks. I also get 3 servings out of each breast by cubing and using in gravy and steamed rice dishes like butter chicken, Thai curries or teriyaki chicken.”
Frank and Muriel Newman are the authors of Living off the Smell of an Oily Rag in NZ .If you have a favourite egg recipe send it in to us so that we can share it with others. You can contact us via the oily rag website (www.oilyrag.co.nz
) or write to Living off the Smell of an Oily Rag, PO Box 984, Whangarei.
* Frank and Muriel Newman are the authors of Living Off the Smell of an Oily Rag in NZ. Readers can submit their oily rag tips on-line at www.oilyrag.co.nz. The book is available from bookstores and online at www.oilyrag.co.nz.