Elemental, elegant, and earthy all at once, eggs star in local meals from breakfast to dinner, in dishes from humble to worldly. Here’re a few notable examples.
Regulars rave about Bluegrass Grill’s The Duke, an over-the-top version of Eggs Benedict: an English muffin piled high with bacon and turkey sausage, poached eggs and avocado, plus Havarti cheese and dill Hollandaise.
For a Spanish take on the egg, try the Acelgas at Mas Tapas: local, organic chard sautéed w/ garlic and Amontillado sherry and topped with a local farm egg, truffle salt and Manchego cheese. With a glass of white Rioja, a salad and some house-made bread, it’s a light pre-show dinner.
Brookville chef Harrison Keevil takes advantage of the freshest pastured eggs in his French-inspired Crispy Egg, Lardon and Frisée, making bacon and eggs as an appetizer not just socially acceptable, but downright hip. All ingredients are sourced within a 100-mile radius of town.
And finally, a nod to a different kind of local cuisine: Revisit Charlottesville’s pre-Swiss chard and lardon days with an order or two of church picnic-worthy deviled eggs and a cherry limeade at Timberlake’s lunch counter.—Meredith Barnes
Natural dye job
We love the classic Paas egg-dying kits, but now that we’re all-natural, eco-friendly, chemical-free adults, we ought to ditch the “Yellow #5” for edible dyes. You can go with earth tones or the DayGlo colors of our artificially colored childhood. Either way, keep it wholesome down to the yolk by purchasing organic eggs, like Timbercreek’s, available at Anderson’s Carriage House, Hunt Country Market or Whole Foods.
Have your hard-boiled eggs cooling in the fridge while you make your dyes. Bring two cups of the selected fruit or vegetable (or 1 ½ tsp. of spice) and one tbs. of white vinegar in two cups of water to a boil before dropping to a simmer for 15-30 minutes. Strain your dyes, let them cool to room temperature and then start dipping!—Megan Headley
Color me naturally
Red/Pink: Cranberries, beets, raspberries or radishes; Orange: Paprika, cumin, chili powder or yellow onion skins; Yellow: Lemon or orange peels, carrots or celery seed; Gold: Turmeric; Green: Spinach; Blue/Lavender: Red cabbage, blueberries, blackberries or grape juice; Purple: Hibiscus tea; Brown/Beige: Coffee, tea or walnuts
The incredible able eggshell
Nature’s perfect package has many uses. Here are half a dozen:
(1) Crush the shells, add soapy water and use the mild abrasive to clean vases and water bottles.
(2) Put small pieces of eggshell in your sink’s strainer. More solids will be collected and as the egg breaks down, it will help keep your pipes clear.
(3) Shell crumbles around the base of your plants keep slugs and cutworms at bay. They also add a healthy dose of calcium to the soil.
(4) To reduce the bitterness of your daily brew, add crushed eggshells to the grounds in the filter. It raises the pH, making the coffee less acidic.
(5) Use empty eggshells as seed starters. Fill them with potting soil, sow the seeds and, when it’s time to transplant, gently break the shell and plant the whole thing in the garden.
(6) Add eggshells to your compost for a powerful and healthy mineral boost.—Christy Baker