In Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands, they have a quaint custom. If a young man experiences a quickening of his heart-beats whenever he meets a certain damsel, his mother makes haste to invite the potential daughter-in-law to come and stay with the family for one week as a guest. During this visit the young woman prepares meals twice a day and each time she must cook eggs. Butâ€”and that is the supreme test in which she dare not failâ€”each egg-dish must be entirely different and distinctive. Repetition is not permitted if the future bride is to be regarded as a desirable wife for the son of the house.
The mothers in Guernsey and also in Sark think a lot of this egg-test. They feel that if a woman can take so unexciting a thing as an egg and create out of it fourteen delightful, appetizing and different meals she will be able to make the quiet and often humdrum life of the islands likewise a thing of pleasant change, of joy and happiness. Whether or not you subscribe to this philosophy of life, I trust you will enjoy the following egg recipes which will vary and enrich your supper and luncheon menus. The first recipe is called Oeufs Marguerite. To make it you need the pretty French ramekins which can be used for so many tempting dishes. Melt some butter in the ramekin, line it with toasted breadcrumbs, break in this layer an egg and season it carefully. Cover the egg with another layer of toasted breaderumbs, and a few dabs of butter and bake in a moderately hot oven till the breadcrumbs are brown and the white of the egg quite solid. This dish is delicious to the taste and very sustaining, and can serve as a main luncheon course.
For a Sunday evening supper, cold eggs a la Henri are universally liked and easy to prepare. Cook the eggs for twelve minutes in salt water and let cool. When cold, peel, cut in halves, remove the yolks and chop them with butter, a dash of cayenne pepper or a bit of anchovy paste. Fill the egg halves with the chopped yolks, garnish with a slice of olive or a caper and serve on fresh lettuce leaves.