Dinky Eggs

2017-07-21 10.41.15.jpgRecently I was gifted half a dozen quails’ eggs, by my friend Anne who is on bartering terms with the quailkeeper. They’re such pretty wee things and remind me of The Borrowers. About 25 years ago, my friend Marian and I took our collective Wunderkinder to the Cottiers Theatre in Glasgow to see a staged production of this lovely 1952 children’s story by Mary Norton. It features a family of tiny people who live in the rafters and crannies of an ordinary house, and ‘borrow’ things for their daily use. Anyway, as you can see from my photos2017-07-21 11.33.40.jpg (that’s a cherry tomato in the second one, to give a sense of perspective), quails eggs are dinky but just one would probably feed a whole Borrowers family handsomely. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit I ate all six myself at one go, the Troubadour having declined. They taste just like hen eggs.

I had a look online to see how quails are produced. It seems they are quite nervous, flighty birds and according to the Farmers Weekly, there is only one intensive quail farm in the UK.  Those quails selected for egg-laying are kept on a ‘free to fly’ basis which I guess means free range. Lots of quails and their eggs are imported so I don’t know what the animal welfare concerns might be there. As usual, I would look for UK or even Scottish birds and eggs, if I were in a shop.

However I haTheBorrowers.jpgve the joy of knowing that mine were produced by a cheerful wee flock pecking around among the backwoods of Newburgh. Thank you ladies, I enjoyed your eggs very much, and also the Borrowers memory they invoked. And thank you Anne, happy bartering!



2 thoughts on “Dinky Eggs

  1. I love quail eggs and also have fond memories of The Borrowers. When I lived in France, I entertained a lot and often liked to mix up French and Scottish ways of cooking. One absolute favourite with my French friends was when I made Scotch eggs using quail eggs. Delicious! I bought the eggs from my friend Marianne who raised quails, she sold the eggs and also the birds prepared for eating on the local markets. I still make quail egg scotch eggs for my Scottish friends and buy the eggs fom Corrie Mains near Mauchline. The eggs are a bit of a fouter to peel after boiling but well worth the effort. I saw quail egg scotch eggs being made on one of those fancy tv cookery programmes a while ago and it was hailed as a wonderful innovation. Sorry pals, I was making them in my wee garret in Normandy forty years ago!

  2. Brilliant. Such a gourmet! And yes, the Borrowers was a great day out. Can you remember what French people did with the eggs? I seem to remember elaborate wee quail-egg garnishes on charcuterie products, but what did ordinary people on the market buy them for? And also – is there a way of doing Scotch eggs without deep-frying?

Comments are closed.