I’ll Take Fred Eggs Any Day

Posted on September 4, 2013. Filed under: Breakfast Made Simple, Food Made Simple, Health | Tags: , , , , , |

Food - Eggs 1Take a look at the two eggs I cracked.  The one on the left is from the supermarket labeled “cage-free, organic.”  The one on the right is from Fred, the guy down the way with a bunch of chickens in his field.  Do you see the difference?  It would be even worse if the egg on the left was a standard, cheap supermarket egg.

With very little internet research you can find hundreds of references that explain this difference.  Everything from how mistreated the chickens are in factory farming situations to the nutritional benefits to the chickens who forage outside.  Even “cage-free” which means they are cooped up in a huge warehouse all together and fed organic corn is not the same as a chicken running around with her friends outside in the sunshine and eating little bits of this and that such as grass, grasshoppers, etc.  Just a quick look, though, will show you they are very different.  Look at how golden, almost orange the Fred egg is!  Also, the yolks have more integrity, their structure is firmer, less apt to break when you don’t want them to.  But then, cook them up!  You won’t believe the difference!  The flavor is sooooo rich and chickeny!

Food - Eggs 2

Scrambled eggs with home-grown lemon thyme is a real treat!

Sadly, you cannot find eggs like Fred’s easily.  Even people who raise them often keep them in barns.  I stopped on my bicycle one day, very excited to see a sign, “Eggs for Sale.”  I didn’t see any chickens around, though, so I asked, where do you keep the chickens?  The reply?  “In the barn.”  Well, I might as well buy the cheap eggs in the store!  What is the point of having chickens if you don’t produce eggs like Fred’s?   Fred tells me they are more expensive to raise than if he just bought eggs, but he does it for the flavor and then he sells a few extra, barely breaking even at $4 a dozen.

I’m happy to pay this for flavor alone, but knowing they are chock-full of much more excellent nutrition makes it a no-brainer.  If you are still wringing your hands over the fat and/or cholesterol content of eggs get over it.  The latest nutritional information confirms eating eggs is healthy!  Your body needs fat and protein in the diet and eggs are an excellent source!  It also pains me to think of mistreated chickens producing the cheap eggs, so I’m happy to pay on that account also.  You might want to seek out your own “Fred” or check out raising your own chickens!  No, I won’t tell you where Fred lives!!

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Lemon Thyme Harvest

Posted on August 11, 2013. Filed under: Food Made Simple, Plants | Tags: , , , , |

Food - Lemon Thyme 1Here’s the lemon thyme cut and dried in a basket for a week.  At this point I could take a lot of time stripping each stem of leaves to make a pure product ready to sprinkle out of the jar onto food.  But do I want to take about an hour to do this?

No!  I started and then came to my senses!  I shoved the whole mess into a jar.  It compressed really nicely.  I left the lid off for one more day just in case there was any moisture left.  Moisture is a problem at this point.  Last year I harvested bay leaves, pressed them flat, and shoved them into a jar and tightly closed it.  About a month later when I went to use some I opened the jar to find mold.  So, lesson learned, I make sure everything is crispy dry before I close the lid.

Food - Lemon Thyme 2So what I’ve got here is a jar of dried lemon thyme with the stems.  To use I simply pull out a pinch and massage it a little between thumb and finger to release all the leaves, then throw the stems into the compost.  I used some last night already on baked chicken.  A few stems fell onto the chicken and I left it.  It doesn’t hurt anything to have the stems in there as long as you remove before eating as they are quite twiggy!  I like this “lazy-person” method.  I have about a year’s worth of freshly produced lemon thyme here for very little time and labor.  Sweet!

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