Tuesday, October 20, 2009

tasteful simplicity

Still warm from the hen who laid it, the egg lies nestled in its bed of pine shavings. At first glance it seems simple and straightforward, but a gentle tap upon the side of a dish and the brown shell releases the wonders inside.

My hens are simple. I feed them, give them water, and provide secure shelter for them. They free-range my backyard eating bugs, worms, frogs, grass, flowers, weeds, sunflower seed that falls from the feeders, snakes, and sometimes mice if my cat Tobey brings one in for them. In return, they provide my family with their delicious offerings.

Complex in its nature, the egg has often been called nature's most perfect food. It is rich in protein, vitamins E, D, A, Omega-3 and beta carotene. In fact, Mother Earth News completed a study in 2007 and determined the real benefits of eating eggs from true free-range hens. Their study concluded that the eggs have:

1/3 less cholesterol
1/4 less saturated fat
2/3 more Vitamin A
3 times more Vitamin E
4 to 6 times as much Vitamin D
2 times more Omega-3 fatty acids
7 times more beta carotene

Recently I had to buy a dozen eggs from the grocery store, because my hens are molting and they don't lay as well during the molting period. The factory eggs were so pale yellow that it was hard to tell they had any color at all. My hen's eggs have rich, golden-yellow yolks. And the taste is sublime. Thank goodness I found another source of free-range eggs until my hens resume laying. They aren't as good as mine, but they will do.

The egg....perfect simplicity....simply perfect.


  1. Envy.....I love this and would love to be able to have free ranging hens! How simple and delish can you get! Simply divine!

  2. one of natures amazing forces...what a gentle image here!

  3. Ahh, the free-range chicken egg... the true incredible, edible egg. Nice photo!

  4. I love this, I have a backyard full of lovely free range ladies and we so appreciate their generous daily offerings :)

  5. I knew they had 1/3 less cholesterol, but I didn't know those other benefits - COOL.

    We are some spoiled ladies, eh? Well I'm more spoiled than you, 'cause I don't do any of the work.

  6. I covet your eggs and your chickens....someday I hope to have my own !

  7. beautiful - i admire people that raise the food that goes in their mouths. sometimes i wish i wasn't such a city girl (even though i remember my grandfather's farm when i was a little girl)

    i need to remember to buy eggs at the farmer's market.

  8. For those of you who wish you could have hens, it's not that hard, and most cities have ordinances allowing a few hens in your backyard. Even NYC allows up to 6 hens!

    For those who want fresh-from-the-farm eggs, but don't want the work involved, look on craigslist...I guarantee there will be people in your area selling them.

    For my fellow henkeepers, it's a wondrous thing, isn't it, to hold that warm egg in the palm of your hand, and moments later it's on your plate...the best!

  9. Susan, I keep following you in the comments!
    I wish my city allowed chickens, then I might be tempted to live somewhere with a backyard.
    A simply perfect picture of 'natures most perfect food'.

  10. I can't imagine having fresh eggs at my beck and call...what a lovely idea...what a lovely, soft photograph.

  11. I always by free range, don't care how much more they cost.

    Simple chicks, provide simple eggs to make breakfast and dinner.

  12. Eggs shots are a fav of mine..something so simple and romantic about them. Love the softness in this shot.

  13. I agree, I don't think there's anything as simple and beautiful and symbolic as an egg. Gorgeous shot.

  14. Perfect! The egg is indeed a simple are people who raise the hens themselves:)

  15. Yes -- this is simply perfect!


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