Simply Eggs

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Eggs

I was reminded today, by something I read, of my own father enticing me to eat eggs when I was three years old. I was very fussy about eating.  Eggs had to be just right, no runny whites, and soft yolks. My Dad would place the soft boiled egg into my special egg cup and nick off the top with a spoon. If the egg was just right, finding the golden yolk was a grand prize.

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When Easter came close that year, my dad and I walked down to the end of the street, to the poultry supply store. It must have been the last one left in our growing city. Chicks hatched in the window, under a warm light. Eggshells had broken open in jagged smelly pieces.

I made my great discovery at that moment of seeing new life. By eating eggs I had stopped the potential lives of new chickens. I was horrified. The next time an egg was put in front of me, I wailed and refused it. I remembered those baby chicks hatching out. It took a very long time for me to eat an egg after that.

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Double yolker from Diemand’s Egg Farm in Wendell MA

 

Coming full circle to when I became the mother of a young child, and we moved to the country. I thought what could be healthier than our own chickens, ducks, and eggs? So began the flocks, one of layers, followed by meat birds, and finally duck. And. so began rituals of gathering morning eggs and feeding at 6AM while the world was still dark. We next procured ducks. They were delightful to watch. The ducks would rise with the sun, hop into the stream, paddle downstream for the day, and return home for supper. 

The difficulty came with the meat birds. They are not as smart as those layers. But the morning we planned to grab them, one by one, as they strode out of the chicken coop into the morning air, We planned to put them into cages, drive them to Adams Farm to be returned to us in packages. That morning, they didn’t come out. The sun brightened, we cajoled them with food, but somehow, they knew their number was up. We had to peel them from their purchase, one by one. My heart was heavy, I felt terrible. My daughter shed tears. They weren’t even nice chickens, this lot. Off I  drove with them. When they returned, they were wrapped in plastic bags, freezer ready. t took several months before we were ready to eat them. Not long after, my daughter Jenny decided to become a vegetarian. She remained so for 20 years.

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I reflect on this during this new time of COVID, when my daughter has her own daughters, far from me, up near Augusta Maine.  In these days of cocooning I am happy to have a couple of small farm stores close by. You open the door, face mask, and gloves on, and there isn’t anyone there. You pick up your eggs, chicken, some greens and yogurt, pay by leaving your money or check in the box, and you’re done. Full circle in my life, back to a deep appreciation of the chicken and the egg.

Is there some simple thing you’ve found yourself appreciating, much to your own surprise, as our lives have distilled?  I’d love to hear what that may be.

Best,

Elaine

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About elainereardon

Poet, writer, gardener, herbalist, pottery, painting—bumping into magic, peeking around new corners.
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14 Responses to Simply Eggs

  1. Luci H Buckner says:

    What a delightful story & photos of eggs!!!! Eggs have always fascinated me. When I was small we lived on a farm & would go into the chicken coop & gather eggs. I like mine hard boiled. I start each morning now making eggs for Tom my husband. He eats alot of eggs. Chicken & Eggs Nature’s gift to humanity. I’m so glad you have eggs, real & crystal ones in your life, Elaine.

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    • Thanks Luci. How wonderful to live on a farm when you’re young! They are nature’s gift, with protein and availablity during these difficult grocery buying times.

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  2. Phyllis Natanek says:

    I really enjoyed this, Elaine.

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    • Thanks Phyllis. When I finished posting it, I was surprised to think how long I’ve given a lot of though to eggs, how they are such a good source of protein, and how enduring they are.

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  3. carolecraig says:

    As someone trying to be as close to an ethical vegan as I can be, I found the picture of those poor chickens being peeled from their perches heart rending. But the writing is lovely. Well done

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    • Sorry, I’ve alo been a vegan for many years. but found due to health/ food issues, I couldn’t do it. And yes, It was the one and only time we did that… It felt horrible. At the time, I wanted to teach my young daughter all she’d need to know to survive. This may be a stretch, , but I’m a child of survivors the Armenian genocide, and it still impacts me. Hopefully my grandchildren don’t have this as part of their dna code. Thanks for writing.

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  4. Kerry and Gregg Stone says:

    Lovely piece Elaine. And I enjoyed the photos!’
    Kerry
    Visit Sawmill River Arts in Montague
    http://www.sawmillriverarts.com

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  5. Dorothy McIver says:

    I didn’t know you had chickens for meat.-knew you had laying hens and ducks. Which kitty is this? Love this picture.

    xo,

    D

    Liked by 1 person

  6. daveyk1001 says:

    A well narrated story through the mediums. You paint quite the journey Elaine. You have an easy mind that manifests itself through your material. Reflections. There is a flow inherent to your whole that invites nature. I’m a fan of Eggs and the variety of cooking methods used with them.

    I could give many eggsamples but maybe another time.

    Enjoyed the painting. It’s a thumbs up.

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