Decorating Brown Eggs for Easter

Neon Eggs

Brown is Beautiful!

Did you know you can decorate brown eggs?  To the families who raise our beautiful brown organic eggs, it just comes naturally. “I’m always baking and cooking with them anyway,” says Neila Zook, who raises hens in two barns for us with her family in Pennsylvania.

G-man and his Egg

No special dyes needed!  The Zooks just use the egg decorating kits available in any supermarket.  This year, they had fun with a neon color kit (here, 4-year-old “G-Man” shows off his handiwork).

Old-world, rich color.  Starting with brown eggs  gives you a whole new color palate to work with.  Eggs take on an elegant, deeper tone:  yellows become deep gold, purples take on an eggplant-like hue, blues and greens become nicely dusky.  It’s a beautiful change from the ordinary!

Other dyes to try.  You can also experiment with organic egg dye kits, or make your own natural egg dyes using ingredients like red cabbage, beets, blueberries, turmeric—even flower petals!  DIY natural egg dyeing takes a little more time, but you’ll love the rich, natural-looking colors it produces.

Eggstra Decoration

Paint, sparkles and feathers, oh my.  Of course, instead of (or in addition to) dyeing our eggs, you can paint them, drizzle them with colored glues, cover with feathers, sequins, or glitter – the sky’s the limit! Or, draw a design or write a message on your eggs (we couldn’t resist a little shameless product placement here).

Another nice perk of starting with great eggs:  When you’re finished admiring them, you can turn them into the best organic egg salad ever (say, this tasty egg salad with avocado, from allrecipes.com via yummly.com).  “Just knowing that I am giving my family the best quality egg there is, is great to me!” says Neila.

How do you decorate our beautiful  brown eggs?  Share it here!

 

Eggs are Powerful Symbols at Passover

 

RoastedEggs

When Passover begins tomorrow, families all over the world will gather for a Seder, or ritual meal. No matter what’s served, eggs are always on the table as powerful symbolic foods.

Many families dip hard-boiled eggs in salt water, to commemorate the tears and sweat of their ancestors’ enslavement in Egypt. And a hard-boiled egg, usually roasted, is placed on the Seder plate—its roundness suggesting the cycle of life, rebirth, and renewal. Its burnt, sometimes cracked shell is also a reminder of ancient sacrificial offerings.

If you’re roasting one of our organic eggs, you’ll find its brown color is striking. Just hard-boil the egg first, and place in a 350°F oven until it starts getting a burnt, cracked look—about 15-20 minutes.
All of us at Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs wish you a warm, healthy Passover. Chag Sameach!

Spring on the Farm: The Dirty Truth

MapleHillMud

What’s your favorite first sign of spring?  Crocuses?  Robins?  Fresh-picked asparagus?  Here on our small family farms, early spring means – well, mud.  That’s just how we like it. Mud means we can finally get out and do what needs to be done, and there’s a lot to do.

The 30 family farms that produce eggs for us are diversified, meaning that they aren’t just egg farmers.  Many also crop-farm or raise livestock, some grow vegetables to sell to neighbors.  Most are also raising children and keeping family homesteads, just steps away from their hen houses.

Producing eggs for Pete and Gerry’s allows our farmers to have a life that’s “100 percent farmer,” says Chris Pierce, who helps our Pennsylvania families manage their farms.

Here’s what you’ll find our farmers doing now:

- Planting seeds.  Right now, the organic soil around our hen houses looks pretty muddy, but we’re putting down organic seed so there will soon be a carpet of fresh green pasture for “our girls” to peck and scratch in.  There’s also land to till for crops and vegetable gardens, and “home-grown” manure to spread–naturally enriching the soil while following strict conservation land management practices.

- Spring-cleaning, big time.  Some of our farmers are scrubbing out their barns to welcome new flocks of pullets (16-week-old hens) to a safe, clean new home.  Keeping things spotless is extra important, since we never give our hens antibiotics.

- Bringing other babies into the world.   For those of our farmers raising cows, sheep or goats, now is prime time for calving, lambing, and kidding (yes, that’s what birthing baby goats is called). They’re extra busy keeping their newborns healthy and happy.

Sap Buckets

- Watching the thermometer. This time of year, you can wake up to freezing temperatures and be sweating in a T-shirt by midday.  (Of course, it’s great weather for maple syruping—as some of our New England farmers are doing!)

Our farmers keep a close eye on their heating and cooling systems to make sure the barns are always comfortable.  Until conditions allow our girls to go outside in the elements, they’re scratching and dust-bathing in protected outdoor “winter gardens.”

It may be muddy work this time of year, but our farm families don’t mind getting dirty.  After all, life on a real family farm isn’t glamorous living.  It’s a good living.

You might have noticed our look has changed!

A new fresh look at Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs.

Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs

Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs

Have you been pecking around our new website? You may have noticed that we have a fresh new look.

We are proud of our family farm and our family farmers and want you to get to know us a bit better.

Our family farm has been producing farm fresh eggs for four generations. We continue to be pioneers in humane and environmentally sustainable egg production, we produced many of the first organic and cage-free eggs available in supermarkets.  Now we want to share our story of how we continue to flourish as a family farm and have folded many other small family farms into our flock. We invite you to explore our new website to find out more about our mission.

Our new website is filled with stories of our farmers, our organic and cage free eggs,  information about why organic matters, nutrition and your health and the health of your family (#healthgrowshere), our Certified Humane farming practices and more.  We also have a wonderful community where you can ask us your questions, get your questions answered as well as to share your recipes.

And finally we are glad you landed in our coop and found our blog Unscrambled.  On our blog we will share farm news, recipes from our kitchen and yours, organic food and its importance to your health and the health of your family.

We hope that you will check back often to find out what we are up to at Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs and on our family farms!

 

Dessert Recipe: Carol’s Marble Chiffon Cake

Carol, the farmer’s daughter (daughter of farm founder Les Ward) can often be found in the kitchen. She loves making pies, cookies, cakes, cream puffs, and her famous whoopie pies.  Carol is know for bringing warm muffins right from the oven to the farm for everyone to share.  If you aren’t quick, her goodies are quickly devoured only leaving behind a plateful of crumbs and smiles. Carol has some very special recipes that she loves using for special occasions. This marble chiffon cake is one of her favorites. This chiffon cake recipe uses 7 Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs resulting in a light and moist cake. This summer Carol’s Dad, founder of our family farm turned 95 years young! Carol’s Marble Chiffon Cake was the perfect addition to the birthday table and left everyone including the birthday boy, Les, happy. We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as our family does.

Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs Recipe: Carol's Marble Chiffon Cake

Carol’s Marble Chiffon Cake

Carol’s Marble Chiffon Cake Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients:

2 and 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup salad oil (canola)
7 egg yolks
3/4 cup cold water
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

Directions:

Sift Together Dry Ingredients. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and add in this order; oil, egg yolks, cold water, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla,
Beat until satin smooth.

Ingredients:
7 egg whites
cream of tartar

Directions:

In a large bowl beat egg whites with 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar until very stiff peaks form. Pour egg yolk mixture in a thin stream over entire surface of egg whites and gently fold to blend. Remove 1/3 of batter to a separate bowl.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons sugar
Two 1 ounce squares of unsweetened chocolate such as Ghiradelli (melted)

Directions:

Gently fold chocolate mixture into 1/3 portion of batter. Spoon half the batter into ungreased 10 inch tube pan. Top with half the chocolate batter. Repeat layers. With a narrow spatula, swirl gently through batter to marble. Leave definite areas of light and dark batter. Bake in a slow over (350 degrees) for about 55 minutes or until cake test is done. Invert cake in pan. Cool and frost with chocolate frosting.

Dessert Recipe: Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin, a favorite fall ingredient!

Cheesecakes are pure indulgence, and this one will impress your most discriminating guests. It’s creamy and rich, and the pumpkin gives it a seasonal flair. Other than the cognac, you can find organic versions of all the ingredients in your local supermarket or natural food store.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake

CRUST

2 cups organic graham cracker crumbs
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup melted butter
1/4 cup organic sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Combine ingredients and press into bottom of 10″ spring-form pan.
3. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
4. Remove from oven.
5. Reset oven to 325°.

FILLING

2 lbs organic cream cheese softened
3 tablespoons Maple Grove Farms organic maple syrup
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup organic whipping cream
1-1/4 cups organic sugar
3 tablespoons cognac
4 Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs at room temperature
1 cup Farmers Market organic canned pumpkin

Directions:
1. Beat cream cheese with mixer in a large bowl until smooth.
2. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy.
3. Add maple syrup, cognac, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.
4. Blend thoroughly.
5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each one.
6. Add whipping cream and pumpkin.
7. Mix well. Pour onto cooled piecrust in spring-form pan.
8. Bake at 325° for 45 minutes, then turn oven off but do not remove cheesecake.
*Do not open door during baking time or for one hour after oven is turned off!

TOPPING

2 cups organic sour cream
1 tablespoon Maple Grove Farms organic maple syrup
1 tablespoon cognac
1/4 cup organic sugar.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425-degrees.
2. Blend ingredients, spread over cheesecake and bake 10 minutes.
3. Allow to cool at room temperature.
4. Chill for at least 3 hours before removing sides of pan.

We hope you enjoy this delicious organic pumpkin cheesecake as a part of a potluck or favorite fall feast.

Strolling of the Heifers 2013

Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs and Nellie’s Cage Free Eggs enjoyed being a part of the Strolling of the Heifers again this year.

Strolling of the Heifers 2013

MOO!

Thankfully the rain that came was light unlike last year which brought a great crowd to view the heifers strolling down Main Street in Brattleboro, Vermont.  Families and people who attended enjoyed a weekend full of events in support of family farming. Events during the weekend included the Slow Living Summit where our very own Jesse Laflamme was featured in a panel discussion, a quiche cook-off, the parade of heifers, a festival which included our famous Slow Living Breakfast and our education tent, and a Farmer’s Breakfast on Sunday that included a quiche made with our Pete & Gerry’s Organic Eggs.

Please enjoy some the photos from this fantastic family weekend at the Strolling of the Heifers.

Strolling of the Heifers 2013

Strolling of the Heifers 2013

Strolling of the Heifers 2013

Our Education Tent Helpers

Strolling of the Heifers 2013

Chickens and kids

Strolling of the Heifers 2013

Cluck!

Strolling of the Heifers 2013

Pete & Gerry’s Organic Breakfast Sandwiches for Everyone. Yum!

 

Recycled Plastic Egg Carton Mini-Greenhouses

Re-purposing our recycled egg cartons for seed starting.

We love spring in New Hampshire as the trees begin to bud, the grass turns green, and the flowers begin to bloom. In our family gardening has become a favorite spring and summer activity because it is something that we can do together as a family. Our kids love playing in the dirt and soon we will have a bounty of delicious vegetables to add to our family dinner table plus the kids love to see the vegetables grow from seeds that they have watered and cared for.

Planting our garden with High Mowing Organic Seeds

Planting our garden with High Mowing Organic Seeds

Another fun way to get your children involved in planting a garden is to create miniature greenhouses with them using our recycled PET egg cartons. Our cartons make the seed starting container.  The other day we enjoyed planting Zinnia seeds together in our mini greenhouses and will watch and wait for the seeds to sprout so that we can add some bright and sunny colors to our yard.

Recycled Plastic Egg Carton Mini-Greenhouses

Recycled Plastic Egg Carton Mini-Greenhouses

Have you ever used our egg cartons to start seeds?

Recipe from the Crafty Hostess: Sunny Side Up Pizza with Goat Cheese & Herbs

Sunny Side Up Pizza with Goat Cheese & Herbs

Sunny Side Up Pizza with Goat Cheese & Herbs

One of our favorite bloggers,  The Crafty Hostess, a “true foodie at heart,” was inspired in the kitchen from an early age by her grandmother. She has fond memories of cooking with her grandmother. Now she is passing her love for cooking onto her own children.  There is nothing better than cooking together with your children. Cooking and entertaining is are true passions of the Crafty Hostess that she shares with her readers.

We are happy to know that Danielle is passionate about using our Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs in her cooking and recipe creation.  Eggs are a staple in the kitchen when it comes to baking but can also be used in more savory creations such as in this amazing recipe for Sunny Side Up Pizza with Goat Cheese and Herbs shared by The Crafty Hostess in a recent blog post.  I would love to try making this pizza showcasing fresh local ingredients this summer, goat cheese from our friends at Meadowstone Farm and fresh Rosemary from my patio herb garden.

The Crafty Hostess

To enjoy the RECIPE for this pizza please visit The Crafty Hostess’ Blog and also enjoy her tips for entertaining and more.