One of our favourite breakfasts is ‘dippy eggs with soldiers’…… Well, they say old age is akin to childhood, don’t they? Sadly, though, in my case I think I am really just making up for lost time. When I was a child (during World War Two) we did not live in the country, so I never saw an egg! As far as I was concerned, egg was a bright yellow powder in a cardboard packet which my mother mixed with water to make ‘scrambled egg’. Actually, it was quite nice, without anything with which to compare it.
Nowadays, we are fortunate to live close to a farm where hens are free to roam wherever they wish.
Entering the farmyard by car, one has to be careful to avoid hens, ducks & geese, not to mention the farmer himself, as he trundles in with arms full of freshly pulled carrots or other vegetables straight from the fields.
The farmer’s wife runs the busy little farm shop, and increasing numbers of people flock (excuse the pun) to buy the freshest produce possible.
Some years ago, when the farmer’s son had a birthday, his choice of prezzy was some chickens. Soon they were laying well and the farm shop was able to offer them alongside to free range eggs which they already imported from a neighbouring free range farm. Very soon, ‘Anthony’s Eggs’ were being sought out by discerning ‘dippies’ as the best way to enjoy their morning soldiers.
During the six years we spent living on our boat in France, Portugal and Spain, the items we missed the most were Anthony’s free range eggs. Everywhere we went, we looked for free range eggs, but although some did manage to come fairly close, we never ever actually found any as good. So our local farm was always the first stop on our way home.
The recent announcement that a far higher percentage of Spanish eggs are infected with salmonella, only serves to emphasise the importance of buying locally wherever possible.