Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Gift of Eggs

And I don't mean figuratively, but quite literally: Someone has been leaving eggs on our doorstep.

The first carton appeared a couple of weeks ago and we chalked it up to one of those curious things that sometimes happen in the big city. But then we found a second carton of eggs (pictured here) sitting on the steps just inside our front gate.

We suspected that our mysterious egg gifter might be our farmer friend Mike Klein. We've been pestering Mike about getting a delivery of some of his farm-fresh eggs. Maybe we'd be seeing an invoice soon?

But when I e-mailed Mike, he insisted it wasn't him. "I'm not that generous," he said.

Then last night we found not one but two quart-size cartons of soy-based yogurt--one stacked on top of the other--sitting on the same concrete step where we'd found the last batch of eggs. What the...?

My wife suggested I check the "sell by" dates on the yogurt and the eggs. Perhaps these weren't so much gifts as just cast-offs someone was trying to dispose of with us. Sure enough, the "use by date" on the eggs had expired. I did not check the yogurt: that went directly into the trash.

Then our thoughts turned to the woman we met on the sidewalk one day who recognized me as "that guy who composts." I was thrilled to be recognized. Then the woman revealed that for her this was no brush with fame. She asked if we would accept her banana peels for the compost pile (I guess she eats a lot of bananas.)

Since that time, we occasionally find a plastic grocery bag on our stoop containing banana peels. Could she have graduated to leaving eggs and yogurt? Who buys so many eggs and so much yogurt that they need to dispose of whole cartons?

So far we have kept the eggs over the objections of our daughter, who fears they might be poisoned (such is the world we live in, I guess). If you are the giver of these items and you are reading this, you should know how much we appreciate the thought behind your donations. But you should also know that we do not compost eggs or yogurt. The eggs we plan to hard-boil. If I had a pig, I would feed the yogurt to it. But in the absence of a pig, the yogurt unfortunately is headed for the landfill.

Otherwise, the mystery continues....