Two things happened about the same time that expanded my appreciation of eggs: amazing farm eggs became available to me, and I saw “Julie and Julia”.
I wasn’t always fond of eggs. Gradually I got to where I liked them scrambled or in omelets, but never fried or hard-boiled. I do now like my scrambled eggs on the runny side so that they’re that wonderful combination of eggs and “sauce”. Nothing like juicy scramblies soaking into a piece of toast! Being a farmer’s market junkie, I fell in love with the fantastic farm eggs there. So I was getting better and better at liking eggs and appreciating the quality that is now available, but I guess I hadn’t come to terms with seeing the yolks and whites separately on my plate. Along came Julie.
Funny, that. Most people would credit Julia, but for me, I needed Julie’s enthusiasm for the idea of poaching eggs. She even admitted to not liking eggs at all, but had to try them because they are in Julia’s book. That made me want to try them too, simple as that.
As romantic visions of gently poached and coddled eggs danced in my head – I had never eaten either one – I was one day lucky enough to get “city-fresh” eggs from my urban gardener friend, Ellen. Or rather, from her “girls”. These were eggs laid in an urban backyard, by hens I actually knew! When you have eggs that special, you have to do something wonderful with them. No way I could even scramble them. That seemed sacrilegious. Per Julie and Julia, I had to poach these, and wow, were they fantastic! I poached, coddled and baked any good egg I could get my hands on for a while. Yum!
The egg as food does not come from a factory. It is easy really to avoid those salmonella-toting things masquerading as eggs, because they simply are not tasty. You don’t want to coddle a grocery store egg in a nest of La Quercia proscuitto. Nope. You want a farm egg (or maybe a city-farm egg) or you don’t want to bother. As Terra Brockman puts it:
“The only reliable source of an unimpeachably good egg is a small producer whose hens forage freely.”
So do yourself a favor and find an egg farmer near you!
P.S. If you wonder about the healthful qualities of eggs…and think you are supposed to avoid them, think again and read some at this page!