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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Separate but equal

Washing eggs, washing eggs, washing eggs. Ahh ... Spring

Risa has been home alone for a few days, and much of her effort has gone into the poultry. The Americaunas have been released from their pen and are anxious to explore the world, which the Rhode Island Reds are determined they shall not do. Teenagers, especially in lots of eight with a mis-sexed little rooster-man among them, are not much appreciated in the world of an established flock. Add to this the changed layout of the pastures, by means of which the Khaki Campbells and the geese can reach the grass that has, all winter, been the exclusive domain of the chickens, and you have -- Risa the Traffic Cop, with an eye on the corner girls. Hey! Behave over there!

She has taken down the grow tunnel and stashed away its parts, and re-potted all the green things -- lettuce, kale, collards, cauliflowers, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and such -- that were still in the flats. These are now back in the potting shed. Last night there was what might be the last frost. But she's not betting on it.

Today, she hopes to re-paint the kitchen floor, where eighteen years of meal prep has worn through the sealant to the original linoleum at last. The cat will have an issue with all that, so the food bowl is going out onto the porch -- where the scrub jay will get the lion's share of it. As this jay is also becoming more and more fond of taking a sip from each fresh duck egg he spies, Risa is visualizing scrub jay pie.

After the floor has been sealed, she'll cut a new countertop for the kitchen work table, stain it to match, and seal it as well. Tonight she expects to sleep in the "writer's cabin" and let a small fan clear the house for a day or so.

Weather permitting, next she'll go mowing and mulching, and maybe have a picnic on the front porch. Separate but equal food bowls, Cat; yours is over there.

When spring comes and you are gathering eggs by the kettleful don't forget to preserve some of them. But you can still enjoy your bounty. You can have scrambled eggs for lunch as well as breakfast, make deviled eggs, French toast, crepes suzettes, eggnogs, ice cream and keep a bowl of plain old hard-boiled eggs on hand for snacking, packed lunches and potato salad. Homegrown eggs make better home-made mayonnaise than store eggs. They make good leavened-with-egg batters. -- Carla Emery, Old Fashioned Recipe Book


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