Monday, April 4, 2011

Naked in a Chicken Coop


Sunday, we were at my friend Winnie's house. She was taking my picture naked in her chicken coop.

I should tell you why, but I'm not going to. It's a little stunt for charity. Just imagine me in 40 degree weather, in nothing but rubber garden boots, a big scarf and a chicken covering my bits and weeing on me. Imagine my right thigh covered in a thick smattering of brown chicken poop. That was my Sunday afternoon. Just like any Sunday afternoon really. This picture (above) is a rather tame outtake from the day.

While all that was going on, and Winnie was taking my picture, and David was giving me posing directions, and shifting the scarf this way and that to cover all the nekkid bits, the kids ran into Winnie's hen house. When Lucy emerged she was carrying a warm, just-laid egg.

She wouldn't let it go.


She held onto it until we got inside and she asked Winnie to cook it for her. It was pretty simple really. Winnie made it over easy in a little butter. Lucy ate all of it. And not just ate it, but devoured it. Like she had never eaten an egg before.

And when we got home she made me make her another one, just the exact same way Winnie made it. And she gobbled that down too. She's always liked eggs in various incarnations, but this was different. Winnie's egg was better than my store-bought organic. She decided we should have chickens.

Of course, we can't. I had to break that bit of bad news. We're only in the country on weekends, so if we had them there, they would thirst to death by Wednesday. And having them in NYC is obviously impossible. So, no chickens. But I did have an epiphany, something about Lucy actually harvesting the egg herself, and holding it warm in her hands while the chickens ran around under her feet, actually made a difference in how she ate.

I know, you're thinking, "Duh!" We talk about it, sure. How being close to our food changes the way we think about it. It seems true enough, but sometimes it feels like preachy foodism. I mean, how many times have we spent hours with our kids making some scratch dish in the kitchen and at the end, they eat NOTHING? They climb off the counter, leaving our kitchens covered in flour dust and egg shells, only to thumb their little noses at whatever creations it took us hours to make with them, and ask for crackers instead. Little shits.

But this was different. She got that eggs come from chickens, not supermarkets and she appreciated that, and allowed herself a moment to taste the difference.

That might not mean much. But it's somethin'...

xo YM


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19 comments:

tastesbetterwithfriends said...

I love how you weaved a naked chicken coop picture into a child's fresh egg revelation.
Can't wait to see the "chosen" picture!

The Yummy Mummy said...

Thanks! I have occasionally been known to weave together the tawdry and the earnest to great effect. :)

xoxo

Michelle (What's Cooking with Kids) said...

LOVE....

Barbara | VinoLuciStyle said...

My sister lives in WI in a rural area with some acreage and she has chickens too. She won't eat chicken but she will eat eggs and I love how wonderful her fresh eggs are and the extra benefit you cite. How connected her kids her to their food and where it comes from.

They are for egg laying only and her kids help with the work of their small brood. Laura doesn't eat chicken and now her kids have chosen not to as well. I can see how that would happen when they tend to their 'friends' each day and are on a first name basis!

I've been hearing a lot of talk about a lot of nekkid on Twitter lately; let's just say better you than me.

The Yummy Mummy said...

You heard right, Barb. The Nekkid is big. Wait til you see!

Leah@NoshingConfessions said...

Amazing :) We brought our 3/4 year old to our CSA farm. She ended up eating a tomato whole, picked right from the ground. An experience like the one you described really does fundamentally change the way kids approach food...

SMITH BITES said...

while i would like nothing better than to have chickens, you'll definitely NOT find me nekked as a jay bird, exposed for all the world to see . . . i value your friendship and am quite certain you'd all be pointing and laughing . . .

so will leave the nekkedness to you fabulous women who can work it!

btw - very much enjoyed seeing Edie devour her egg - that girl is smart like her mama!

candy / musik said...

I think that is awesome. To be able to taste the difference. Really, nothing better.

Rita said...

Good post. Kim, that chicken looks like he's madly in love with you!!!

RJ Flamingo said...

All I can say is: XOXOX I love this entire post. And yes, it kind of is connected. Kinda. Can't wait to see your final chosen shot. #nudiefoodie ;-))

Winnie said...

Love this. And you don't need to get your own chickens...tell Lucy she is welcome to come get eggs any time you are in NP. We have too many anyway :)

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

Kim what a great post. I saw that pic of her devouring the egg on the weekend and I loved that. The leadup to is and the visuals this post conjures up are wonderful. Can't wait to see the finished product and like Barb and Deb said, better you than me!!!

Paula said...

How wonderful of you to do this photo-shoot for a charity. I'm sure it will be a huge fund-raiser....chicken poop and all. Such a nice re-telling of Lucy's experience with the egg.

Nuts about food said...

I recently posted about that: how I go out and buy ingredients to take the time and make something together at home, with my kids, and how they get bored after a few minutes and go off to play leaving the kitchen a mess and me cooking alone and then not eating what they helped cook...it is true however, that when they are really close to the actual food source it is a whole different thing. Love the picture!

Julia said...

Great "EGGpipany" and oh so important too...connection is everything (ask me sometime about how I connect by big kids to the big kid issues) - very well done!

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

You are far braver than I am! Loved everything about this post.

Johanna said...

I have a small back yard. Tell Edie and Lucy that if y'all want to take field trips to Brooklyn, you can come hang out with me a couple times a week, and I'll get some chickens, and they can have eggs.

I'm actually not kidding. As long as the neighbors' dogs wouldn't try to kill them, this could be a thing.

christine said...

My mother had a friend with chickens and oh man, those eggs.

But more than that, you know you need to share the nekkid picture that wins? Right.

Cheryl Arkison said...

Oh, it's something alright!
As are you!