Petaluma, for those of you outside Northern California, is a historic chicken town. Hens and eggs. Coops for miles.
Well, that's all changing, bit by bit, as farmers go out of business and decaying henhouses get knocked down for developments.
But I do still get my eggs from Petaluma (and Santa Rosa, and Marin County too). Those places aren't the scene of the crime, though.
The scene of the crime is my refrigerator. It's a victimless crime, but it bears investigation.
See all those jars of evidence?
Perfectly hard-cooked eggs (Cranky is a master), brining in various liquids. We've been experimenting.
That purple one on the left is new. It's a couple of eggs bathing in the liquid from a jar of homemade red cabbage/radish pickles. The color is so intense, the eggs are already tinted after just a couple of hours.
The bright yellow ones are floating around in a blend of brines swiped from various jars in the fridge: pepperoncini, dill pickles, a little jalapeño juice — with added garlic.
On the right is one of my favorite discoveries, a repeat of an appetizer Cranky and I carted to a party last night (and it seemed to meet with general approval): eggs in leftover kalamata juice. You know all those jars of olives you go through, and then when the olives are gone, you just throw out the juice? Don't! It makes the most tasty, tan, tender eggs. This one is an immediate classic in the Crankycrumb household. (We'll see whether the addition this time of a clove of garlic is thumbs up or down.)
Finally, in the rear to the left, Bloody Mary eggs. Yep. The "brine" is a super-seasoned cocktail made with tomato sauce instead of juice, and an overabundance of accents (Tabasco, Worcestershire, lemon, pepper, salt, celery salt) as well as a ridiculous "splash" (read: tsunami) of vodka. My only disappointment is that the tomatoes seem to toughen the eggwhites... Other than that, they're a little like portable brunch. Hoochy mama.
All these colored eggs (should I put them in a Solstice Basket?) will brew for at least four days, and up to a week.
And you know what? I haven't even begun to try all the pickled egg ideas this experiment has set loose in my brain.