Brunch with Vermont Creamery

Vermont Creamery Brunch Bruschetta

How lucky are we to have Spring come again? The trees are waking up, small buds perk a little every day. Our dogs run outside in the sunshine until they’re sore; puffing in the still-cold air. I’m learning to love Spring for what it is: a greeting, a promise, a chance to try something new.

And so I bring a bruschetta. I use this term loosely, of course. It’s toast. With goat cheese. Micro-greens and tomatoes roasted to the point of jamminess with half an onion to cut the sweetness. Topped with an egg, the freshest I could find: still warmed from the morning lay where I tucked it into my pajama pocket when I opened up the barn door for a flock of eager, hungry, crowing hens.

Vermont Creamery asked me to provide a “tip” for Spring cookery. Mine is to surround yourself with animals, all kinds and all ages and all sizes. Dogs to comfort you, to keep you warm in the still-cold morning. Chickens to watch from your kitchen window, to give you fresh eggs every day. We can learn a lot from chickens, you know. Keep busy, rest often, and keep one eye on your friends at all times.

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Ingredients:

  • 6 campari tomatoes or whatever variety you have at hand, sliced in half or quartered if larger

  • ½ white onion, chopped

  • 4 slices of your favorite rustic, crusty bread

  • 4 eggs

  • 4 oz Vermont Creamery goat cheese, slightly warmed to room temperature

  • ½ cup arugula or other microgreens

  • Rice wine vinegar or a lemon half

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450*F

  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment or foil (for easy cleaning)

  3. Drizzle tomatoes and onions with a little oil and roast for 25-30 minutes until skin is wrinkled on tomatoes and onions are softened and browned

  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool

  5. While tomatoes are cooling, toast your bread and fry 4 eggs in your preferred method

  6. Evenly spread goat cheese on each piece of toast

  7. Top each with greens, then roasted tomatoes

  8. Gently place fried egg on all slices

  9. Either squeeze a little lemon or a teensy drizzle of vinegar on egg

  10. Season to taste and enjoy!

Vermont Creamery Brunch Bruschetta
Vermont Creamery Brunch Bruschetta
Brett Braley - VTC - Brunch Bruschetta-4.jpg
Vermont Creamery Brunch Bruschetta

Goodbye, Rooster

My flock is without a leader and I am without a friend. We had to put our rooster down. He was sick; nothing we could do. It was good to hear it from a vet. I didn’t feel as guilty then.

He wasn’t getting better. His breathing was ragged. He went lame, shuffling his mass across the straw when I found him under a two-by-four. He crowed once when I grabbed him up. He fell asleep on the way to the vet. I was in the backseat, saying my sorries and my goodbyes and my rationalizations. Nolan drove us, our eyes meeting in the rearview mirror. The rooster nodded off, his comb now bleeding, poking out of an airhole I had cut into the side with a dull screwdriver.

I wasn’t in the room when he died. We sat in the car. I needed air. It may be silly, but I’ve never handled these things well.

I am without a friend. Our flock is now at 26. This is the last photo I took of him. “He was a good boy” is the maxim we’re repeating. The small eulogy for his small life. He was thoughtful and gentle for a rooster. He was malnourished when we got him and his body grew to its limits quickly. He wobbled under his own weight. He was patient. He was vigilant. He sometimes, confused, brooded in the nesting boxes. He was as tall as Milo. He went peacefully and is buried by the creek bed. He was my first rooster I ever owned. I will miss him. The morning is no longer punctuated with his trumpeting. I will miss him.

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