Most days, we shovel food in our faces while standing, walking, meeting, etc. But before breaking for the holiday, we sat down to a civilized lunch of salad lyonnaise: frisee, crispy bacon lardons, a perfectly poached egg, and Jeff’s dijon vinaigrette (made with Shallots Confit from French Market).
I’ve never been a big fan of the phrase “It’s five o’clock somewhere.” Maybe it’s because it’s never said right on the hour, so it’s not 5:00 somewhere; it’s 5:13 somewhere or 5:47 somewhere.” Plus, who says you need to wait until 5 pm to have a cocktail? Because our livelihood sometimes depends on day drinking, or at least sampling, I’ve done my fair share of 9 am sipping. Most of it has been on Friday mornings.
For a year, I’ve been writing a weekly cocktail column, Friday Drink Special, for MadeMan.com — which I usually finish at about 9 or 10 am the day it runs (hence my morning sips). This week, they’re launching a new section to feature my drinks. So, they asked me to reshoot them all in a similar style. This is a good thing, considering I started writing the column before I knew what I was doing behind the camera (at Feed Me Creative, I style and Jeff shoots).
On a cold, rainy Tuesday in early June, I rushed to the post office to pick up 10 chicks. Yep, I’d ordered baby chicks online and the day they hatched, they were shipped to me — via USPS in a cardboard box with holes poked in it! For about six weeks, I had them in a brooder, which was really just a large plastic tub with a heat lamp over it. It’s safe to say that I was obsessed with them.
Only six were for us; I was raising four for friends. Eventually, our six girls were big enough to move into their coop — a beautiful chicken home my brother-in-law and nephew built for us.
Since then, I’ve been doting on them, feeding them table scraps as treats, and waiting patiently (okay, perhaps not quite so patiently) for our first egg. And then, last week, it finally came!
I went out in the morning to check on them after the temperature had dropped more than 40 degrees overnight. I know that sudden changes in weather can be stressful, and even deadly, for chickens, so I was thrilled when I opened their little pop door and they all waddled down their little ladder. Though they are all “especially cold hardy” breeds, I was half expecting them to be dead. What I was not expecting was my Buff Orpington, Buffy, to squat and drop an egg in the middle of their run.
I was overjoyed. It was a perfectly imperfect, beautiful, speckled, little brown egg.
Then, within a couple of hours, I found another one in the nesting box (where the chickens are supposed to lay their eggs). I suspect it was from our Black Jersey Giant, Snooki Elizabeth Fopkins (long name, long story) who’d been hanging out in the nesting box all morning. I wanted to eat them, but I waited until my husband got home from work so I could show him — because I was so freaking excited! Since we were going out to eat that night, I decided to save them for the morning when I found a third egg!
Since then, I’ve been finding one to two eggs a day — which, for six very young hens in this cold weather, is really quite impressive.
In case you’re wondering, yes, we’ve been eating them all — fried with runny yolks. And they are so, so good.
We developed this smoky, salty guacamole for foodandwine.com, and they’ve heaped plenty of superlatives on it in the past few months (10 guacamole recipes you have to try before you die…15 party dips guaranteed to get you laid…467 bacon recipes that will send you straight to Flavortown, and the hospital).
And to be honest, if less than humble, it’s deserving of all accolades. After all, it’s guacamole, which is inherently delicious, with bacon and chipotle peppers, which are also delicious. Oh, and you eat it with pork rinds. Basically, it’s a bowl of delicious mixed with a pile of delicious served with a bag of delicious.
Smoky Chipotle and Bacon Guacamole
total time: 30 minutes
servings: 2 cups
3 ripe Haas avocados
8 ounces bacon, cooked
2 canned chipotle peppers, dried and diced
¼ cup finely diced white onion
1 lime, juiced
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1. Scoop the avocado into a bowl. Coarsely mash it with a fork. Stir in the bacon, chipotle, onion, jalapeno, lime juice, and cilantro. Season with salt. Serve with tortilla chips or, even better, pork rinds.
Make Ahead: Press plastic wrap firmly against the surface of the guacamole and refrigerate overnight. Leaving one of the avocado pits in the guacamole will also help reduce oxidation (browning). Because science.