Chicken eggs…keep me thoroughly entertained. Really! There is a kind of, “Treasure Hunt,” satisfaction that happens every time I go out to collect them. I never really know what I’m going to find….well…I don’t usually expect to find dinosaur eggs or anything like that, but I’m always hoping to come upon that golden egg…..wait….that was Aesop’s goose. However, in Laos, there is a similar fable with a hen being the giver of the golden egg….it could happen!!!
Our very first hens, remember them…the Untouchables (meaning, these hens and our rooster, Benedict, will never visit the stew pot…they are the Untoucables)…started laying eggs about a year and a half ago. This was my very first experience with eggs not bought in a grocery store. At first I thought, “Uuuhhmmm…..EEEWWWW!” They looked different than store bought eggs….they weren’t…..perfectly sized and formed. The shells had blemishes….this couldn’t be okay….could it? Well, I quickly learned that they are very much OKAY….and delicious!!!
Here is a sampling of how free range chicken eggs can differ one from another…..
….pay no attention to the ketchup packets….hahaha…they provided structural support 🙂 As you can tell, I have all brown egg layers. The difference in shading is quite remarkable. I wonder what determines the shading from hen to hen or egg to egg….hhmmmm…..lots of things I suppose.
Home-grown, free range eggs come out spotty with deposits of pigment dotting the beautifully browned shell. Notice the little warty thing on the egg to the left….those happen too. I imagine those are little extra deposits of calcium. It’s all good!!
Sometimes, the spots look like someone spattered white paint all over them.
Is this splotching pigmentation deposits, as well?? I don’t know…but it is common, and does not affect the integrity of the egg. I will admit, the first eggs that I discovered with this kind of….decorative coloring…were discarded. I just didn’t like them….I soon learned that the goodness inside was beautiful, perfectly formed, and perfectly healthy.
Some of my hens have a great sense of humor…..they lay torpedo eggs!! Seriously, I think I have one hen in particular…not sure which one….that lays these extra extra large, elongated eggs. I feel bad for this hen as laying these eggs must be quite the feat!! Many times these eggs are more fragile…..
…and their smaller ends come out a bit wrinkled…sometimes cracked. The torpedo egg below….
….is an example of the cracking that can occur. Only the outer shell is cracked, but the integrity of the egg has been compromised. This egg either goes into the compost pile, or directly to our Great Dane, Penni.
Of course, my hens lay perfect eggs…why not…they, themselves, are incredibly perfect!! Doesn’t that egg look entirely delicious!! The goodness inside is like no other egg you’ve ever tasted, unless of course, you have the privilege of raising, or buying true, free range eggs yourself. I can’t even order egg dishes in restaurants any more (with the exception of eggs benedict.) My hens have completely spoiled me!
Just look at the depth of color that yoke has!! It is fully of an amazing amount of omega-3s…truly, very healthy!! One thing you may notice is how the yolk kind of separated from the white in this picture. Many times, this is what happens when you cook eggs that are same-day fresh. It does make it easier for the yolk to break if you are trying to fry it.
I usually have a supply in the fridge, and am generally cooking up week old eggs rather than same day. It does make a difference in the integrity, especially if you’re going for that “flip” when creating over-easy yumminess. I keep a carton of about 2 week old eggs for hard boiling, as the shell won’t stick as much to the white when pealed. HHHmmmm….makes you think, doesn’t it….how old are the eggs we buy at the grocer….I never had a problem with shell to egg-white sticking in hard boiled eggs when I was buying them…..HHHmmmmm!!
How about that lovely beauty….my first quiche!!
I think it’s easy to say that my hens’ free ranging, farm fresh eggs are the star of the show around here. If you’ve never indulged in a golden delight raised by one of your local small chicken farms…do yourself a favor and get a dozen….
….I think you’ll be hooked….so be prepared, there’s no going back!!
Thanks for visiting the farm today! I hope you have a wonderful Sunday.
Your friend from Oregon,