Liz

The Easter Bunny Cameth

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Yes, the Easter Bunny appeared last Sunday and he should’ve brought a laundry hamper, not a basket. It’s all Liz’s fault.

(OhI should interrupt to say: I’m back. Or rather Funny Farm is back after an indeterminate hiatus. Does anyone care? Is anyone still reading this thing? Hello, hello…? HelLo! Oh hi, Mom.)

Ok, back to Easter prep. Last week I contacted my egg dealer and put out an A.P.B. for white, dyeable eggs since our typical delivery is populated by the brown-shelled variety.

As always, Liz confirmed that she got the goods. I scanned her text — half-reading something about a few regular ones and some goose eggs and “just boil those a few extra minutes.”

Got it. Large eggs in the shipment. I expected to open her fridge and fish out a bulging cardboard carton — one that almost, yet not quite, could be fastened shut.

Instead, I discovered a bunch of mammoth goose eggs that would never dream of nesting in a conventional carton.

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Here’s a chicken egg — XL at that — beside a goose 6-pack.

 

The goose eggs were enormous and their shells, rock hard. Once cleaned and shed from dirt, the shells revealed a marbled, mottled texture. They looked like dinosaur eggs.

Or what I imagined dino eggs to look like.

I hardboiled them in batches — several batches — and we set to dyeing them in addition to the “normal” eggs.

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Goose v. chicken

 

 

Hadley used the bigins to interview the Easter Bunny.

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Ignore the farm-grubby hand.

 

(Note: Sunday morning the Easter Bun responded to her query on another egg. I believe he wrote, I kome at the daytyme. He’s a lousy speller.)

So the kids retrieved the bunny’s scatterings, though they lumbered with their weighty baskets, buckling beneath the heft of 18 goose eggs. And due to this added strain, this year’s hunt required frequent chocolate breaks.

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Postscript: Once the big eggs were returned to their perishable perch, (and they consume a lot of real estate in the fridge) I was hobbled by goose-egg phobia. Dyeing those monsters was one thing. But eating them? The thought grossed me out. (Why do goose eggs harbor a yuck factor? Who knows.)

It took two days to muster the courage to taste test. I cracked the shell — all the while assuring myself that I could abort mission at the slightest sign of weirdness. Eventually I stared down a naked, albeit large, egg. Then I sliced it in half.

It looked like any hard-boiled egg… on steroids. It made a helluva lot of egg salad. Goose egg salad.

I offered a few of these eggs to a friend and she took two, with great reluctance.

Goose eggs? She said. They kind of gross me out.

 

Eggnorant

 

Every couple of days, a drug deal goes down.

That’s what it feels like. With eggs.

It starts with a text message to my neighbor, Liz.

Me: Hey egglady… got some?

Her reply: this afternoon, 2 cartons.

Then neighbor Liz heads over to another neighbor’s place (neighbors with chickens, also of yak cow fame). Liz fetches the goods and deposits them in her barn fridge. Then I drive over and pick them up. 

I know, it’s convoluted — and you’re probably wondering, “Why don’t you drive to the yak cow farm and get your own eggs?”

Because, that’s not how the system works, okay??

 

eggs

 

Anyway, last week I went to retrieve an 18-pack from the fridge and noticed two cartons stacked on the shelf. I figured they contained the typical variety: a multi-cultural melting pot — eggs from white to dark brown, big to little, some with paper-thin shells and others, hard as rocks.

I grabbed the top carton and opened it to check the goods. I froze.

The eggs were dirty, flecked with barn debris. Bits of hay, dirt, poop and tiny feathers clung to the shells.

Yikes, I thought.

To be honest — as farmy as I try to sound — most of our food comes from a grocery store. And I’m accustomed to processed, sanitized products. Quite stupidly, I assumed that eggs are porcelain-white from coop to frying pan…. ignoring the fact that chickens (basically) poop them out.

My pristine egg dream was shattered.

Grossed out, I closed the lid and fished the second carton from the fridge. That batch was clean. I tucked the second carton under my arm and returned the first to the fridge. Then I hesitated, with a pang of guilt…

…but I got over it.

I took the clean eggs and left the dirty ones for Liz.

Fast forward a week and there wasn’t an option. The fridge held stacks of farm-fresh eggs, and the farm still speckled their shells. (I gotta talk with my supplier, I thought).

At home I peered at the dirty pack. How do you wash these things? I wondered.

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I already felt like a dummy for thinking that eggs are perpetually clean. Might as well continue down the stupid road. I googled “how to clean farm eggs.” It felt like such a dim-witted query. Like looking up, “how to boil water.”

But when I read the results, I felt a little better.

Cleaning farm eggs is a topic of great debate, and chicken people love blogging about it. Instantly, I unearthed oodles of egg cleansing directions, followed by snarky criticism and debate. Wash eggs in hot water; only wash eggs in lukewarm water; be sure to boil them; boil them with bleach; what?? don’t boil them; never use bleach!

And then there was a chorus of egg experts who decried washing at all. (Why? Because eggs are porous and washing them weakens the “bloom,” the protective membrane, thereby letting bacteria intrude.) Never use hot water — it removes the bloom faster; don’t use cold water, it draws bacteria in faster; only use a sponge or sandpaper to rub off the poop; don’t do anything, just crack them open!

Ug, I thought. Life was easier when Liz did the dirty work.

In the end, I washed the eggs with warm water and a little dish soap (just before cooking, thereby thwarting bacterium intrusion). 

I asked Liz about her cleaning technique. She knows that washing is wrong, but she does it anyway, like me. In her mudroom, she bathes them in a plastic bowl filled with warm water and dish soap.

Whatever you do, she texted, don’t drop those slippery &#%! on the floor between the washer and dryer… 

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Ready to crack; anti-washers, look away…

 

 

 

Just dessert

 

Dessert for breakfast isn’t a novel concept. Pancakes and waffles cornered that market ages ago. Jam and honey follow in lockstep.

Recently my neighbor Liz (also photographer and goat whisperer) dropped off a condiment that earns the top seed among morning toast spreads.

Apple pie in a jar.

 

Actually, Liz calls it jam” which sounds more breakfast-appropriate. But it is, simply, apple pie minus the crust.

This morning I popped open the lid and slathered the sugary apple slop on a toasted English muffin (already girded with several pats of butter).

Contents include craisins and Cameo apples.

 

It was cloyingly sweet, apple-filling bliss.

The cornerstone of any healthy breakfast.

(Note: Thick apple layer applied purely for photographic purposes. Oh, the sacrifices…)