Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Brown Eggs are Local Eggs & Local Eggs are Fresh!

It has been a while since I've heard that little ditty which I assume was advertising from the Egg Council or something. I have realized that, as with so many culinary items, brown eggs were something I took for granted in New England. I was getting tired of the brittle-shelled white variety at Kroger and glad to find today a fresh infusion of local brown eggs at Sunny Valley (formerly Nolt's). Lovely dozens of mixed sizes, ungraded, but with the golden yellow yolks (and $1.65 a dozen). The eggs are from local Mennonite farmers and I should probably ask more about the hens' diet, etc. but for now I was just excited to find fresh, brown, local eggs.

So of course, now that everyone is feeling more like eating again (and I'm feeling better enough to blog and cook), I decided that popovers were in order. I made my Uncle John's old recipe, that my father modified over the years, but I went back to the source and the result is an egg-ier popover which is how we all like them in our house, slathered with butter and jam.

Uncle John's recipe was included in The General's Akron General Hospital Cookbook in Akron, Ohio, published in the early 1960s. I have my father's copy of the cookbook and recall my parents using it our Akron home. [The red retro Cosco stool, at left, a recent sale purchase, is reminiscent of the red stool they also had in our Ohio kitchen, last seen 30 or so years ago in my brothers' tree fort at our New Hampshire farm, now surely a relic along a crumbling stone wall, if it is even still there at all.]

I have included this popover recipe before on this blog (which works just as well for Yorkshire Pudding) but have to say that with the addition of these fresh eggs, they were even better than before. They really popped and were both airy and egg-y.

There is something decadent about having a breakfast meal at supper time. Since the evening meal has always been my forté, why not? Sausage links and homemade applesauce rounded it out. I've found that cabin fever hits down here, too, and a good supper of "comfort food" was just the thing we all needed to feel sane and on our way to feeling a bit healthier again.

Another day soon, it is on to Ethel's Vanilla Custard, a find from a box top of white eggs from Kroger. It is apparently baked in a 9x13 pan and served in squares, chilled or warm. Did your mother ever bake custard for you when you were little? My mother made it in yellow ware custard cups, a hand-me-down from my Great-Grandma Manton's house, with a scrim of nutmeg baked into the top. I liked it best served cold from the ice box.

As Michael Pollan cautions, "Don't eat anything your great-great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food." Well, I know those of that generation in my family ate popovers and custard and used lots of cream and butter. Fresh eggs from their own chickens. Local produce and fruits. Canned fruit from their farms. No steroids or growth hormones in their meat or milk. It's really quite simple, isn't it?

PS By the way, Happy Birthday, Mom!


Cat said...

Oh Catherine! Those Popovers look awesome! I am so glad y'all are feeling better!

The children have yet another "snow day" today! I will be picking up our milk later on and I think I will swing by Sunny Valley and pick up some eggs ~winking~ and flour and such.

xoxo Cat

LBP said...

I have never made popovers, they look fantastic!

I took one look at that stool and was immediately transported back to my Grandmothers house in the early sixties. She had one that was yellow and we cousins would fight over who was going to sit in it at meal time!

I also miss the farm fresh eggs from Grandmas house too!



nutnoh said...

oh my lord. My husband, when we were dating and then newly married, used to sing that jingle all the time when we'd argue about buying brown vs. white eggs. I am a white egg girl having grown up in a big city, and he, a native of NH, is a brown egg boy. After 13 years together, he still hasn't managed to sway me.