Quite Selfish

I knew I would be excited about the first eggs Roz, MaryAnne and Susie would lay. I knew I’d treasure them. And prepare them carefully. And savor every bite. But I didn’t know I’d become so protective over them that I’d actually turn into a person who’s quite selfish.


Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been sharing my eggs. Over the holidays, I cooked up lots of fresh breakfasts for family and friends who came to visit. When I was down to just one egg from my chickens, I gave it to my best friend and fried a free-range, organic grocery store breakfast for myself.

Egg comparison

The grocery store egg is on the left, the one from my coop is on the right. Tonya was delighted with the sunset orange yolk contained in the petite egg. Her appreciation for it made me beam.

But when it came to the idea of actually giving my eggs away, I just couldn’t do it. Friends and co-workers keep asking when their egg delivery is coming. I reply, “soon, soon!”

All the while, I’m hoarding a dozen at home and carefully planning how I’ll use them. When I fry, poach or scramble them, I watch the pan like I hawk to made sure the end result is just right. There’s something about knowing the animals who are producing your food that makes you want to treat their eggs or meat or milk with the utmost respect. Waste is not an option.

But the girls are producing eggs at a fabulous rate. Most days there are two gloriously colorful eggs to be found in the nesting boxes. Occasionally, three are discovered.

Compare the eggs

My eggs vs. co-op eggs

The eggs are also getting bigger. Compare the backyard eggs on the left to the large eggs from my local co-op on the right.

Supply is good. Taste is great. I decided it’s time. I need to release control. And just give some of these eggs away.

Small egg cartons

I utilized some of my holiday wrapping to put together lovely four packs of eggs. I’ve been saving cartons from the grocery store for months and cut them into thirds. Carefully making sure each small carton contains a variety of colors, I placed the eggs inside and closed the top.

Egg wrapping supplies


Tied with Twine

I tied the packages with twine and used a stamp and a tag to decorate the outside.

When my lovely friend Stephanie March (who also happens to be the ridiculously talented food and dining editor for Mpls-St. Paul Magazine) asked me to fill in as co-host of her food-focused radio show this weekend, I knew I had to bring a special treat to her.

Egg gift pack

She shrieked with happiness when I delivered her package of eggs. As she gazed at the carton and peeked at the colors of the eggshells inside, I knew the ideas of how she’d enjoy them were running through her head.

Egg packages

What had I been waiting for? Sharing my prized eggs is as enjoyable as eating them myself!

Egg packages 2

Well, almost.



12 thoughts on “Quite Selfish

  1. Love your stories about your chickens and “down home” happenings. Brings memories of my earlier years. Maybe I’ll get a couple of hens next summer for my little farm.

  2. Super cute Elizabeth. I’m sure I would feel the same… Here’s an idea! Bring one to give away to a member of the book club (and one for me ;-))!!!

  3. I absolutely treasure when my neighbors share their eggs, so good and tasteful and like you said, you know where they are from and that the chickens are treated wonderfully

  4. We are still talking about your eggs!!! So amazing and I love those little ladies. You are always the most amazing host! Love and miss you

  5. I know what you mean about being careful with how the eggs turn out. I tend to cook my eggs with more care and love now than I used to, now that I have my own laying chickens. šŸ™‚ It’s fun to share, too.

  6. Have you considered blowing one of each hen’s out and preserving them??? I can just see three different hues sitting on nice wooden bases on your mantel, with their names and dates engraved on each. When my Dad tore down his barn my brother came in the house with something in his hand, I figured something icky, but when he opened his hand, here was an egg, many years old, now empty, in his hand, and like an idiot, I didn’t keep it. How I wish I had, it’d have a very special place in my home now. I’m too sentimental tho, but I think you have that tendency too? If you ever do it, please post so I’ll know. Love your stories Elizabeth.

  7. So wonderful to hear your stories and follow your blog. Eggs are so good when you know the little ladies who are laying them. My husband and 11 year old are working with eggs, chicks and chickens, started with 4H, we are on about 5 acres, so we are eating, selling and hatching a few. The hatching is done in an incubator and under several of our hens,”the clucky ones” It’s sweet because when they are setting on their nest they are very protective, and the little chicks are so fun too. Can’t wait to hear more from your blog as spring gets nearer.

  8. A friend gave me a similar gift (but a DOZEN). I took photos of them. I drank coffee with them. Finally, I started cooking with them. So now I’ve signed up for a “Chickens in your Backyard” class at Gale Woods and I can’t wait. I had heard that chickens don’t lay in the cold winter? I’m off to read your older posts about these ladies.

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