One of the surest signs of spring is being evidenced in increasing activity at the ball fields on the city’s South Side. First there were signs providing registration information, and now there are cars in the parking lots and smallish groups of youngsters practicing.
My other sure sign of spring is the sprouting of my daffodils, but they have not yet poked through. The rhubarb also has yet to make an appearance.
One sign of spring about which I am not too fond is the skeletons of last summer’s weeds, which I managed to ignore then but now feel the need to dispatch before new growth begins — or at least before they again get out of control. A bit of weed killer is definitely in order, too.
Because Easter is definitely evocative of springtime, and it is right around the corner, a recent communication from M.A. Berg of Sparta is very timely. She suggested providing ideas for using up leftover ham and hard-boiled eggs, so I thought I would address that issue today.
Ham lends itself to any number of soups, casseroles and sandwiches — boiled dinner, split pea soup, ground ham salad, hot ham sandwiches, omelets, scalloped potatoes and even the occasional cordon bleu — so it would seem we don’t need too many ideas for using up the ham.
However, if you go wild, hard-boiling dozens of eggs, you might have to strain your brain for unusual ways to use them. Lucky for you, I stumbled across eatingoutloud.com, which gave me 10 uses for hard-boiled eggs from which to choose. Some of the recipes were attributed to other websites.
So today we are looking at unusual uses for hard-boiled eggs. First was a hardboiled egg oatmeal cookie. It’s also very timely, in light of our recent oatmeal cookie request. This recipe makes two “giant” cookies.
The flour is listed by weight and volume. I have noticed that more cooking shows are moving toward weighing dry ingredients rather than measuring them the old-fashioned way (they usually provide the measures as well for those a bit resistant to change) as weighing them is believed to be more accurate. I believe weighing ingredients is the norm in European countries.
If giant oatmeal cookies are not unusual enough for you, try the hard-boiled eggs Florentine, with eggs, spinach, and a cream sauce topped with a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Still not unusual enough for you? Try papadzules, which about.com says are “authentic Mayan stuffed tortillas” with a hard-boiled egg filling. Pumpkin seeds are used to make the sauce in this recipe, but other types of squash seeds also can be used.
This recipe calls for an ingredient of which I had never heard: epazote. I wondered if my trusty “Food Lover’s Companion” would be able to help me out, and sure enough, epazote was listed and described as a “pungent wild herb ... an acquired taste, like coriander ... with flat pointed leaves.” It is rarely found fresh, but is available in dried form in many Latin markets.
The FLC states that “epazote is popular in many bean dishes because it is a carminative, which means it reduces gas.” Armed with that information, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a run on epazote in Latin markets (at least by my family), to test that claim.
So there you have it — three unusual and widely diverse suggestions to answer the age-old question: What are we going to do with all of these hard-boiled eggs?!” If these suggestions seem too unique, you can always stick with deviled eggs, egg salad and Scotch eggs.
We’ll get back to our current requests next week.