Freeze it First! | On the Banks of Squaw Creek: Freeze it First!
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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Freeze it First!


The other day, I was sitting at dinner with a bunch of farmwives, most of whom grew up on a farm.  We were discussing this blog post from Suzanne, and I admitted that I’ve never eaten a “farm fresh egg.”
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For most of my life, I didn’t understand how an egg that hadn’t immediately been put into refrigeration could possibly be safe to eat.  I knew that people did it, but honestly, the thought grossed me out.  I was even MORE grossed out when I found out that the turkey load-out crew takes the eggs they find in our barn home to eat. I mean, seriously, who knows how long they’ve been sitting in the oat-hull bedding! 
I think my apprehension over eating any extremely “fresh” animal products comes from the fact that I didn’t grow up on a farm.  Even though I grew up in a rural area and had visited farms, I still hadn’t ever experienced real farm fresh food.  And I’m sure I’m not alone.  I’m guessing that many of my readers, whether they’re local or not, have the same (lack of) experience that I did.



I’ll never forget the first time Bart brought home “fresh” turkey for us.  We were newlyweds, and he’d just spent a Saturday helping his dad.  They took fat samples from his turkeys, just like we do with ours before they go to market, and the rest of the turkey was cleaned by Grandma O.  When he arrived home that evening, I was doing dishes in the kitchen, and the conversation went something like this.
Bart: (holding up a large ziploc baggie with a gigantic turkey breast in it.) We had to take fat samples today so I brought home some turkey breast.
Katie: Okay.  Put it in the freezer. (still washing dishes)
Bart: I thought maybe we could have it tonight for dinner.
Katie: (washing stops, turning around and making a disgusted face) Seriously?  You just killed it today!
Bart:  Yeah….so?
Katie: Nope.  Can’t cook it tonight.  I can’t eat it.  It needs to be frozen first.  It’s not dead enough.
Bart: (laughs) Katie, freezing keeps it from becoming more dead.  Freezing it actually stops it from decaying. You know that, right?
Katie: I don’t care.  It’s too fresh.  Freeze it first. (returns to washing dishes.)


WHO Chocolate Breakfast 016

As the number of farmers decreases, and more and more people live in cities, there is a growing disconnect between where food comes from and where it’s eaten; between the people who grow it and the people who buy it.  Fewer people have first-hand knowledge of farms and there are many myths and misconceptions circulating about.  I’ve been on both sides of this divide, and now that I’m on the farmer side, I’m proud to work with other CommonGround volunteers to narrow that gap.
But I’m still not sure I’d eat a turkey egg from our barns!

18 comments:

  1. I love reading your posts because I always learn something new. Loved the exchange between your husband and you early on -- so funny!

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  2. When my parents have chickens, my mom might not get around to putting the eggs she collects in the fridge for a few days. It weirded me out at first but now I'm used to it. I also just read somewhere that if you coat the egg's shell in mineral oil it will stay good without refrigeration for a ridiculously long time, like a year. I don't know if I'd be brave enough to try that.

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    1. I'm not sure I'd try a year, either, but your theory makes sense!

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  3. I gave on of the nurtritionists who come to the farm some homegrown eggs for his family, his wife called him in when she was cooking them and had him look as there was something wrong with the eggs, she had only had store bought and thought these were bad because the yolks were so orange! I can actually say (I was raised in town and didn't start having laying hens till after 30+ yrs of country living)I didn't know about eating our own eggs! Same deal with the broilers we have raised, but once you eat your own or other farmers produce, you will never want to go back to store bought! Pam

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    1. We had "farm fresh"-killed-yesterday turkey for dinner last night! I've heard the yolks are really bright!

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  4. My husband was raised on a farm/ranch in Kansas, me in Portland Oregon/Vancouver, Washington. Never ate anything fresh till we got married. And when I think about it like that, it is kind of sad that more of us do not get the privilege of eating fresh farm eggs, beef that was grazing in pasture that a fellow friend rancher raised and you get to buy and butcher it, pork that a local kid raised for his 4-H project, turkey, deer and fish from the land around you. We get all our eggs from my father in law, it took me awhile to get used to, but a chicken is a chicken and an egg is an egg. I imagine in the next few years I'll be getting eggs from my coop! :)

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  5. Had to chuckle about this one. I grew up on a farm and we never ordinarily refrigerated our eggs. They were kept in a basket on the counter. If it got to the point were there were more than we could use regularly, we sold them off or gave them away. Only if they really mounted up did we put the excess cartons of eggs in the frig. I love fresh eggs. Milk was from the cow and put in pans in the frig for the cream to rise. Cream skimmed off and butter made. We drank the rest of the UNPASTUERIZED milk and suffered no ill effect. Course, it was our cow, well taken care of and cleanliness observed. Raised our own chickens, pork and beef. Chicken almost always cooked freshly killed. On hog killing day, everyone looked forward to a meal from the fresh pork. And, it tastes so much better.

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    1. I agree! Never-frozen meat DOES taste better!

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  6. Nathan and I have a friend that raises chickens and I totally swear by the fresh eggs - best omelets, and cookies, and pie crusts, everything really...But strangely enough my first experience with no refrigerated eggs was in London of all places. It's not uncommon to buy eggs with feathers stuck to them! And now, some of the staff at school are considering applying for a program to bring chickens to our school so that our students can raise chickens and get a better understanding of where our food comes from! rock on!

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    1. It's all in your head, silly...there's no nutritional or taste difference between the "homegrown" and the grocery store type! Just the color!

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    2. I swear the yolks are soo much thicker and creamier and much tastier. Maybe I just like knowing where they come from!

      I don't know how the whole raising chickens at school goes, but I'll let you know once everything gets up a running. I'm still trying to figure our the legalities around kids consuming the food they raise at school.

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    3. Okay, I talked to your dear sister today, and she says it's the freshness, not the "free-range-ness." But I think you should do a very scientific, dye the eggs green, double blind study to see. :) Do it with your estudiantes!

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  7. This made me laugh! We are vegetarian, but we do get eggs from someone who raises chickens. Her advice for keeping the eggs fresh was to not wash them! She also said they would keep for up to a year. They don't last that long at our house! They are much brighter than store-bought eggs and the shells are thicker.

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    1. I should have known you're a vegetarian. :)

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  8. Just realized my mousepad is Find OurCommonGround. Just like your background pic.

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  9. So funny! My sister recently got chickens (she's urban homesteading in Oakland!) and we love her "farm" fresh eggs. So happy I found you, following you, got her from Ellie's blog.

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  10. I live in the country....my husband brings home "farm fresh" eggs as well.....but I have always passed on consuming them. :) Love your blog!

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