eggs are eggs are eggs, whether they are brown, tan, creamery or hard white, green, blue and those of ‘marans’, who do a dark red shell. they’re bred to that effect in france, where else. there are of course other very dark colored eggs, those from chickens like the dutch ‘barnevelders’, or the catalan ‘penedesencas’.
martha stewart, who else, first showed me the range of such chicken eggs. the many of her distinctive chickens then came from Murray McMurray, the hatchery in iowa city, iowa. being martha’s they laid eggs, many-many-many eggs, in all shades and shapes, not square, but of various rounds and oblongs, greens and blues and speckled browns, one tanish kind was shaped like the hindenburg, pointed on both ends, without rudders of course. beauty aside, impossibly, but once an egg is broken, shell color and shape make little difference. someone might have concerns as regards volume, me, i don’t despair over size, i have my eggs any which way, from free range chickens though, the kind that get to eat worms and dandelions and peck on oyster shells. such eggs are for me, preferably plucked from under a broody, fiercely belligerent hen. i made my very first phenomenally delicious omelet in martha’s connecticut kitchen, from a clutch of just such a chicken, with yolks toned like a marigold, which is what her flock often could snack on. so, eggs are eggs until you see their deep colored yolk, pompous and roused, riding high on dense whites. now, them-those are eggs.
i’m not much in the barn yard these days, but i do get my eggs from the farm. a peculiar place in that the hen house has wheels and is rolled about from patch to pasture. cows graze and sheep bleat. hens squawk, and it's all very like an old suffolk rhapsody, or so i imagine. but here at riverside, the kettle sets about getting tea water to boil, a well buttered old pan starts making bubbles and i reach for those eggs, alas from the fridge, to be forked for an omelet, which i’ll have with my tea and my toast and sarabeth’s blood orange marmalade.