Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Egg and I

Howdy everybody. I'm taking over my Sailor-girl's blog to talk about my recent trip to Oregon. I was invited, along with nine other bloggers, to tour an egg farm in the heart of the gorgeous Willamette Valley. I really wanted to go on this tour for lots of reasons. We all know that eggs are good for us, but they're also one of the cheapest sources of protein, easy to prepare, and yummy in so many different dishes. Most of all, I really wanted to see what an egg farm is really like. I'd read the book The Egg and I, the true story of a young bride whose husband surprises her with an egg farm after their honeymoon. What follows is one hilarious misadventure coupled with constant hard labor. If you haven't read it, RUN-don't walk to your library and check out a copy. It just might be the funniest book I've ever read.

We kicked off the trip with dinner at a winery. Now, I don't drink, so all of the lovely wines were wasted on me. (Sparkling cider, thank you very much.) But the beauty of the process wasn't wasted on me, however. Ancient history is on the side of bread makers, cheesemongers, and grape growers, don't you think? How would you like to live here, with this view, driving around this truck, eating crusty bread and cheese at sunset?

We bloggers had dinner together in the French style farmhouse. I loved meeting other food bloggers. I'm not sure how I ended up with such an amazing, talented group. I felt a bit like the country cousin with this group of successful woman. Everyone was so nice and welcoming-I really feel like I made eight new buddies. I'll end with a link if you want to check out their blogs. The next day, we headed over to the egg farm. We met the egg farmer and his lovely wife and parents. The farm has been in their family for three generations. They care about the eggs, the hens, and their consumers. Even though they run a slick and modern production, it still has the feel of a good old American small business. But let's get into the hen house. First, we suited up in some lovely hygenic garb, hairnets mandatory and went right into the lair of the chickens. Jennifer is going to model our lovely outfit from the fall disease prevention collection. Gorgeous-work that camera. By the way, she was just as calm when a hen roosted on her shoulder. We toured an organic hen house, a cage free hen house, and classic hen house. Each method had clear advantages and disadvantages. If you want efficiency, the classic hen house is the way to go. It's easy to keep clean and is highly productive-which helps feed the hungry all over the world. The organic hen house affords the hens lots more wiggle room, but it's harder to maintain and isn't as efficient. Cage free seems like a pleasant middle ground, as the hens spend their laying hours in cages, and spend the rest of the day doing the funky chicken dance. I buy classic eggs and I will continue to do so...unless I get a coupon for an organic egg. I'm a price-driven consumer, as my name implies. While we're talking about price, did you know that eggs are only about 12 cents apiece? The production room was my favorite part of the tour. Remember when Mr. Rogers used to tour a factory and show you all the modern machinery? Yep, I got the Mr. Rogers egg packing tour. It's incredibly clean and efficient. Get this-did you know that the average egg gets to your super market within 24-36 hours of being laid? It wouldn't get any fresher if you had your own chickens.

After the farm, we headed over for a chat with Mary, a darling nutritionist, about the many healthful virtues of eggs. Bottom line: eggs are good for you. Amen. We also had a couple of cooking demos. Howard Helmer is the Guinness book champ for the world's fastest omelets, and just about the nicest, friendliest person you'll ever meet. I've never felt comfortable making omelets, so I figured that while I had the champ there, I might as well give it a go. He's such a good teacher, we were all able to turn out perfectly respectable omelets on our first tries. I didn't stop there though-I made seven omelets in all. I wanted to make sure I was a true pro while I could still get help. Ta-da! I've made five one-egg omelets in my six inch skillet since I've been home. I think I'll have to post a video demo (on the Quiet Man's new birthday video camera) and show you all how easy it is. Jeffrey Saad, super personable celeb chef, was there to teach us some fast family-friendly egg recipes, including this super fast Pan Quiche. Check out my blog for the recipe. Here I am, in the famous egg chair, with Howard, Jeff, and Mary.

I'm going to leave you with a link to the other bloggers so you can hear about their egg farm tour. Thanks for reading!

She Wears Many Hats

Gourmet Mom on the Go

Savor the Thyme

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

The Naptime Chef

The Wicked Noodle

Cookin' Canuck

She's Becoming Doughmesstic

Have a great day. Oh, and break an egg. Yuk, yuk, Yuk. I can never resist a good yolk. OK-I'd better get out of here before the corniness becomes unbearable.



savorthethyme said...

HI ho - you were the best!! I had so much fun on the garden tour and in the hen house!! Can not wait to see the video. Favor: any chance you can change savoring to savor? I know my header says savoring but it is in the process of getting fixed.

Prudy said...

You bet! I'm on it. It was so great to meet you. I'm totally impressed you immunologist wonder food blogger, you.

The Renouf Family said...

Looks so fun. I wish I could have stowawayed in your bags. Betty McDonald would have been proud how you kept your cool amongst all those clucking hens. I loved reading all about it. I love my cookies :).

ranadunga said...

Hey, nice site you have here! Keep up the excellent work!
farmmachinery used

The Japanese Redneck said...

Sounds like you had a great time.

I luv having our little hens.

Brookie Cookie said...

hey love you so much sailor!! I miss all my cousins and I am just making rounds to look at everyones blogs and make sure everyones doing fine! miss you come check my blog soon love the only brookie cookie :D :D