Just a little Farmhouse Zen...

Need a little zen? Grab a big pot and boil together the ordinary, the quirky, the simple, and the sweet. Reduce to a simmer and add a sprinkling of yoga and a dash of country charm. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Cornish Hen Egg

I am the only person I know that has on display a hard-boiled Cornish hen egg. It sits sweetly in a crystal shot glass next to other semi-fancy glassware in my china cabinet. I think it is beautiful.

I'm not sure what drew me to this egg. Maybe it was the color, a light blue/green...one of those true "shades of nature" that aren't easily duplicated. Maybe it was its small size. Maybe it was simply the fact that it was from a Cornish hen and I have never had a Cornish hen egg before. Truly, it was probably all of the above...and a little more. My fascination with this egg began the moment I saw it.

I am a vegetarian, which basically means that I don't eat meat (and, yes, that means I don't eat any meat - including fish). I do, however, eat dairy products (I would exclude these as well if I were vegan), but I am really picky about the quality of the dairy products I use. Especially eggs.

Before we moved to the Chattanooga area, we lived a couple of hours north of here on 6 acres of land in Knox County. It was my parent's property before my husband and I took over the place following the death of my father. My dad dabbled in farming - he raised cows and pigs; had a huge, struggling garden; boarded a couple of horses for a time; raised collies; and my sister even owned a goat. We never had chickens, mainly because my mother refused, so I never had the experience of snatching eggs or feeding the hens. When my husband and I moved to the property in 2002, my yoga business and young children kept me busy and I didn't feel the need for gardening or farm animals. What an opportunity missed!

Now, we live in a small neighborhood - each house with about an acre or so on cul-de-sac streets; newer, more energy efficient homes. I don't think my contemporary neighbors would appreciate cackling hens roaming in my back yard! So, my husband met a local farmer and we now get our eggs from him - fresh, covered in dirt and chicken poop, and wrapped up with love.

This is how I met my blue/green egg. It was covered in poop and nestled among 11 larger, brown eggs. It stood out, but in the most serene way imaginable. It reminded me that nature is unexpected. It wasn't what I pre-planned for that day, but just what I needed. It reminded me that there is more to life than our routines and predictable natures allow us to grasp. It made me smile for no particular reason on an otherwise very ordinary day.

My egg won't last forever, and that is ok too. But its presence has given me a forever feeling. Each week, when my husband brings home a fresh supply of eggs, I get excited. I tingle all over in anticipation of what might be. I can't wait to look into the box and I am constantly amazed at what I find. Eggs large and small; spotted and pale; picture perfect and, well, less so. And if I am lucky enough, maybe another one from a Cornish hen.

How to make scrambled eggs:

2 fresh eggs
tblsp butter milk
Butter (optional)
salt and pepper

Wash and rinse eggs. Crack eggs open into a small bowl and add buttermilk. Whisk until yolks are broken. Heat a skillet to medium heat. Add small amount of butter to skillet, if desired (if the butter milks and turns brown, your eggs may look brown as well, but they will have a wonderful nutty flavor).

Add egg mixture to skillet and stir, move mixture around gentle to scramble. When eggs are fluffy (just before they are done), remove eggs from skillet and place them on a warm plate. Add salt and pepper and enjoy!

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