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  • Julie

WHOLLY COMMITTED


early homestead mornings, so pretty even the dog's business can't get in the way.

I've been working on a little thing that brings together food and stories from our homestead and I've had the unfortunate realization that a great deal of what happens around here isn't all that appetizing. Not only that, but it goes so far as to be stomach-turning, sick-making, and/or downright turn-you-off-from-eating-this-or-that-food-for-the-foreseeable-future. My attraction to hard won projects is admirable, I can say at least.

To find our way to this morning's Case and Point re: the unappetizing homestead, I've first to tell you that we've had so many broody hens this fall as to feel near affliction. One hen thought lost to the woods popped through the fence a month and a half ago with 8 of the healthiest yellow fluffs we've ever seen. Then another hen, an older gal who was not being romanced by our rooster, happened upon a hidden clutch of eggs and decided to take a 21-day sit while we remained none the wiser. She is now the proud mother of three.

And then there were the two fluffy-footed hopefuls who adopted another hidden clutch of eggs so large it refused containment even from a double rump sit. When discovered by the human kind, exactly how long this effort had been underway was unclear. We were, however, able to settle on the shared feeling that it would be cruel to deprive motherhood of those willing to put in the work. I also remain completely disinterested in accidentally cracking a half-formed chick into my frying pan. So there you have it.

But then weeks, and weeks, went by. We agreed that should Sunday (yesterday) come without a peep, an intervention would have to be made on behalf of our hens' health. And so that is how our ever-curious son was tasked with clearing out a dud of a clutch. As little boys can be counted upon to be, he was both sickened and thrilled by the eggs' rotten contents. Later that day two beautiful pale brown eggs were brought into the kitchen. Balance- wherein we attend to our hens' every need and they in turn support our egg habit -was restored.

After having soaked oats overnight for the menfolks' breakfast, it fell to me this morning to enjoy the celebratory return of the egg before she is completely ushered out by the season's waning light. This time of year I like the comfort of a couple of soft-boiled eggs smashed with salt and pepper and eaten quickly before they have a chance to cool even slightly. Only, the second egg I cracked into was a sick green-brown and as foul-smelling as they come. In my hand was a rotten holdout from the dud clutch, boiled to piping-hot-but-barely-set. How I remained a Person Who Eats Eggs through that is about as clear as my path to sharing the full scope of homestead anecdotes alongside recipes intended to make a person want to eat. That said, I am wholly committed to both the former and the latter.

xx


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