4.20.2014

natural, local Easter eggs

carton of green & brown backyard eggs

Easter doesn't really do much for me now that I can buy as much dark, fair-trade chocolate as I want year-round and no longer have to wait for my grandmother's yearly gift of a large, hollow milk-chocolate bunny broken into pieces and consumed within a week of receipt. Instead, I view Easter as a relic of old pagan solstice rites involving the end of winter and rebirth of plant life, celebrating the young shoots of our primary food sources and the lengthening, warming days spinning at the sweet spot in our solar system allowing for such life—not too hot like Venus, not too cold like Mars. Eggs are not only perfect nutrition, fat and protein, but symbols of life itself, promise of growth and birth, maturation, death, the end contained in the shell of its beginning. Children poke under bushes, amid green grass, searching for metaphor. But if egg hunts, chocolate bunnies, and Sunday services with hymns and tall crossed tales make you happy, go for it.

My friend Jeff brought over a carton of green and brown eggs this weekend, gifted by a friend of his who owns a set of backyard chickens over in southeast Portland. The naturally colored eggs nestled in the carton remind me how I never dye Easter eggs—and don't need to—not when they look like this. These are eggs that don't need makeup. (White eggs from white chickens creep me out, by the way, probably because they represent the pinnacle of avian factory farming: slave birds stuffed into cages with no waddling and squawking about a farmyard on two legs, no pecking in the grass for bugs, only the image of fluffy yellow baby chicks tumbling down a conveyer belt, their elders behind bars—all like something out of a sci-fi story, only real.)


local green & brown eggs, Portland, OR

This was my first time eating green eggs (which shed new light on the Dr. Seuss book, Green Eggs and Ham)—or rather, one green egg and one brown—and they were both delicious, even more flavorful, more egg-like, than organic free-range eggs bought at the store. I made fried-egg sandwiches for brunch on Saturday with a thin slice of Tillamook Cheddar on toasted whole-wheat English muffins spread with mayonnaise and dashes of hot sauce, garnished with local Northwest Gala apple slices: simple and tasty. Another favorite way to eat eggs lately has been as goat-cheese and asparagus omelets served with spring greens.

Here are more celebrations of chickens, eggs, and their calcium-rich shells from past posts:


And for those who do like dyeing and decorating eggs, how about trying the boiled onion-skin method or other natural plant dyes rather than using artificial dyes that find their way into the water supply and do who knows what to our bodies? In any case, even if you don't care much for eggs—and I have a friend whose daughter is allergic—may you, my peeps, be granted lots of chocolate in your Easter basket.

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