Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chef-Approved Eggs!

Okay, I know I'm no chef.  But my latest cooking adventure made me feel like one... you'll see.

For those of you who have been following along with our chicken saga, you may remember that our sweet  hen, Lola, laid her first egg Thursday evening!  We were out of town at the time, so we just heard about it over the phone.  She has since then followed up with two more.  The kids and I ate them all for breakfast, scrambled up with one store-bought egg.

These eggs are amazing.  I read (I think it was in Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilema) that when "real" chefs are looking for a source for high-quality eggs for their restaurants, they look at the egg's yolks to judge them.  The best eggs have yolks that are bright orange instead of pale yellow, and very firm (they don't flatten much when you put them in a pan).

I have been buying eggs from the grocery store, and since my store doesn't consistently carry organic eggs (and when they do, they're waaaay out of my price range), we buy a popular national brand that claims to be "the best" in terms of nutrient content.  The yolks of the "best nutrition" store-bought eggs are twice as orange as the cheapo store brand, but the yolks from Lola's eggs are even brighter.  They keep their shape extremely well, too.

See for yourself!


The yolk on the left is from my store-bought egg, and the four on the right (yes, that back one is a double-yolker) are from lovely Lola.  The color difference is quite apparent, but the most striking thing is how Lola's yolks still look like little spheres, while the yolk on the left is flattened and seems to be barely holding together.

I am way impressed.  Also, consider this: Lola is not eating any special diet: just the normal inexpensive chicken feed from the feed store.  And, it's still the dead of winter here, which means she hasn't been getting any green sprouts in the yard, or probably any bugs either (they don't show up until May).  So if her "lowest quality" winter eggs are this much higher-quality than the "best" the world of conventional eggs has to offer, it sure says something for chickens living like chickens in the great outdoors, instead of in factory farms.

Now, if you've done the math here, you're probably realizing that at Lola's rate of 1 egg every 1-2 days and our ability to eat 4 eggs for one breakfast, we're still going to be doing the store-bought egg route for a few more months until our future little chickies start laying.  But I have seen the light!  Also, all this factory farm chicken talk aside, I am quite confident that even the cheapest egg is a hugely healthier option than boxed cereal.  So I will buy my chicks, bide my time, and do what I can to feed my family the best food I can.

Posted at Hearth and Soul at A Moderate Life, Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen KopWorks for Me Wednesday at We Are That Family, and Simple Lives Thursday at GNOWFGLINS, and Pennywise Platter at The Nourishing Gourmet Pin It

12 comments:

  1. Yes! Her cute name must be motivating her to produce fantastic eggs!

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  2. I love the name, Lola! Our neighbor has chickens and they were laying some crazy amounts of eggs for awhile, so we would buy the extras. You are soooo right- best eggs ever!

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  3. Nicole, they're fantastic, aren't they? Yum! Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  4. Are chickens are laying - I had despaired of that but now we have copious amounts and they are so fabulous - the yolks are a beautiful gold color. I hope to always have a few layers around because once you have the good stuff it is hard to eat any other! Thanks for sharing this with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop - and "way to go Lola!"

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  5. Danielle,
    I just started blogging in Jan also, but I see you are much more prolific! However, I think we have similar interests! I totally agree about the eggs... I've thought about showing the difference in eggs also as it is really a big difference. Someday I want to have chickens but I don't see it happening in the next few months at least. But I do have some great local farm sources so I try to stay out of the grocery as much as possible for eggs.... and everything else too if I can! Would love advice on what you think of my blog at http://fromprocessedtopure.blogspot.com

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  6. wow i've recently started growing my own herbs, but am so inspired to find you have you own chicken for truly local and healthy eggs! I don't have space for one though ):

    http://mummyicancook.blogspot.com/2011/03/its-officially-spring-i-was-rudely.html

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  7. We are about to get chickens...I have no idea what we are doing...

    I'm so going to look at your posts about chickens! I can't wait till fresh egg day!

    Blessings to you,
    Lana @ ilovemy5kids

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  8. Christy, I'm so glad they're finally laying after all that waiting! Enjoy!

    DonnaB, that's perfect that you have a source for good fresh eggs. I will be looking around a little in my area too, while we wait for our new little chicks to start laying.

    Shu Han, you are a step ahead of me on the herbs. Mine are kind of a flop! I have a friend who kept three chickens on her apartment balcony in downtown Chicago... not sure if that's legal, but a great idea! Thanks for stopping by.

    Lana, we still have no idea what we're doing with our chicken, but she seems to be thriving in spite of it. :) Hope your chickens are a success! I look forward to hearing more about them.

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  9. have you checked local harvest.org to fill in your healthy egg gap and eliminate grocery store eggs?
    We've got 10 layers getting bigger and closer to laying everyday...can't wait!
    Blessings!
    LIB
    http://bit.ly/gHb7e0

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  10. Em and Lib, I'm headed to local harvest.org right now. Thanks for the tip! Hope your layers are just fantastic! Thanks for stopping by.

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  11. HI Danielle,
    I wish I could have chickens. I so love eggs! Your post was fun to read. Thanks!

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I'd prefer a great discussion to this one-sided pontification any day. Help a girl out. Please leave a comment.

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