Friday, November 20, 2009

The Missing Ingredient

Why must molting chickens take an egg-laying vacation? For over a year now, we have thoroughly enjoyed getting our eggs from our own backyard. I can't tell you the pleasure we take in starting a recipe with a walk to the chicken coop to collect a few eggs—the freshness, taste, and color can't be beat. But we have seen a steady decrease in eggs over the past few weeks and between the four hens we are down to one a day, at best. This is not nearly enough for a family that makes their own bread. We have adjusted by skipping the baked treats, the breakfast sandwiches, and the quiches. Just the thought of purchasing eggs pained me. I relish in the running joke the girls and I have at the grocery store, "Oh we forgot the eggs!" (I pretend to turn the shopping cart around to head for the dairy aisle). The girls giggle and shout "No Meems, we don't buy eggs anymore!"

Well as you may have suspected, I finally broke down and bought some. Not happy about this. And happy about this, at the same time.

A half-dozen eggs, paired with the 2 we had in our fridge soon yielded those mouth-watering cookies for an after-school snack, a quiche for dinner, and some Pilgrim Pumpkin Cake for dessert.

A big thank you to all the chickens out there who are not molting!

Our daughter brought this recipe home from school a few years back and it has become one of our favorites.
Pilgrim Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Frosting
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Frosting ingredients:
1/3 cup butter
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 9" square pan. Beat together eggs, sugars, oil, and pumpkin. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients together. Add this to the egg mixture and combine well. Pour batter into pan and bake for 35 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool and spread frosting.
Brown Butter Frosting:
Melt butter over low heat until brown. In a large bowl, beat together powdered sugar and vanilla, add the butter and stir well. Gradually add hot water, beating until frosting is smooth enough to spread.


  1. Looks delicious, some day I hope to have chickens of our own.

  2. My chickens are the same and my boys won't eat any other eggs as they're not orange enough! Such a pain :( The cake looks so moist and delicious - can I be really ignorant and English about this and ask is pumpkin puree something I can make (I have just harvested a big one from the garden) or does it come in a can? Definately want to try this one if I can - Thanks!

  3. yes! you can make the puree yourself! Of course, you can buy it canned as well. but seeing as you have a pumpkin on hand...
    cut it up into chunks (remove seeds and gunk in the middle) and boil or steam the pumpkin until it is tender. Then just puree it in a blender/food processor.
    that cake it soooo good, but it all about the frosting, really.