Eggs

Scheherazade wrote recently about how reading Angela's Ashes affected her enjoyment of eggs.  That got me thinking about my own feeling for eggs.

I was  immediately taken back to a time many years ago when I worked delivering grain to small farmers.  The really big farms got their grain delivered in a bulk truck and pumped right into a silo or some other big storage bin.  The smaller farmers got their grain in hundred pound burlap sacks.  That was the kind of delivery I did.   

I particularly remember one unpleasant old egg farmer I delivered to occasionally.  He was fat and ugly.  He had huge ears and a hairy nose pocked with giant pores.  His great jowls flapped when he talked, which he did in a high, poultry-like cackle.  He wore huge bib overalls and his limp, dirty looking grey hair stuck out in tufts from under a frayed, red and black plaid wool cap.

I didn't deliver him a few sacks every week, as I did to many small farmers, but about once month when he'd call in an order.  Then, my load usually consisted of fifty or sixty hundred pound bags of cracked corn, a few bags of a grain concotion called 'Hi-F Layer' and a few 50 pound sacks of ground up oyster shells (fed to the chickens to keep their egg shells strong). 

This man was very particular about where and how he wanted his grain delivered.  It wasn't just to be dropped off the back of the truck.  He wanted the sacks stacked just so, and he liked to lean against the barn door and watch me do it, critiquing my every move.  It was back breaking work, unloading and stacking five or six thousand pounds of grain, and I always ended up sweating profusely and cursing under my breath during that stop.   But once the work was done and I'd caught my breath and was driving away, I found the whole thing kind of humorous, and I never tried to avoid the assigment of delivering to this guy. 

I fancied this man lived entirely on a diet of eggs, because that's what he had, and I thought he was probably too cheap to buy anything at a store.  I know he fed his barn cats with eggs, ones that were cracked or he couldn't sell for some reason.  He'd throw them with shells into a big cast iron frying pan on the kitchen range (a wood stove of course) and when they were cooked hard he'd set the whole mess out in the barn, skillet and all.

I attributed all the things I didn't like about this man to a diet of eggs - his gross obesity, his ugly face, his cackle, his sadistic streak.  It took me quite a while to be able to enjoy eggs again myself, and never eat them more than a couple of times a week.

September 28, 2004 in Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0)

Island Brunch

ML and I went out to the Chebeague Island Inn for brunch today, accompanied by a couple of young women. Despite a dour forecast, the clouds held off and the sun shone for our entire trip and the return. We took the ASAP, MSP's Mako 19, out of the Royal River and arrived at the Stone Pier on Chebeague in about 15 minutes.

We decided to leave our boat on a mooring ($5) rather than tied to the dock (@$7/hour), a choice made easy by the Inn's provision of launch service with a friendly and helpful young driver. We opted to walk the 300 yard up from the dock to the Inn, rather than take the proffered golfcart-style electric jitney, because, due to the Inn's popularity and our failure to reserve a table, we found we would have to wait for about 45 minutes before we could eat.

The Inn, a long, narrow, flat roofed, three story rectangle, fronted with a huge porch, is under new ownership this year and looked good with its new coat of yellow paint and much new landscaping. Inside, also, the improvements were many, but none at the expense of the 'cottage' feel of the dark matched pine on exposed frame construction.

Our wait on the porch overlooking the channel between Chebeague and Little John Island was lazily pleasant, and we were diverted by meeting and chatting with two separate pairs of acquaintances who were also sampling the Inn's hopspitality.

Once seated in the dining room, we found the service was friendly if a little slow, and the food good but not exceptional. The prices, as you would expect on an island, were on the high side.

A couple of us started Bloody Mary's - tasty, with plenty of horseradish. The coffee was excellent, whether hot or iced. I had eggs benedict ($11) and the rest had omelets($8-9). All were very well and simply executed, but with no special or distinctive touches. While the omelets included home fries and toast, the eggs benedict consisted of two lonely English muffin halves topped with eggs, ham, and hollandaise quite overwhelmed by their huge plate. But the ham and hallandaise were excellent and the eggs perfectly cooked.

Lunch finished (total bill for 4 before tip, but including mooring fee: $66), we wandered back to the dock and headed for home. All in all, we all agreed that the experience was well worth the price, with no sour notes, and we're all looking forward to our next trip to the Chebeague Island Inn...

August 29, 2004 in Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0)