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Layla is a Star

I like eggs. I like them fried, scrambled, poached, over easy, in Eggs Benedict but I like them best soft boiled–6 minutes in a rolling boil then into the egg cup, off with their metaphorical “heads” and into the perfectly soft yolk with some well buttered toast–sliced in narrow strips in what the British call “soldiers”.  

I prefer my eggs, if I can get them, to be free range, organic eggs. I know, because I have friends who are constantly challenging a lot of things I want–including the way they produced my eggs–that the expense of free-range eggs is more in my mind than in the science of nutrition. Since I am not a food scientist, I don’t know if it matters at the molecular level whether my eggs are free range, but I know at the tastebud level it matters. 

Free-range eggs are more expensive–sometimes a lot more expensive. They are raised by smaller farmers who produce small quantities for specialized stores and markets. I am fortunate in that the price of a dozen eggs will not break me, so I always look for free range. 

Recently, at one of my favorite stores–a famous national chain with a “whole” 😉 lot of grocery products I like–I saw a new brand of free-range eggs, on sale. I tried them. The eggs were amazing, and they’ve become my new favorites.  

One morning, as I was opening the carton to retrieve a couple of these beauties for my breakfast, I saw a small card, stuck to the inside of the lid of the carton. It contained three cool little articles. Article one introduced me to Anthony and Seth Wells–my chicken farmers at Double Eagle Farms. Second, it contained a recipe I’ve yet to try for Custard and thirdly, it contained an introduction to Layla. 

Layla, known formally as “Lively Layla”, had been named Bird of the Month. Along with her sisters and friends, she created some of my amazing eggs. There she was, in full color, a soft tawny brown color, with her head held high, looking ready to launch into her day. I loved this. How cool was it to meet the hen that laid my breakfast? I wasn’t just grateful for what she had done I was, for the first time in my life, grateful “with” her because now I could connect her amazing eggs to the amazing Layla–who laid them. 

You may think I’m losing my mind–getting this excited about meeting the chicken herself who provided my amazing breakfast but, in some little but measurable way my breakfast that day was just a little more perfect than before–because now that I’d met Layla–it was like we were launching the perfect, breakfast friendship.