We're onto E today. Another reminder that, when I can, I'm participating in
We're onto E today. Another reminder that, when I can, I'm participating inBella Dia's Encyclopedia Me Meme. Using each letter of the alphabet as writing prompts----I need a bit of direction right now! That said, I can't guarantee my complete participation in the Meme, nor what you might find around this little corner of the web in the coming weeks.
I'm in the midst of packing up and saying good-bye. I have a feeling there will be lots of pictures to come...
E is for...
EggsFarm fresh eggs. I will seek them out and pay double the price for these little gems from our feathered friends. The eggs I purchase at our little farmer's market come in a variety of colors. I love the sight of those light blue ones (now, what kind of chickens lay those? I can't remember their name).
I grew up next to my Great Aunt's chicken farm and my after-school job was to go gather eggs. I'm not sure how many chickens she had but the hen house was probably the size of a garage, if not bigger. Through the door to the hen house was a bank of nests with wooden flaps that unhinged and opened to reveal the nests----probably 10 nests across and four high. Usually, there was at least one chicken sitting on a nest and they would squawk angrily and take off, legs scratching and wings flapping violently, leaving a few feathers dangling in the dusty air.
But there was always one or two chickens that would not leave their nest. And these chickens were usually a Bantam. It seems like this kind of chicken could rival an Arabian horse in their obstinate demeanor. I usually risked getting pecked and scratched while trying to push these chickens off their nest. If I had a particularly bad day at school, I would take a moment to sigh heavily and breathe through my impatience for these chickens, while they sat there eyeing me with a steely gaze and daring me to come near! We had a love/hate relationship, heavy on the hate, I'm afraid.
After the eggs were gathered, they were carried to another room for sorting. Growing up, I loved the sorting machine. Loved it!! The eggs rolled down a conveyor belt, first over a very bright light that revealed their insides with a orangish/pinkish glow. The eggs then turned a corner and began their fun ride down the line; the machine all the while making a steady noise that lifted and moved the eggs forward. When the egg's weight matched its slot, they would roll down into that section for my Great Aunt's farm-calloused fingers to put into an egg carton.
It was part of my daily egg gathering routine to go spend time with my Great Aunt in her sitting room. She usually had something playing on her very small, black & white TV for background noise or conversation. My Great Aunt had grown up in South Dakota and was a teacher in a one-room school house. She possessed a demeanor close to that of the Queen of England----proper in that English sort of way and possessing no patience for triviality; intelligent and wise, unyielding. I often felt like this was the time of my day when I was being monitored and graded. Not that my Great Aunt was unfriendly, for she was kind and warm-hearted, but she wouldn't put up with any adolescent behavior from me. Let's just say I didn't discuss boyfriends or the latest fashions with her!
Very little money came my way for gathering eggs. My Great Aunt's notions of wages were still rooted in the depression era. It was also a time in my life that when my conventional elders told me that I will gather eggs on their farm for 10-cents an hour, I did it. And I'm glad for it. I have many fond memories of those afternoons in the hen house, or with my Great Aunt in her old house, and exploring her old barn while walking on the crunchy straw looking for kittens or other mysteries.
Eggs. I hope to someday have my own chickens and allow my own kids to gather eggs, too.
Oh, while we're on the topic of eggs, I love this little gadget of mine to cook hard-boiled eggs. It also has a little attachment that allows you to poach four eggs to put on toast or an English Muffin. I am admittedly a "gadget-guru" when it comes to kitchen stuff and this did seem a bit frivolous to begin with but now I don't know what I'd do without it! It makes such perfect hard-boiled eggs that are easy to peel, too.