Are your eggs coming from a clean, climate controlled house full of small cages where eggs roll out from under hens and onto a conveyor belt? Or an huge metal barn, where chickens roam around in mass confusion and the mortality rate is higher? Or from a free-range farm where chickens get to do what comes naturally – eat bugs, peck at weeds, scratch and dust bathe – but are susceptible to the weather and predators?
That’s the difference between “natural”, “cage-free” and “free-range” eggs.
It’s your choice.
I go for free-range chicken and eggs, which cost more because production costs are higher. I just like the thought of hens kind of hanging out, dropping an egg here and there. Of course, it means they get to practice their brutal pecking order, but again, that’s kind of what they are supposed to do.
Whatever you choose, you need to visit www.goodeggproject.org and check out the webisodes of family farms, egg production and other assorted egg stuff. While you are there, make an entirely free pledge on the “Eat Good, Do Good. Every Day” and one egg will be donated to Feeding America, a hunger relief charity. The site has a nifty counter and a map where you can click on an egg and see how many have been donated from each state. (Hint: Texas is doing a lot of good. we need to catch up!)
Thanks to the North Carolina Egg Association for passing along this information, with the following recipe, a tropical and easier version of tres leche cake:
Cream of Coconut Cake
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup skim or low-fat milk
2 tsp. vanilla
6 egg whites
2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup unsweeetened coconut
1 8-ounce can of cream of coconut (usually found with mixers for bar drinks)
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
1 12-ounce container Cool Whip, thawed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease and flour a 9X13 baking pan
In large bowl, beat sugar and shortening together. Slowly beat in milk and vanilla. Add egg whites, two at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour gradually, then add coconut and stir just until blended.
Pour batter into pan and bake 35 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Then punch 10 holes in the cake with the handle of wooden spoon. Pour cream of coconut on top of cake, letting it absorb completely.
After cake has cooled completely, stir 1/2 cup of the toasted coconut into the Cool Whip. Spread on top of cake. Sprinkle with remaining coconut and refrigerate for several hours before serving.
Yield: 12 servings.
This cake has a whopping 449 calories per slice but zero grams of cholesterol. So enjoy!