After a six-month winter hiatus, my three chickens have started to produce some eggs. I love the large creamy yolks. And after trying these free-range chicken eggs, it’s difficult to go back to the factory eggs where chickens spend their lives in a teeny cage with a light bulb and are forced to extract egg after egg all year long. I could not bring myself to buy these eggs so I too took a six-month hiatus from eating eggs.
After I had my fill of scrambled, soft boiled, and sunny side up eggs, I was ready for eggs and potato. Eggs and potato fried for breakfast. Eggs and potato boiled and flavored for an awesome egg salad sandwich for lunch. I want me some eggs and potato, but they have to be baladi.
It is March in Palestine and baladi eggs and potatoes are in season. I walked through the main market, al hisbeh, in Al beirh in search of the soil covered potatoes. There were none. Only mesh bags of polished clean potatoes were on display. All Israeli. No baladi in the main vegetable market in town. How could this be? I thought there was a call out to boycott Israeli products. Did they forget to include the produce?
Later in the week, I decided to walk through the Masrara market in Jerusalem after Friday prayers. I love the energy on the streets. The Masrara market is open all week long, but it expands on Fridays. Vendors spread out their goodies on the streets and sidewalk. Fish. Grilled meats in case you are hungry. Boxes of produce. Lots of produce. Some with a sticker identifying the name of the Israeli company. I could not bring myself to buy anything with a sticker.
“How much is this?” a lady asked in Hebrew as she pointed to a tangerine that she was peeling. She started peeling it to feed her child before she even asked.
“No worries. It’s a gift”, responded the Palestinian shopkeeper. This is the story of our lives.
I continued to walk. The variety of produce was astounding. Citrus. Apples. Persimmons. Tomatoes and cucumbers. Even mini-peaches. Most of these products were not in season. Yes, there were large mesh bags of polished potatoes. I walked some more and finally found one box of soil-covered baladi potatoes and irregular shaped red carrots. I bought some of each. Finally.
“Where do these come from?” I asked the shopkeeper as I pointed to the baladi potatoes and baladi red carrots.
“Hebron”, he responded.
“But how did they enter Jerusalem?”
“Anything is possible with money”.
Fried baladi eggs and potatoes
Chop one medium potato and one medium red carrot and fry in a bit of olive oil. Keep the heat on low and stir occasionally until cooked. Sprinke with sea salt for taste. Mix two eggs with a bit of sea salt in a bowl. Pour eggs over potatoes and carrot and continue to cook on low. Stir. Once eggs are cooked, turn off the heat. Devour!
The red carrots are optional. Since I had a bunch of fresh rosemary from my garden, I chopped some rosemary and fried it with the potatoes and carrot.
Egg Potato Salad
Boil two medium potatoes. After 30 minutes, add four eggs to the pot and continue to boil for another 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the potatoes and eggs to continue to cook in the hot water. When cool, peel the potatoes and chop. Peel the eggs and chop. Place potatoes and eggs into a bowl. Season with sea salt for taste. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon mustard, and the juice of half a lemon. Mix. I also added some salted capers that I had preserved from last year’s caper harvest.