Michigan winters can be bleak. I heard once that Michigan actually has less sunny days than Seattle (which, it is widely known, has a reputation for its drizzling grayness). I wasn’t surprised. When it gets cold here, it becomes gray, and things slow down. People bunker down. The view out of my window makes a pretty snapshot: stillness, in black and white. It is during these times that we come together to feast.
There aren’t too many fresh, local finds available here this time of year. The food in our grocery stores gets shipped in from places like Guatemala, Ecuador, Florida and California; the Farmer’s Market invites its bravest of souls, bundled in hats and scarves and downy coats, to peruse its arts, crafts and root vegetables. The most we can hope for is a warm, crusty loaf of bread from a local bakery, slathered in butter and served with a chunk of local cheese on the side. But then, there’s the egg.
I am a Michigander, thankful for fresh eggs. At a time when the options seem minimal, an egg transforms our possibilities to multiple! Eggs are fun and useful: they can be used in innumerable ways and add nutrition and flavor to anything. Cookies, cakes and pies, Eggs en Cocotte, Huevos Rancheros, Bi Bim Bop! And an egg can stand alone: scrambled, fried, baked, poached, boiled! Thus begins an ode to eggs, a seven-part piece about anything egg.
for Matt and Kelly
Happy Hen, a poem
From forth the backened yard of city folk
Bobbles a happy hen! who,
Despite the raging cumulus above
Was lying gladly under a lamp’s heat,
Nestled in a loving home
Built from a neighbor’s plaything.