Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thursday Thoughts # 39

from One For The Money by Janet Evanovich

"....I shuffled into the kitchen and stood in front of the refrigerator, hoping the refrigerator fairies had visited during the night. I opened the door and stared at the empty shelves, noting that food hadn't magically cloned itself from the smudges in the butter keeper and the shriveled flotsam at the bottom of the crisper."

"I flopped onto my bed, spread-eagle on my back. This was my thinking position when things appeared to be futile. It had obvious advantages: I could nap while I waited for something brilliant to pop into my mind."


today's thoughts 

I'm giving up eggs. 

Not entirely, so perhaps I should clarify.
I'm giving up fried eggs and scrambled eggs, both of which I love, but I'll still use eggs to make pancakes and other yummy things that need eggs. 

Chocolate cake for instance. 
Chicken Schnitzels.

Sometime ago, here in Australia, there was a problem with chickens on the farms that supply the egg companies. 
I don't recall what it was, but many chickens were destroyed and this caused an egg shortage.

The shortage wasn't immediately apparent, millions of eggs had already been laid and were available for our consumption. 

A few weeks later there were gaps on supermarket shelves where once there had been boxes of deliciousness. 

Now the egg supply appears to have recovered, the shelves are once again filled with many different branded boxes all claiming to be fresh eggs.
But are they? 
Fresh, I mean. 
How fresh? 
Have these eggs been kept in long term storage?

I ask because they taste different. They taste wrong. They taste stale
Not "off" exactly, but not nice and even after coffee or tea, (whichever you drink with breakfast), the stale egg taste lingers in the mouth. 

The white of the egg when fried is the stale (awful) tasting part, the yolk has no flavour at all. Certainly not the yummy richness I've been used to. 
Scrambled, the eggs just taste stale-not-quite-off, but very certainly not fresh. 

How long do we have to put up with this? I've tried several different brands of eggs and all are the same. 
The one exception was the dozen I'd bought at the local market held on the third Saturday of each month. Free range, from his own chooks.
But I often forget to go there, or just can't be bothered, or I'm too busy.

So there's a lot less eggs being consumed here in this small household. 

Let's move on to a completely different type of egg.

Chocolate eggs. 
Sold by the million every year at Easter. 

For many, many years, my preferred chocolate bunny was the Red Tulip brand. 
The 'giant rabbit' dressed in foil designed to look like the toy soldier on a Christmas Tree. 

Then I discovered the Lindt bunny and bought those for a couple of years, but they're a bit pricey so I switched back to the Red Tulip giant rabbits which had now increased in price to rival the Lindt, but were larger, so the kids got more chocolate for the money.
Then the kids grew up and no longer expected chocolate bunnies from Nanny, so I bought Lindt bunnies for myself. 

Then, one year, Gubor bunnies appeared on the shelves at Coles. I tried one and was hooked.
 Best chocolate ever!! 
So those were what I bought for myself each Easter for several years. 

At some point during those years, Red Tulip was sold to Cadbury, and the chocolate changed.
Still good eating, but less rich, the kind of blandness I'd become used to tasting when eating anything Cadbury. (less cocoa solids in the mix, I no longer buy Cadbury chocolate)

This year, I discovered my beloved Gubor bunnies are no longer available in Australia. I searched online and discovered they are available in New Zealand supermarkets, but that's a long way to go for a silver/blue wrapped chocolate bunny.  
And they don't ship to Australia :(

Last week I was shopping in my local Woolworths and noticed Red Tulip bunnies on special. I thought to myself, "Hmmm, will I or won't I?"

I did. 
I bought a Red Tulip bunny. Took it home, smashed it up, took one bite. 

And threw it away.
Yes, that's right. I threw away chocolate. 

That chocolate tasted like the very cheap nasty stuff available in the $2 shops. 
The stuff with foreign lettering on the label near the English lettering. 
I got the wrapper out of the bin and checked. 
No foreign lettering, but the Cadbury website is listed. 
So they still own the Red Tulip brand, but what have they done to their chocolate? 
It is awful!
So this is another area where I am giving up eggs. Even if they are shaped like bunnies.

19 comments:

  1. On the "real" eggs, I'm wary too. And is why I desperately want to move further out to the country to once more, have my own beautiful hens, and wholesome eggs.
    It will happen, in a year or so.

    I nodded my head to everything you wrote about "easter chocolate".
    Once, easter egg chocolate was different. I loved cracking a choccie egg on the table and picking out shards of wafer thin deliciousness from within.
    But, the taste is no longer the same - and Elegant Rabbits have shrunk too.
    My son's girlfriend's dad works for Cadbury, and yes the recipe has changed - for economy :(
    I guess they didn't think we all would notice... nor do they care.

    I'll be sticking with Lindt bunnies. Yes, plural. What can I say, it's a treat :)

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  2. I would stay away from those stale tasting eggs as well. I've noticed in our eggs the shells seem much thinner than they used to. They taste fine, but I wonder what they are being fed.

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  3. I only eat eggs in restaurants, and chocolate never, so I've noticed nothing different.
    I wonder if your eggs are now imported from somewhere. I cannot imagine.

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  4. Easter chocolate. Sigh. Cheap and nasty far too often. I read somewhere that they are now preparing Easter goodies for 2017. Sigh.
    I hear you on the other egg front too. When we can we get our eggs from the Farmers' Markets. Real eggs. With flavour.

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  5. When I have to buy eggs, I get Manning Valley 80gm eggs which are sadly not available in SA it seems. They have a very large area the chooks can roam in - and a camera on their website where you can watch them! - and you can tell by the eggs that they are happy chooks.

    The only way you can tell a difference between my chooks eggs and the Manning Valley ones are the size of the egg, and that is because my girls are bantams. The yolk colour is almost the same. That means they are getting plenty of awesomeness in their diet.. :)

    Lindt bunnies for me, every year. :)

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  6. Can't say I've noticed any difference in eggs. Perhaps it is a local issue for you. Life is too short to eat cheap chocolate.

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  7. Vicki; I told people years ago that Cadbury chocolate had changed, they'd chosen profits over quality. Nobody believed me then and few do now, but I know what my tastebuds are telling me.
    I wish I knew what to do about regular eggs though. I used to love a couple of fried eggs for breakfast once or twice a week.
    Good luck with your move to the country, I'm looking forward to chook stories from you.

    joeh; probably not enough greens or poor quality grain because it's cheaper. I'm definitely staying away from supermarket eggs.

    Joanne; our eggs are all Australian, but the biggest suppliers are in Queensland, so the eggs travel quite a distance. the eggs I prefer to buy are from my own state, South Australia, but even they don't taste right. The problem may be with what the chooks are being fed, but that doesn't explain the poor tasting "free range" supermarket eggs.

    Elephant's Child; Easter chocolate, as with any other chocolate, is mass produced and stored until needed. Most goods are. But good quality chocolate stores just as well, with no reduction in flavour unless it suffers temperature extremes.
    The reason for the cheap nasty stuff is profits. They, whoever "they" are, know that parents will buy for the kids and kids will scoff almost anything, often not realising there are better tasting options available.
    As for real eggs, I've missed my chance this month, but will get to the local market day next month. I must look up the Farmer's Market days that are held in the Wayville Showgrounds. I could get eggs there.

    Snoskred; I've never heard of Manning Valley eggs, but here in SA we can get Kangaroo Island eggs, I'd forgotten about those. They have a website too, where free roaming chickens can be seen. The last time I looked for them, the shelf was empty, they're only available in certain SA owned supermarkets. The 'big boys', Coles and Woolies, don't get them. I miss getting eggs from my daughter, she used to bring me a half dozen every now and then, but she doesn't have chooks right now.
    It will be a Lindt bunny for me this year too. I miss Gubor :(

    Andrew; perhaps you're luckier with your egg suppliers. it might be a case of "Adelaide? where's that? oh. hmm, send them the leftovers". Because we're nobody over here, west of the Blue Mountains (*~*)
    life is most definitely too short for cheap chocolate. I haven't bought Cadbury since...gosh I can't remember when, until that Red Tulip bunny recently.

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  8. River, here's a thought... perhaps you could have ordered to your home fresh, good quality organic free range eggs from online stores such as this one http://keanesorganicfood.com.au/shop/eggs.html

    If you don't "buy online", perhaps you could organise to pay on delivery. Many companies are well set up for this.

    Or, maybe take a trip to a Farmers Market closest to you and ask the people who sell eggs if they could drop a dozen off to you - for a small delivery fee, so you don't have to go to the market every time.

    I'm sure there is a way. And for a dollar or two extra a dozen, it would definitely be worth it. Even if you buy a dozen of the "good" eggs only once a month.

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  9. ... There we go, I checked out their FAQ page and along with credit cards, they also take "good old fashioned cash". See here http://keanesorganicfood.com.au/faq/

    Gotta love that. They supply to Adelaide suburbs, so pop your postcode in the search bar and away you go... if you want to.
    Could be worth a go.

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  10. If I remember the problem was that the big supermarkets were buying from egg factories that were calling themselves 'free range'.
    I live in Melbourne and buy Kangaroo Island eggs and no other. I can taste the difference. The yolks change colour according to whatever seasonal grass and insects they eat.

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  11. Vicki; thanks for all that information, I'll keep it in mind and I've written it down too. But first I'm going to see if I can get Kangaroo Island eggs, there's a supermarket within walking distance that has them, but they sell out pretty quickly. I'll ask if some can be set aside for me.

    JahTeh; I'd forgotten about KI eggs, but now that I remember, I'll try to get some.
    I know that many places call themselves free range when they really aren't, there's so much involved in producing free range eggs and suddenly they're "flavour of the month" so to speak, and there's hundreds on the shelves. It just isn't possible in my opinion.

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  12. I don't eat many eggs at all...I rarely eat eggs. I gave up on them quite some time ago. I find it very easy to "go off eggs".

    It's ages since I've had scrambled, poached, fried or boiled eggs. I've not even been eating the eggs that I collect each morning from the my landlords' chickens. I feed their five chickens each morning (while they're away(, as I've written about on my blog.

    Every morning I take up a large bag of goodies to add to their regular diet of pellets, but I just can't bring myself to eat their eggs! I've been giving the eggs away to friends of my landlords!

    I know I'm weird...so it's okay if you're nodding your head! lol

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    1. But, like you...I did use two of the eggs this morning. I added them to the mixture as I prepared two large meat loaves. I'm taking one of the meat loaves up to my landlords' home later. They arrive home tomorrow (Saturday) from the UK...so they'll have something for their lunch/dinner after their long flight. I always prepare something for them to have. I'll put together a salad, too.

      I think it's just cooking the eggs as is, if you know what I mean that I've been turned off from for a while.

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  13. Lee; if I had chicken fresh eggs, I'd be eating eggs every day in one way or another! I've only gone off them because supermarket eggs have been so awful for the past several months.
    It's very nice of you to put together meatloaf and salad for your landlords, you're the sort of tenant landlords hate to see leave, like me.

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  14. Ew the egg thing is just... WEIRD. That would creep me out or make me want to keep my own chickens. Something.

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  15. Totally off the subject but I also buy Ligurian bee honey from Kangaroo Island from Woolies gold range. Expensive but worth it for the flavour.

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  16. Maybe the Red Tulip Easter Bunnies had past their Best Before date.

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  18. Find yourself a good dealer, River - of REAL eggs, that is! Often local delis and sometimes butchers and fruiterers sell local eggs. A quick freshness test is to put the egg in water. If it sinks, it's fresh. If it floats, it's off. If it's at half mast, it's OK, but iffy. Of course it's too late once you've bought them. As for the choccy, stick to the Aussie brands like Hilliers and Haighs - they're more expensive, but you don't eat as much. No, REALLY!

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