Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Green Eggs (But No Ham)

"Did you see the green eggs I got?" asked Lance excitedly as he walked in the door.

"Yeah, that's pretty cool!" I smiled. Lance had gone to a supplemental winter market as a couple of farmers had come into Fayetteville to sell their goods, since the ice had thawed and most people now had power. We've been buying our eggs from one of the farmers (David), and they are delicious*. When I was standing in line one week, I heard him tell the customer before me that the dozen she was getting had been taken from his chickens that very morning. It doesn't get much fresher than that, folks.

Lance then proceeded to tell me that he talked to David about the chickens, "But I don't remember the name of the ones that lay the green eggs," he said

After thinking for a moment, I replied, "Araucanas**". Lance looked at me in wonder. "I know a lot about chickens!"

And I do know a lot about chickens. As a kid, we had many chickens***: Buff Orfingtons (my personal favorite--great layers and so pretty!), Barred Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, etc. Some of our chickens were mutt chickens, crosses of several different kinds. We would make the flock come flying with "Here, chick, chick, chick!" which was their call for corn. We raised baby chicks, and occasionally had a broody hen who hatched some of her own. Having chickens is a great way for a kid to learn about nature--I once got to watch a chicken lay an egg! How many people can say that?

Our chicken-rasing ended tragically when I was in high school; a raccoon got into the coop and bit the heads off our flock. We were devastated. Since my parents often have no follow-through, and vowed to not get any more chickens until the coop was sufficiently secured, we never had chickens again. I still miss all those lovely eggs.

I've always liked raising chickens, and I look forward to being a crazy professor with a chicken coop and piles of fresh eggs that I might give/sell to my favorite students and colleagues. Nothing beats good, fresh, farm-raised eggs, and I would encourage you to find a local farmer (or lady with lots of chickens) to buy fresh eggs from. The orange in their yolks and wonderful flavor they add to your cooking will be unparalleled. And if you happen to get green eggs, your delight will be endless.

*I've recently discovered the tastiness of a perfectly boiled egg. It really does make a difference how long you cook them!

**Though, looking at Wikipedia, I've discovered what I thought were Araucanas are actually Ameraucanas, so named because of several similarities, chief of which is blue/green eggs.

***Also geese, ducks, and turkeys. Other non-fowl included a horse, some goats, and for a brief stint, some pigs. The pigs ended up in our freezer.


Holly said...

My parents have pigs right now. The meat is awesome, but sadly, it costs more to keep them than it does to go to the store and buy pork, so I don't think they'll get any more.

the secret knitter said...

We'd get a "box" of chicks in at the grain elevator for whoever had ordered them. As kids we'd play with them--holding them in the palm of our hands, letting them peck at our fingers through the holes in the box--before they went on their way.

Are you saying the eggshells are green?

Jenn said...

Yes, the shells are green (or blue, depending on who you talk to...)

Chase said...

Wow. What a mean raccoon.

*sighs longingly* I still remember the eggs I had at your house after Kerry's shower. No eggs have ever compared.