I live in a small town. We have no health food stores. In fact, since the local expansion to Super-Walmart, we now have very little else; other grocers in the city closed down not long after S-WM made their mark. There is a teeeny grocer a few doors down from me, fortunately, but that's it.
So on the internet, people are always waxing on about organic this and that. I laugh. Ha ha! Like I'm going to find organic stuff ANYWHERE short of driving an hour up Interstate 44, over the state line and into Joplin Missouri, a relatively large city that locally appears to famous for an interesting combination of things, such as "having the only halfway real (if mostly chain) restaurants in 100 miles" and "having the largest gay/lesbian population in the Midwest" and "having actual health food stores and metaphysical bookstores."
(How the middle one got in there I don't know, but I attribute some relation to things like the first and last to it. Some degree of 'thinking outside the box' like health food stores and metaphysics does seem to parallel that culture, if my coworkers, based in San Francisco, are any clue.)
So when I find something in Wal-Mart that is organic -- rare, but it does exist -- it costs a small fortune. Too much for a single mom to easily splurge on without feeling more guilty about the money than about the non-organic butter.
So Regina Wilshire's advice to me previously had included really trying to find organic sources of eggs, butter, etc. in particular (high-fat foods). (I guess since toxins store in fat, this probably makes sense.)
One day I was standing in Wal-Mart pondering eggs. This had become a really major philosophical endeavor. There were various designations on eggs. Free range? Organic? Omega-3? I read the boxes carefully. It seemed to me that the ones most pushing how gloriously healthy the eggs and chickens were, had a rather narrow parameter for that. In my head I imagined some employee in muck-boots walking past chicken cages holding out a polaroid in front of the bars of a field under the blue sky, and this qualifying them as 'free range' -- "they saw field and fresh air daily!" or something.
While pondering deeply, some woman nearly ran her cart into me. I was not distracted from the important task of deciding whether ANY of the eggs were worth the substantial price more than "plain" eggs though, and I pondered without interruption, until my stepmother said, "HEY!" and broke my trance.
"Good grief! Must be FASCINATING reading," she observed, as I stood with two cartons of eggs in my hands.
"Which is better?" I asked. "And why do they all cost so insanely much? Does it really cost that much more to NOT torture chickens for eggs?"
She shrugged. "I have no idea. I buy the Omega-3 because they're healthier."
I pondered whether I should buy the free-range because I want animals to be treated well. But reading the fine print bothered me. I finally gave up altogether, after another look at the prices, and bought the typical eggs.
I was reading Craigslist online later on and what should I see, but an ad for organic eggs from someone with chickens. Now, it's not very near me, but I was going to the city at least sometimes back then (before my car died, sigh!) so it was an interesting chance. I worked out a visit, and I went to see the fellow.
He's an old navy guy, long retired, permanently on oxygen, living alone in a trailer house out in the middle of nowhere, on about 5-10 acres. As my kid and I walked toward the house, several of the stars of this show came to see us, clucking and fluffing and pecking in the grass and dirt. In the grass leading to a big field next to the house, I saw a duck waddling around.
The son of the fellow living there said, "My dad opens the barn door in the morning and they follow him out, walk around all day in the field and around the property, and in the evening they follow him back in again. He has corn in the barn in case they are still hungry, so they do eat that grain, but they also eat lots of bugs and things like that. The eggs range from off-white to darkest brown."
He was asking $1/dozen. Now given the eggs in the store are more than that, and they are crap comparatively, that didn't seem fair to me. I told him I'd pay him $2/dozen. And a month ago, seeing how the prices had gone up for eggs in the stores, I started paying him $3/dozen. If he were selling them IN a store he could get more than that. I am not averse to the price. They're good stuff. AND in spring through early fall, he has (unfertilized) DUCK eggs too! They're light green, large and awesome.
Every two weeks I buy whatever he has. This is in part because I know he needs the money, and this way he doesn't have to worry about finding someone else to sell to. Usually he was getting about 3-4 dozen a week, and the kid and I on lowcarb can go through a dozen a day between us. But my car blew a headgasket that is not fixable, I haven't money for another car, which has made it hard for me to get to him. He has driven out to me and I pay him extra for that. And I haven't been eating very many eggs in some time.
The eggs last a LONG time. WAY longer than I've ever seen a store egg last.
So today I bought what he had, which went back to end of December since I hadn't had a car to get to him (his son brought them to me).
Look at this picture. This is what I had in my fridge when he came. IN ADDITION to THREE DOZEN I had in a pan on the stove boiling.
To which I have now added TWELVE AND A HALF DOZEN MORE!
(No comments about my PROCESSED FOOD refrigerator there -- it doesn't always look like that, I swear. ;-))
OK, so I have several dozen in the drawer, 12.5 dozen in the fridge, and 3 dozen boiled. I can probably give away 6 dozen of the new ones to family. But that still leaves me with like 12 dozen left!
What the heck do I DO with all these eggs?? I mean it's only humanly possible to eat so many eggs at once!
Idea #1: I've decided I'll get some more yogurt and half&half, I have lots of frozen berries, and I will make more fruity-shakes with a little protein powder and a few eggs -- I could go through a few like that daily.
Idea #2: Since I just got my new container of organic non-hydrogenated palm shortening, I can have fried eggs. If I make a few strips of bacon, and then add some shortening, it's awesome for bacon-grease-fried-eggs... yum. OK I can go through a few like that daily.
Idea #3: No. I'm so sick of scrambled eggs I could vomit. So that's out.
Idea #4: I'm thinking if I made a quiche (or three??) that had onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, cheese and herbs -- lots of them -- I could freeze that, right? I've only kept those in storage containers in the fridge and nuked them. Do eggs freeze??
Idea #5: Deviled eggs. I can only eat so many of those though, and the kid doesn't like the white part so they're wasted, so not that one.
Idea #6: Egg salad. I can do a little of that, but we can only eat so much of that and it's a little carby and VERY caloric thanks to the mayo. Can you freeze egg salad??
What else?? Do you guys have ideas for what I can do to USE THESE UP in a way that maybe stores them for the future -- or at least gives me some way to ingest them I'm not sick of?
(If I chopped up the boiled eggs and dehydrated them, then what? Could I use the powdered eggs in some way??)