Properly cooked, eggs are a very wholesome and nutritious diet. Always be certain, however, that they are fresh, before attempting to make a dish of them. Some persons use Krepp’s family egg-tester, to ascertain if an egg is sound. Full directions, as to the mode of using it, accompany the egg tester; so it is unnecessary to give them here. A simple mode of testing the soundness of an egg, is to put it in water; and if fresh it will sink to the bottom.
Housekeeping In Old Virginia was published in 1877, and I am so lucky as to have an original copy! If any of you are curious as to the other recipes, I have found it online here: https://archive.org/details/housekeepinginol01tyre
Quick disclaimer here – it was printed over a hundred years ago. As with most American texts from the era, it gives off an old southern vibe, and not all in a good way.
Another disclaimer – at that point in time, chickens were still small, and in the process of being selectively bred to produce bigger eggs, so they used more eggs than we do now. That’s why some recipes call for as many as 6 to make a simple omelet.
Onto the recipe!
- Ham- sliced thick, raw. As many slices of ham as eggs you cook.
- Eggs. It doesn’t say exactly how many, but I would guess three or four.
- An 8 or 9 inch cast iron skillet would cook this perfectly.
Slice the ham rather thick. Fry in a hot pan. Before it becomes hard, take from the pan and lay in a dish over a vessel of hot water.
Let the pan remain on the fire [or in this case, the stove], so as to keep the ham gravy [aka the ham fat] hot, [so] that it may cook the eggs nicely when dropped into it. Break the eggs carefully, drop them in whole, and do not let them touch each other. Cook [to] a light brown, not allowing the yolks to get hard. Lay an egg on each slice of meat.
– Mrs. S. Tyree
Not bad, huh? Sounds pretty good to me.
If you try it, let me know in the comments how it went!
Have a good one. 🙂
Serves 4, Prep time:15 minutes, Cooking time: 16 – 20 minutes.
Ready in about half an hour.
- 1 lb potatoes, shredded (tip – potatoes are easier to shred if you parboil them first! Put ’em on the stove in a pot of boiling water for 4 to 6 minutes.)
- 1 onion, chopped (I find that the best kind of onion is yellow, wide, short, and sweet.)
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (or if you don’t wanna bother with that, some Italian seasoning or fresh chives will also work.)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Place the shredded potatoes in a strainer and rinse well under cold water to remove excess starch. This will make it fry well. Drain.
- Place the potatoes in a bowl with the onion, parsley, eggs, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly and divide into rounds.
- Heat the oil in an 8 or 9 inch heavy-based skillet. Cast iron works great. Add the potato cakes to pan in batches, and pat lightly with spatula. Fry them on medium low for 8 to 10 minutes until the undersides are crisp and brown, then fry the other side for 10 minutes until also crispy brown.
- Season with salt + pepper and serve immediately!