Every year on this day, I thank the great Michigan producers—and for some years, I’ve been cooking Thanksgiving using only Michigan producers, with just a few ingredient exceptions–who bring us our meal.
Our food was brought to use by many of the same farmers and artisans as last year, though I made my pie crust with whole wheat pasty flour from the Jennings Brothers, and we’ll be drinking Bells and Bowers Harbor this year instead of Founders and Brys Estate.
But I want to focus on the eggs that will go into our pumpkin pie.
You see, it’s been a really tough year for eggs in MI. Many chickens died in the heat wave in June. Then, with the drought, pastured chickens had to work harder to eat and weren’t producing much as a result. And naturally raised chickens are going to be laying almost no eggs this time a year: Mother Nature gives her chickens more time off than Wal-Mart gives its workers?
Mind you, I’ve still been able to get eggs. But eggs—along with stone fruit, particularly tart cherries and peaches, which were devastated by our spring heat wave followed by frost—eggs are one of the things that made an urban girl like me realize how devastating the weather was.
If I had to work hard to remember to ask for eggs ahead of time, think how hard the farmers were working to keep their chickens healthy?
So it was mighty humbling the other day when our farmer handed me eggs. Humbling, because I didn’t think there’d be eggs for purchase in any case. Particularly humbling because she just gave them to me. “Here, don’t tell anyone.” (So I’m telling all of you, just “protecting my sources”!)
Something as prosaic as eggs, become a precious gift due to the rhythm of nature but also the very unnatural thing weather has become.
The food we share on this holiday is always precious, whether it comes from a local farmer or a big supermarket. It’s the sharing, after all, that makes it precious. We’re probably going to need a lot more of that sharing in the years to come.
Thanks to all of you for sharing with us here–may that gracious sharing continue through the next year!