Yesterday, while everyone gathered the mandatory pre-Blizzard supplies, I drove 35 miles to buy freshly laid brown eggs.
Why would anyone do that ?
It was a long-held tradition in my family to seek out the best “stuff.”
The grocery store was for canned goods, toiletries, pantry staples like flour, sugar, spices, etc.
The rest of what came into our kitchen had to be acquired with a bit of a drive.
We had a 20 mile radius of food suppliers that included dairy farms, poultry suppliers ( fresh-killed chickens), old-fashioned butcher shops, smokehouses for bacon and cured meats, ethnic bakeries for fresh bread and pastries, produce straight from the farm.
Many were owned by Amish families that had settled the area just about the time my grandparents immigrated, becoming lifelong friends and loyal customers.
I didn’t know there was any other way to shop.
Yesterday, I ran out of eggs. I knew the local stores would be packed with those French toast seeking customers, so I left town, taking the back roads to my favorite roadside market.
It is a small, unheated, dimly lit building that is open all year long, selling farm-fresh produce, dairy and bulk-food supplies to a mostly Amish local community.
There are 2 well marked parking stalls that accommodate horse and buggy traffic.
There is always a clothesline full of fresh laundry hanging from the adjacent barn rafters; the traditional blue and black garments blowing dry in a cold wind.
The eggs are special. I’ve lived all over the U.S. and have never found their equivalent. The key is the date on the box. They do not use a “sell by” or freshness date, they use the letter “L”, which indicates the day the eggs were laid.
They are so fresh, there are times when I have found a small feather in the bottom of the box, or a slight stain on one of the eggs that was washed just hours before sale.
It was a cold, crisp, beautiful winter day. Was it worth the drive ?