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May 6, 2014

VILLAGE IDIOT: So, did the egg really come first?

Once or twice a week, friends and neighbors will show up at our back door with a carton of “extra” eggs. These eggs do not come from free-range chickens. They come from the out-in-the-front-yard, car-dodging, yard-pecking, chase-you-around-the-lawn chickens that everybody with a driveway-sized plot of land seems to be raising at the moment.

Living in small towns and on five-acre ranches has never seemed so Green Acre-ish. And why not? It’s almost cheaper to buy a dozen chicks than a dozen eggs.

And with the chickens come the eggs. Sue and I have gone through about every egg recipe we have ever heard of, and many we haven’t, and we still have eggs left over. It could only be better if our friends would pay us to take their eggs.

“What, shirred eggs again?” I heard myself ask the other morning. I had never heard of them until Sue bought a book called “The Best of English Cooking.” (The good news is that it’s only five pages long. One of the recipes was for spaghetti curry.) We’ve made every kind of quiche, frittata and custard possible, and we still have eggs. Empty egg cartons are stacking up in our mudroom, next to our winter coats and dirty boots.

This was never a problem when we lived in the city. No one ever dropped by 14th Street to give us their extra eggs, piling up our mudroom with cartons. Of course, we didn’t have a mudroom. When I told one city friend that our mudroom was getting full he said, “You have an entire room for mud? Must be nice.” I forgot he lives in a fourth-floor walk-up studio apartment smaller than our living room that has a view of a brick wall. But it’s only $3,000 a month plus utilities. Eggs are extra.

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