Now, listen, I remember being a bit of a picky eater as a kid. My sister still seems to carry a little nugget of hate in her heart toward me because I didn't like chicken pot pie and that meant mom didn't make it as often as chicken pot pie-loving Kelli would have preferred. This seems to be repeating in our own children: Adelaide doesn't like my chicken enchiladas, so I don't make them as often as I would otherwise. Atticus has expressed his bitterness toward this state of affairs a number of times. I could just change my recipe to exclude salsa verde, which is the part that our daughter seems to find so offensive, but it's easy and fast and everyone else likes it just fine, so... whatever, Adelaide.
You know what? I think chicken pot pie may be the key to all this. I enjoy chicken pot pie now, but I had to make it for myself first. Peas are not scary on their own, nor are carrots, nor chicken, nor delicious flaky pie crust. It's when they're presented to you already all clumped together, and it's a mystery as to how they got in there or just what else might be lurking under that top crust that it becomes scary. I'm still not likely to order chicken pot pie from a restaurant with a kitchen I don't trust implicitly, because chicken pot pie can still go so egregiously wrong. Or as the ten year old lurking in the corners of my brain whispers, "What is in that thing?"
At this point the problem is that while I know I used to be a picky eater, I'm starting to forget what that feels like, so I have less and less patience with picky people in general. This all came to a head recently over eggs. You know- as things do.
That is the inside of one of those eggs. Yolk? Check. White? Check.
Came from a chicken? Well, no. You see, these are duck eggs.
That is where, as turns out, people start freaking out. And I start rolling my eyes.
A friend of mine at work lives in a bit of a menagerie- all kinds of animals, including ducks. Because she also has chickens and sells those eggs, it is natural for her to gather the eggs from the ducks and sell those, too.
Or attempt to sell them, anyway. But as it turns out, people don't want duck eggs. They are afraid of duck eggs. She's having trouble giving these things away.
Are duck eggs different from chicken eggs? A little. They're a bit bigger, and the shell is tougher to crack. But they cook up just like chicken eggs. I've been using them interchangeably with chicken eggs for the past few months, careful not to let the family known exactly what's going on in the kitchen, because I am not an idiot. This woman refers to them as being a little richer than chicken eggs, like you've added cream to a chicken egg. I use them mostly in cooking and baking, and can't tell a lick of difference.
I don't understand how people can balk at duck eggs when even chicken eggs are a food you don't want to give too much thought to prior to shoveling it in your mouth. Where do these things come from? What is an egg, exactly? What is its biological function? Ick.
Honestly, though, I probably don't have any room to talk on this subject, as I won't touch a recipe where even a chicken egg isn't completely cooked through: Over easy, Eggs Benedict, whatever; I need my eggs thoroughly cooked, no runniness, do you hear? Probably because I have asked myself those questions: Where do these things come from? What is an egg, exactly? What is its biological function?