Long-haul locavore

Posted by Anita on 11.17.08 11:02 PM

(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**“I can’t wait to show you what I’m sneaking down in my bag,” wrote Laura. “Hopefully you’ll be as delighted as I am!”

I knew we would be thrilled with whatever she brought us, and I suspected she’d be stocking our pantry with a fun assortment of jars — she’s an accomplished canner. But what actually landed on our kitchen counter was a jaw-dropping surprise.

Sure, there was a pint of (homegrown) dilly beans, and a pot of (homemade) strawberry jam. But there was also a shrink-wrapped frozen broiler chicken from the farm… and — wait for it — a dozen fresh eggs from the hennery itself … which Laura had brought down in her checked bags! (Eggs, says the TSA, contain more than 3oz of liquid in each “container”. And in any case, a dozen would definitely not fit in a quart-sized Ziploc bag.)

I wish I had thought to take a photo of Laura’s ingenious packaging: two half-dozen cardboard containers inside a perfectly sized plastic food-storage container, all wrapped in packing tape. And miraculously, every last egg made it here intact, with not a single crack.

This, my friends, is the way to get invited back for a return visit!

The three of us ate six of the eggs poached with a big batch of Cameron’s hash on Sunday morning. The yolks were almost fluorescent orange, and the whites held together like magic. (I forgot to take photos — d’oh!) There was Acme toast, too, with a generous slathering of Spring Hill butter and Laura’s no-pectin preserves — not too sweet, soft and fresh-tasting.

We toyed briefly with trying out a new recipe to share here on the blog, but decided that this bird needed little more than a good roasting and some simple accompaniments — we didn’t want to bury the flavor with complicated preparations. The chicken sat salted in the fridge all day, its skin drying out in preparation for a turn on the rotisserie tonight. After 90 minutes on the spit, it emerged golden and crispy-skinned, with juicy white meat and fabulous flavor: Truly the best bird we’ve eaten since the Hoffmans left the market.

SheHe’s a big bird, by farmers market standards — nearly 4 pounds — and we’re looking forward to making chicken pot-pie later in the week with the leftovers. And of course the bones and cartilage will be saved for our next batch of stock. Most guests leave little more than a pile of sheets in the laundry room; a fridge full of home-grown food is sure a welcome change!

(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**

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Comment by Laura

I was planning ahead – knowing that I would want to come back :)

Glad the bird turned out well – that’s pretty much exactly how we usually eat them, except we don’t have a rotisserie.

And Anita, technically it was a he ;)

Posted on 11.17.08 at 11:11PM

Comment by Jennifer Hess

WOW! That’s some host/ess gift!

Posted on 11.18.08 at 6:07AM

Comment by Paula

Wow I can’t believe the eggs survived! Awesome hostess gift.

Posted on 11.18.08 at 6:40AM

Comment by robin // caviar and codfish

What a lovely bounty she brought you!

The bird looks gorgeous. I need to get my butt over to our local farm!

Posted on 11.18.08 at 12:32PM

Comment by nicole

What a great guest! I am still marveling over that fact that she carried the eggs in her checked bags — super impressive!

Posted on 11.18.08 at 9:39PM

Comment by Molly

Hmmm, I think I aimed low when you asked me what you could bring us. You know what I really want from SF? An It’s-It. A mint It’s-It. I’m just saying.


Posted on 11.22.08 at 9:39AM

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