I would have been back at the Los Ranchos Grower's Market again this past Saturday, loading up on more fresh eggs and produce-- but instead I was in Massachusetts, getting ready to run in the 117th Boston Marathon. Blissfully unaware of the impending events that later unfolded on Monday, over the weekend I was busy thinking about food. I was staying at my brother's house in Duxbury, MA, about 35 miles south of Boston, right on the water. The town is famous for its beautiful beach, which can be reached by way of the half-mile long Powder Point Bridge, once known as the longest and oldest wooden bridge in the world. In the local-food world, Duxbury is also especially well-known for the Island Creek Oyster Farm, right in the Bay, which provides oysters to some of the best restaurants in the country.
The Pilgrims, who fled England seeking their religious freedom, briefly landed at Clark's Island, seen above in Duxbury Bay, in 1620, before moving on to settle in Plymouth, just to the south. Miles Standish and John Alden both made their homes in what is now Duxbury, and at one point it was an important ship-building town. This year they are having a much colder spring in Massachusetts than last year when we ran the Boston Marathon in 90-degree heat. There were daffodils blooming bravely out in front of the little lighthouse that sits by the entrance to the bridge, but it was pretty brisk as we made our way across to the beach...
A good walk always makes me hungry, of course. Especially since I needed to carbo-load for the Marathon. We said goodbye to the little terns who were racing around the water's edge, and headed back home.
I wanted eggs. My brother's family has chickens, who have been happily laying eggs all winter and spring. The last time I was in Duxbury, ten months ago, they were just little baby chicks. Now they are big hens who have their own spacious roost and coop in back of the barn. There was a colander with at least a dozen eggs sitting on the counter for me to use to make a for brunch for us.
I had hauled a big bag of local Albuquerque salad mix that I got from the folks at the Agri-Cultura Network all the way to Boston on the plane, so that we could try it out while it was still fresh-- that needed to go into the meal-- and so did the incredible croissants from my favorite Duxbury bakery French Memories! Here is how to make a simple Poached Egg & Cheddar Croissant Sandwich: 1) Using the freshest and most local eggs you can find, poach two eggs per person. To poach an egg, first add the unshelled eggs to a
saucepan of boiling water for 30 seconds. Next, you bring a shallow pan of 4 cups water and 2 tsp of cider vinegar to a simmer, and gently break the eggs into the water, as carefully as possible. Make sure they are submerged, and cook to the desired "doneness". Carefully remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. 2) Horizontally split one croissant per person. Spread with course-grind mustard and gently lay the two eggs on the bottom half. 3) Sprinkle enough grated sharp cheddar cheese on top of the eggs to cover. 4) Cover with several lettuce leaves, and then top with remaining croissant half. Now eat!
Just in case you were wondering-- eggs are really very good for you-- a great source of protein and vitamin D, among other things. And you can find fresh local eggs at the various grower's markets almost year-round. Many of the farmers who sell produce at the markets also raise chickens and sell eggs. Grocery stores also carry eggs raised humanely and without nasty stuff, so check there, too.
And finally, I am very proud to be from Boston, and I get very sentimental about it sometimes. I am so sorry that the Marathon this year was tainted by such a tragic event. Although someday I want Hartford Square #2 to be in Duxbury, or thereabouts, right now I just feel lucky to safely be back in Albuquerque!