I know exactly where I’ll be on Saturday- the Winlock Egg Day Festival. I’ve had the date on my calendar for months now, and my expectations are mounting. This is the 75th anniversary of Egg Day, so I’m betting that the good citizens will pull out all the stops for this gala occasion. If memory serves me correctly, there is an enormous statue of a chicken smack dab in the center of town. It sort of takes a person by surprise if you aren’t prepared. I absolutely LOVE small town festivals, and this promises to be one of the finest. The website doesn’t cover the myriad of questions I have about the events, but the parade alone ought to be worth the drive! I’m hoping for paper mache chicken floats, chicken costumes, rooster displays- the Egg Day Queen should be sporting some pretty fine feathers indeed!
It’s festivals like this that give communities character, and I’d rather visit these than any World’s Fair. Most small towns have some sort of a theme that harkens back to the product that early settlers harvested and sold. Hoquiam is well known for Loggers Playday, in Winlock it was eggs and chickens. The organizers and volunteers who dedicate their time and talents to community festivals deserve heartfelt thanks from all of us, because they care about keeping our towns unique. Having a huge statue of a chicken in the middle of town definitely sets you apart from the mainstream.
Back to the Egg Day Festival. The parade begins at 11am, and the Lioness group will be serving free egg-salad sandwiches. These ladies ought to know something about making one of my favorite sandwiches. My Grandma Bennett made an egg sandwich that was even better- she scrambled the eggs. Dinah Sue Wrey is the only other person I know who makes scrambled egg sandwiches, and she does a fabulous version. Hers is a bit fancier than grandmas’ though. Grandma simply scrambled the eggs ( from her hens, of course) put mayonnaise on some homemade bread, added 2 slices of bacon, and we were set for a picnic. Usually a watermelon came along too. Odd, I would think that making a hot sandwich , carrying it in a basket on a hot summer day and eating it hours later would be frowned upon now as creating a recipe for food poisoning. But we never had a twinge of any sickness from devouring our sandwiches. I hate to describe how delicious they were, in that lukewarm state!
I’m a huge fan of deviled eggs too! It is a well known fact that the fresher the egg, the harder it is to peel off the shell in the hard cooked stage. I’ve struggled with this for years, losing huge chunks of egg white. Just in time for Egg Days I have come across the only helpful hint that ever worked for me. First of all, begin by adding two teaspoons of white vinegar to your cooking water. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to maintain a low boil for eight minutes. Have a bowl filled with ice waiting. Add a bit of cold water to the ice, but not much. Drain the eggs and immediately put them into the ice water. Let them sit there for 20 minutes to cool. I used this method on one day old eggs and they peeled perfectly!
My favorite deviled eggs are simple; mash up the yolks and add Best Foods Mayonnaise, a dollop of Grey Poupon Mustard, and a dash of celery salt. Amounts vary according to how many eggs you are making. Be bold and try adding some smoked salmon, bacon, capers, crabmeat, or shrimp.
The demand for humanly raised eggs is growing as people become more aware of the conditions in which chickens are kept. The eggs that you find at the Hoquiam Farmers Market come from lovingly treated chickens who get to scratch around in the dirt and live the way a chicken likes to live. Our chickens do their best for us, but sometimes we do run out of eggs. If you are interested in supplying eggs to the market, please get in touch with me. You can check out the State of Washington regulations at http://agr.wa.gov/FoodAnimal/Eggs/Licensing.aspx
Rumor is circulating that Strawberries may be available early next week! I promise to keep you posted!!!
Barbara Bennett Parsons, manager of the Hoquiam Farmers Market
1958 Riverside, ph. 538-9747
open 6 days a week- closed on Tuesday. Hours, 9-5