Monday, January 25, 2010
Winter: The egg-free season
Yes, it's just an egg. It's not a big deal to 99.9% of Americans who buy eggs 365 days a year without a second thought. However, almost eight years ago, we made the commitment to only eat our homegrown eggs, so an egg in January is a big deal to us. Chickens don't lay when the days get too short, so we don't usually have any eggs from December until March. The only reason they have eggs in the supermarket is because those chickens live indoors under artificial lights that fool their bodies into thinking that it's spring year round. Yes, we could artificially light our chicken house, but I figure that if Mother Nature says the girls needs a holiday, who am I to argue?
I've grown to love eating seasonally, and I find a lot of wisdom in it. When we're not doing much physically, we probably shouldn't be eating a lot of eggs. We probably should be eating more dried beans, cabbage, squash and root vegetables that store well for winter consumption and are low in fat and calories.
As you might recall, all of our old hens went down south in December and became stew hens. They were three to five years old and each averaging only an egg a week in summer. We have 47 New Hampshire red pullets that were hatched in September and will reach egg-laying age right about the time that the sun comes back in March. We also have two crossbred pullets that were hatched last spring. No doubt that is where this egg came from, as well as the other one that we found the next day. The good thing about being on an egg-restricted diet right now is that in March we will be drowning in eggs. We'll be eating creme brulee pie, French toast, quiche, pound cake, scrambled eggs, omelets, egg salad, and anything else we can imagine that contains eggs. After a month of eating eggs at meal after meal, we will get tired of them.