My reverence for the egg borders on religious devotion. It is the perfect food - an inexpensive package, dense with nutrients and exquisitely flavored, that's both easily and simply prepared but that's also capable of unmatched capability in the kitchen. Yes, an egg is just an egg, but it is also ingredient, tool, and object, a natural construction of near mystical proportions..... Eggs are appropriate to serve at any time of day for any meal. They can be the main item or the garnish, they can be served simply in rustic preparations, but they are equally suited to four star cuisine. No other ingredient has so many uses and effects. The egg is a wonder.
The week following Easter commonly has me thinking about Eggs. I used to always dye Easter Eggs - a task that begins with actually first buying eggs that are white.
For years, my Mother raised hens organically, and not only was I never in need of an egg, I kind of forgot what white eggs looked like. Her mixed breed flock seldom included those most recognizable of specimens.
When we all first had fresh farm eggs, it was endless awe over the quality and yellowness and all things amazing about such a small, very overlookable thing.
While it has been a few years since she has supplied me with eggs, we have managed to find an Amish farm in their western Wisconsin area that are (more than) totally affordable and for all practical purposes organic. The USDA may not have their stamp on these people, but they grow the grain, they feed their roaming and foraging chickens, and they use no pesticides on their farm. Hey, that's organic enough for me. Every time I make the 3 hour drive to visit, I come home with at least 5 dozen eggs. I hate to run out. Even real bonafide Organic eggs at the store cannot match their taste.
It is absolutely amazing when you start to think of it, the ability eggs have to influence our lives and our baking lives. They create levity, they work with heat as a thickener, they act as a binder, they are surprisingly durable and come all packed up and ready to put in your pocket. All these things that really are metaphorical in the larger scheme of things as well: eggs are symbolic of the Resurrection of Christ, they represent new birth and new beginnings. They are emblems of fertility and remind us of the circle of life. Who of us can forget the Sesame Street song "Which Came First the Chicken or the Egg?".
The distracting Boston Creme Pie. Note the shine in that glaze! You can see me and my camera!
That said, this year, I actually bought the white eggs. I actually boiled up a dozen of said white eggs. They looked foreign and out of place sitting in the fridge waiting for their colored cloaks. Then, I ran out of time. I got sidetracked making a Boston Creme Pie for our Easter Dinner (a recipe containing a ton of eggs...) and forgot about dyeing. I figured it didn't matter anyway.
When my little boy took one tiny taste of the egg white after excitedly peeling his first egg at his Grammy's house he spit it out saying "I don't like it" - his new favorite phrase.
So this week, I am eating tons of eggs. Every lunch has included egg salad sandwiches. For today's version, I added roasted red pepper spread. I also made deviled eggs, a rarity for me. And I think the last remainings will be eaten with salt and pepper, or maybe mixed with an avocado and eaten for breakfast like I saw Martha Stewart doing a few years ago. And each day, I try and ruminate a little more on what eggs remind us of, and trying not to take for granted the small but mighty things in life.