On the incredible egg

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Eggs from Maggie (Black Australorps, pictured) and a little one from our pullet Chicken Patty (slow-growing CornishX).  First eggs tend to be smaller, but Maggie always lays our biggest ones so perhaps the comparison is unfair.  It’s easy to tell who lays what egg if you only have 7 layers.

Eggs.  One small package, one thing so ubiquitous, humble and yet so miraculous.  They’re cheapened, of course, by the crass way we treat battery hens; I would lay insipid eggs too if I had to live their lives of horror.  But a farm-fresh egg from a well-treated hen, laying even in the depths of a greenless winter…now that is a little bit of wonder.

My family is quite happy eggs are back on the menu now that the girls are laying again.  I had hoarded them during the girls’ peak moult from Thanksgiving-Christmas.  But now it’s breakfast for dinner again!  There is nothing quicker or more delicious than a simple fried egg steaming and hot on a plate, or even a more gymnastic poached egg sitting atop a salad.  Add toast, or maybe some potatoes.  Cheap wealth in eating.

I think back to the day when Bonnie laid our first egg.  So perfect, so precious!  Not our effort, but still we gloated.  And we fought over it too if I remember correctly.  One egg, split three ways.

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16 responses to “On the incredible egg

  1. Thinking about the treatment of hens laying for the masses makes me shiver. Although I don’t eat eggs, often they can’t be beat for a nutritional and convenience powerhouse. Glad yours are back at it again 🙂
    Oh, not sure if you saw my comment on the last post, but just in case you didn’t, I left something for you on my blog, stop over to pick it up…

  2. So very well said. Thank you.

  3. *sigh* I wish I could convince my husband to let me get chickens. He wants ducks instead, and nothing I say about how ducks are just as messy will dissuade him.

    What a lovely picture.

  4. Oh, we LOVE breakfast for dinner. I quite agree, there’s nothing like it. Our Black Australorps used to lay some of the largest in the henhouse as well.

    And Dakota- fresh duck eggs are jsut as wonderful! 🙂

  5. We (my husband and I) often just have an egg and a piece of toast for supper in the winter. Yummm. I can’t stand those poor pale grocery store eggs…and I feel so sorry for those chickens.

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/

  6. How eggciting for you. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.
    How is your ailing chicken doing?

  7. It’s the little things in life that bring the greatest pleasure, don’t you agree? 🙂

  8. MC, yeah, they are little protein powerhouses, and very high in omega 3s if they’re fed well, or rather normally, with bugs and grass and the like. I was never a huge fan of eggs until I had my own hens.

    You’re quite welcome, Deborah.

    Dakota, one, how exciting you got a new place, but two, ducks do have their upsides. They lay all year, they lay all at once (no hunt-eggs-three-times-a-day like here in our coop: ducks are usually done by 8 a.m.) and they’re not as prone to as many diseases. Downside: slimy poop, and an unstoppable desire to mix mud in any container. I’m still going back and forth about getting more. I might just stop at the geese as they’re lots less messy.

    Angie! Yay, you’re back online. Yes, believe me, breakfast for dinner is the working girl’s friend. LOVE the stuff. Do you remember if your BA eggs had thinnish shells? Maggie’s are gigantic but thin though she’s got access to the oyster shells just like everyone else so I guess it’s just the way she makes ’em.

    Linda, yep! I swear I look forward to that kind of dinner just as easily as I do my more elaborate meals.

    Laurene, isn’t it fun? And these little things are so versatile. I made a cake last night for some small person’s birthday and whisking the whites into peaks: now there’s some kitchen magic. Fluffy cake! Yummy eggs.

  9. Oh, beautiful eggs. I could go on and on about them now that I have chickens of my own. (And you were part of the inspiration!)

    Amazing, but my hens have not missed a single day since I got them. One egg from each hen. Every day.

    Robin Wedewer, Examiner
    also at bumblebeeblog.com

  10. We got a dozen eggs this morning. A month ago it took us 10 days to get two dozen eggs for the incubator. Now we can get that in two days. All hail the light.

    -mmp

  11. You could try one of my favorites: sausage hash. Saute onion, green pepper and smoked sausage (I like turkey smoked sausage, like the kind Hillshire sells) in a combo of butter and oil until they just start to carmelize. Dice potatoes (I’m addicted to Yukon Golds) on the small side and toss in the pan with the onion, pepper and sausage. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Cook until the potatoes are are tender on the inside and slightly ( or more than slightly, if you are like me!) brown on the outside. Plate and top with a fried egg. YUMMMM!

  12. Eggs are indeed a wonder food. Sadly, my husband is dead set against chickens. I refuse to give up though. At least I can get ethical eggs from our local farmers market and they are delicious, rich little wonders

  13. Pamela ohmygosh I think I had a very Freudian moment in not answering your inquiry about my poor chicken. I think I need to put her down and it’s really weighing on me.

    Robin I cracked up when I saw your post about how your chickens come knocking because mine do the same thing! Especially if it’s the warmer months and I have my office set up on the back porch, I will hear this taptaptap and yes there’s a set of chicken eyes and a floppy comb trying to get my attention. I am so glad you’ve been inspired! They’re what I call “pets with benefits,” because, well, Fido don’t lay no eggs.

    MMP gosh no kidding. It’s staying light until 6 now and it makes me so happy. (I do admit I like it dark in the a.m. though…)

    Hiya Sharon! Well, it never used to be the case, when I was a citified food snob, but now, well, anything with “hash” in its name sounds immensely yummy to me! Thank you for the insights. That might make it to dinner one day soon.

    What’s up with chickens, Dani? Do you think it’s their noise? Console him that they only make their war whoops when it’s egg-laying time. Frankly I keep them for their contributions to the compost pile but really I just find them quite fun. Plus, you guys have a better name for them in “chookies.”

  14. *laugh* It’s not that I’m against ducks as I am just a little leery of them. For some reason chickens feel safer. And to get ducks I’ll need to start arguing with the city council.

    One of my concerns is whether ducks can really be considered quieter than chickens? I’ve read that it depends a little on the breed. I’d probably be getting muscovies, or at least another breed that doesn’t require a huge pond. I’d like to have a little evidence in hand that ducks aren’t going to cause any more problems than chickens when I pitch the idea to the council.

  15. I completely agree. The egg is such a gift from our God. They come individually pre-packaged in single serving sizes. Just like Manna from Heaven, they come everyday, a wonderful combination of fat and protein.

    Beautiful!

  16. Dakota, from what I know about Muscovys, they’re really quiet, so they might be okay as far as passing the city council. Are you guys just looking into eggs? My research and personal experience are rather limited with this poultry; we only had the 3 and they had a very short life (they were meat birds). They were Pekins and they were loud and huge. But tasty. But I hear you about the chickens: they can be quite friendly and personable. I have met a couple of ducks that have these traits but they do tend to be a bit more skittish.

    Debra, aren’t they great? Tonight is one of those “breakfast for dinner” nights and I really look forward to it all day. Hmm: a frittata? A quiche? A souffle? All good and yummy. Thank you girls!!

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