eggs · farmers market · healthy eating · organic

What the duck (eggs)

~For the past year or so I’ve been on the hunt for duck eggs. Searching market after market with no luck, my hope was starting to dwindle. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago when I finally hit the jackpot, but it wasn’t at a farmer’s market. They came from my boss!

When he’s not doing incredible veterinary work, the owner of my clinic raises ducks in his backyard. He told me he had about 15 ducks and they were chewing up his lawn while he was in the middle of repairing an obese Lab’s ruptured cruciate ligament (the animal equivalent of a human’s ACL). After taking an updated set of vitals, he asked me if I wanted some eggs. I jumped at the chance! With a smile he said he would bring me some next time they were laying.

About a week later, I was cleaning the treatment area and he asks if I was going to be there for a while. I said yes, and he disappeared. After about 15 minutes, he arrived back at the clinic with a half dozen duck eggs with my name on it. My face lit up and thanked him for the awesome (and soon to be delicious) gift.

The next morning before work, I opened the carton and marveled at the size comparison of the eggs to that of chicken eggs. I decided to make over easy duck eggs served on toast. Instead of butter, I coated the pan with ghee until it melted. Next, I cracked 2 eggs into the pan and cook them over medium low heat. Once the egg whites were cooked through, I tried to delicately flip them in the pan, but it was a rather clunky task. Nevertheless, they didn’t break. Once flipped, I turned the heat off and let the other side cook from the residual heat.

While I was cooking the eggs, I was toasting some bread in the toaster. They reached a perfect golden brown where I lightly buttered them and placed the crown jewels on top. Finally, the eggs were decorated with a garland of fresh micro greens and salt & pepper.

 

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I broke into the center and out poured a lovely waterfall of yolk. I was worried that I might have over cooked them since I had trouble flipping them (needed a bigger pan). I’m so happy they came out so well, and the taste was amazing!

*Check out my pictures in the Photo Garden and I’ll post the recipe in the Recipes menu very soon!*

cheese · eggs · farmers market · healthy eating · organic · vegan · veggies

A soggy start to market season

~Today was the day I’ve been waiting an entire year for: opening day of the Frankfort farmer’s market!!! This is my Christmas! I’ve been counting down the days for weeks and it finally came, but at a small price that I was willing to pay. This weekend the weather has been nothing but cold and rainy, which I normally love but not during a market. I checked The Weather Channel app on my phone before heading over there and it said that it wouldn’t rain til more in the afternoon. It was about 9:30-10am when I checked, my hope was to get there early enough to avoid the downpour to come. My boyfriend picked me up around 10:30 and off we were to Frankfort. The short ride there I was practically jumping out of my seat with excitement and he looked over at me and smiled. When we got there, there was a very light drizzle and only a handful of vendors, those brave souls dedicated to their craft and crop to withstand the less than ideal weather.

Our first stop was at Stamper Cheese Company. As usual there was a line of cheese connoisseurs clambering to get the freshest of the fresh. After waiting about 10 minutes (although it felt longer) it was finally my turn. Chad, the guy that runs the stand at the Frankfort market, recognized me and asked how I was doing and how the blog was doing. I’m kind of surprised that he remembered me! After some small talk, I ended up purchasing a small chunk of my favorite goat Gouda, a package of cheese curds and a package of smoked mozzarella string cheese for my mom.

We then moved a few tents down to Drover’s Trail, aka some of the best produce you’ll ever find! (I’ll be posting about them in particular at a later date). One of my favorite things I get from them is their microgreen mixes, either mild or spicy. Today I went with their mild blend, but I might be adventurous next week and get the spicy. I also tried one of their green smoothies called Sickness Slayer, which combined peaches, pineapple, banana, swiss chard and carrot tops. It was green alright, like fresh-cut grass green. After a moment’s hesitation I took a sip and it was actually really good! You could hardly taste the greens since the flavors of the banana and pineapple dominated. My boyfriend admitted that it didn’t look appetizing at first but liked it once he tried it. Just because it’s green doesn’t mean it’s gross 😉

The last two stalls we visited were prehaps my favorite, the first being Doug from Waterfall Glen Soap Company. He was very excited to show off the changes he had made to some of his popular soaps and premiere some new ones. One of the ones I liked in particular was called Riverside, a newer flavor infused with honeysuckle. It was the bar I kept coming back to and sniffing, Doug even said that it had my name on it. And so it was meant to be! I can’t wait to shower with it tomorrow morning! The final stall we went to was a complete and very happy surprise. American Pride Microfarm, aka the quail guys, were making their debut at the Frankfort market! (I had only seen them at the Downers Grove market). I was beyond excited that I was even tugging on my boyfriend’s jacket and pointing “Oh my God it’s the quail guys!” He was utterly confused but went along with it, such a good sport 🙂

There was no question I was going home with a dozen quail eggs, but I also wanted to sample some of the greens. The one that drew my eye almost immediately were the onion greens. They’re a thin green with a fragile black bud at the end. One of the guys of American Pride, Bradford, had said “if you love onions then you’ll really love these” as he hacked off a few pieces with a miniature axe, which I thought was charming and reminded me of one of my favorite shows, Vikings. The onion greens were exactly as he said they would be, very onion-y. I got and ounce of those and sugar snap pea shoots.

The rain started to pick up, so we knew it was time to go. But overall I am completely happy with my purchases and meeting up with the vendors was awesome.

Happy Market Day my little sprouts! ❤

 

 

eggs · farmers market · healthy eating

All Hail the Quail!

~The quail egg has been associated in my mind as a luxury item, something you only see on cooking shows or in fancy restaurants. I had always been curious about these petite little eggs, and if I would be one of those lucky people to ever try one. And this morning my luck was stricken! Yesterday at the Downers Grove Market, I had stopped by a stall that was selling microgreens and quail eggs. I had originally stopped for the microgreens, which I didn’t end up buying, but those adorable tiny eggs and their speckled spots were staring at me.

I asked the men behind the stand what a quail egg tasted like compared to that of a chicken egg. One of the men replied that they tasted similar to a farm fresh chicken egg rather than an store-bought egg, and they had a creamier yolk. He also showed me a pair of scissors that he uses to crack the eggs. You essentially cut the top portion of the egg and dump the contents into the pan. The other man had said that the eggs they were selling that day were just harvested the day before, making them the freshest eggs you could possibly get your hands on. And that’s exactly what I did.

Fast forward to this morning: I pulled the dozen eggs out of the fridge and my mom and I were admiring and giggling at the cute little eggs, my mom even said that they looked like chocolates. I selected 3 eggs to cook over easy with the bagel I had in the toaster. Much to my surprise, those little buggers were difficult to open! I first tried to crack them like you would a chicken egg, but the shell just crumbled on the counter. But then I remembered the technique the man at the stand showed me, and I used a butter knife to scrape the top off and dropped them in the pan.

Some shell pieces ended up in the whites, but that’s okay. I kept the pan on medium low heat, but in my vain attempt to flip the eggs with grace, I ended up frying the eggs rather than achieving the delicious runny yolk I wanted. But nevertheless, they were sumptuous. The yolk was indeed creamy and the texture paired well with the toasty bagel. It’ll take some practice, but I’ll eventually get that runny yolk.