Thursday, May 22, 2008

Saturday is the Day

Come one Come all To the Greatest Show on Earth Well, at least in Chevelry!!!

Saturday, May 24, 2008 is Opening Day for the Cheverly Community Market and yours truly will be there with bells on ready to talk food, share recipes and to be a general resource for our own Cheverlonians on the hunt for whole, local foods.

I will be at most of the Markets throughout the 2008 season. You can expect that each time I will be at the Market, I will have a recipes with a featured ingredient.

This weekend...EGGS!


The Incredible Edible Farm Fresh Egg!

I grew up in the city. And at the age of ten, my parents pulled up roots and moved us to the country. I hated every minute of it! I'm a city boy. I wanted the mall. The chlorinated swimming pool. Fast Food. I didn't want woods, open fields, cold spring water and animal poop.

After we spent a year changing our ways; our way of living, our way of shopping, our way of eating, we started to get a hang of things and I admit, I started to like parts of the new ways!

I liked being able to stuff my face with as much fresh corn on the cob as I wanted; we had two large gardens of just corn! I liked having my very own melon garden; which was WAY TOO small for the several vines I grew. And I liked the animals (but still didn't like cleaning their poop). We raised rabbits, ducks, geese, two pigs and dozens of chickens. My beloved Buff Orpingtons! And Hazel, our little bantam Rhode Island Red we kept in the house after Henry, her mate, was taken out while playing with our dog one day. Really! They played together, but the dog got a little carried away!!!

There is something amazing about having the mailman (mail delivery person) drive up to your house with a box full of holes and lots and lots of peeping sounds. Yes my friends, you can mail order your own little chicks. Its wonderful.

Well, when you get your chicks, we got them into their round* pen with heat lamps. Dip their beaks in the water bowl and set them next to their feed bowls. In short order they were eating, drinking, pooping and growing, FAST.

*Do you know why it needs to be a round pen for the chicks? So they don't get stuck in a corner! They will pile ontop of each other until the bottom chicks are crushed and die!

I don't remember when we got our first eggs, but it was exhilarating. My mom and I were running around with it in the yard celebrating, as if we had THE POWERBALL lottery ticket. We raised our chicks and they gave us an EGG! I seem to remember we sat around looking at it for the rest of the day. OUR EGG! And it was only one that first day. And the next. But soon we had over two dozen a day. Helluva lot more eggs than we needed for our family of three.

It didn't take long for my mom to start trading a few dozen eggs for some bakery fresh bread from down the road. Mom was all about bartering. Once, she was giving her chiropractor sweet corn & tomatoes for a re-alignment!

But back to our eggs. When I was younger, I don't remember cooking with store bought eggs. I know I had them, but I never used them. These eggs, OUR EGGS, were the first that I cooked with. I guess I didn't notice a difference. The yolks were the richest, golden yellow, nearly day-glow orange. The whites were firm and clear as air. And there were the double yolked eggs! NICE! Twice the fun.

Well, after several years of egg fun, we all moved. I moved off to college. My parents sold everything off and moved to Florida. And I moved away from homecooked food. Flash forward a good number of years and I'm living in DC on my own and getting back to cooking.

Eggs...not MY eggs...even Whole Foods eggs...were lacking. The yolks were pale yellow. The whites were slightly clouded and very runny. Sad. A very sad state indeed. Eventually cage free, organic eggs started making their way into the grocery stores and into my fridge.

Mom came to visit and I opened up a carton of eggs and they were brown. She was all sorts of excited and thought I knew someone raising chickens. Nope. Just from the store, but brown and nicer than conventional white eggs.

Flash forward a little more and it's February and I move to Cheverly. Soon I'm getting involved in the community and put in my first order for Farm Fresh Eggs. As soon as the eggs arrived I had eat one right away. Heaven. It was all I remembered a fresh egg to be. Rich, delicious and oh so satisfying. The yolk was the color of a glorious sunday morning.

So my dear friends, please do yourself a favor and come to the Cheverly Community Market this Saturday and buy yourself a dozen farm fresh, locally raised, super delicious eggs! Fry them. Make omelettes. Bake! Or just admire the simplistic perfection that is a fresh egg.

Featured Recipe for Saturday, May 24, 2008
Brioche and Asparagus Strata

I'll be making this over the holiday weekend. Stay tuned for step by step photos and a short commentary on the final recipe. I hope you will give it a shot and come back and leave your feedback.

Additional Egg Recipes:
Pasta Frittata
Hollandaise Sauce


Lauren said...

I <3 farm fresh eggs. My grandparents lived on a farm, and I (ew) used to walk through the coops barefooted as a toddler. Now THAT's country! :) Farm eggs are great...have you ever gotten one that actually had an embryo in it? creeeeeeepppyyyy!

Cyber Glo said...

When I was a little girl, I had a pet chicken named Really Rosie, the Rhode Island Red. No, I did not grow up on a farm, this was actually in California, and I am sure my mom was breaking all kinds of local laws by having farm animals in the backyard, but anyway...Rosie was the most beautiful chicken and very tame. She had a coop outside, but she thought she was a house chicken. She laid one perfect, lovely brown egg every morning, and every morning I had a fresh tasty fried egg for breakfast. I was greedy and never shared, because she was MY chicken. And yes, I did have to clean her poop! :)