Hen fruit makes delicious Linguine Carbonara


Linda Conway Eriksson - Contributing Columnist



Last week, my daughter, Heather, sent the current copy of her wonderful, all-inclusive family calendar. It chronicles activities for her entire family of five for several months at a time.

Included are work times for four adult jobs, two school schedules, two different music lessons and various 4-H activities, both current and upcoming.

Heather’s family, like a lot of other people with busy schedules, operates best when everybody’s “on the same page” — literally.

In the midst of everything else that needs to be done, it’s the time of year when kids who show birds (think “chickens”) at the county fair in July are sending for — or going to pick up — their peeps.

When the young chickens get to their homes, they are newly hatched — meaning about a day old, sometimes less. Heather tells me they snuggle up wing to wing under their heat lamp to stay warm. Periodically one will break from the cluster and run over to get some chicken feed and water. Then he (or she) will run back to the flock. Last week, she watched one feed and drink, then run back to the others, jump on a brick, and take a flying leap square into the middle of the rest of them. The little bird then wiggled its way in, and another one ran from the outside of the cluster to repeat the process.

This year, Jacqueline has several different breeds. The Welsummers are handsome adults. They are large, colorful and known for even temperament. Their eggs are large, dark brown and usually speckled.

Marons are a breed she has had before, and knows that she likes. They are speckled black and white birds that are “brown eggers.” They lay dark brown eggs.

And then, there are the Easter Eggers, new to Jacqui’s flock this year. As adults, they have a wide variety of colors of feathers. They lay eggs that range from turquoise to light blue and different shades of green.

Needless to say, a carton or two of eggs from Jacqui always yields something to talk about. I love it when her chickens start to lay. The eggs are always beautiful and taste like an egg should. Until they’re available, store-bought will have to do.

This recipe makes the most of “hen fruit,” as my grandmother liked to call her eggs. I’m glad eggs are available and priced reasonably all the time.

LINGUINE

CARBONARA

8 ounces uncooked linguine

3 bacon slices, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/4 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3 large eggs

2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water; drain pasta.

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat 5 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and drain. Reserve drippings in pan. Remove pan from heat.

Combine milk, pepper, salt, eggs and cheese in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Slowly drizzle in reserved 1/4 cup pasta water, stirring constantly.

Slowly add pasta to egg mixture, stirring constantly. Add egg mixture to bacon drippings.

Place pan on low heat. Cook 2 minutes or until liquid begins to thicken, stirring constantly. Sprinkle with bacon and parsley. Serve immediately.

Serves four.

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Linda Conway Eriksson

Contributing Columnist

Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached by e-mail at ieatatmoms@gmail.com.

Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached by e-mail at ieatatmoms@gmail.com.

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