The beauty of a good egg 

When "simple" delivers and it's not in a basket

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It's egg-sactly time for Easter and, in case you couldn't tell from my bad word play, a perfect time to reconsider that in the food realm which is as overlooked as it is underplayed — the egg.

In this case — and that's how they order them at Whistler restos known for their brekkies, like Southside Diner where weekly they go through six cases of 15 dozen per case — I think it's the egg's wonderfully unassuming simplicity and commonalty that is its downfall.

To start, consider its simple, beautiful ovoid shape. I once spent an entire three-hour drawing class — one of the best three hours I've spent — using a crow quill pen and ink to render a single egg in pointillism. That's the technique where you use dots or "points" to draw.

Ink is often used today, but Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, who originated pointillism, put the full spectrum of colour to good use in their wonderful oil paintings. The point, ahem, is that you never draw or paint anything as harsh as a line, perfect for rendering an egg.

Next time you crack open an egg on the edge of your frying pan — so easy! it must be so fragile! — also consider this: The endless arch that makes up the shell's shape is a paradigm of strength.

Check out the web. A lot of fun and, I say this endearingly, nerdy science sites guide you through experiments with eggshells that prove their strength. For instance, carefully breaking the shells in half and using them to support a stack of magazines you weigh when done.

More to the point, the strength — and beauty — of the arch has been applied for centuries in bridges, aqueducts, churches and more. In fact, the dome of the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah, is based on a half eggshell, lengthwise.

If we were all still farmers living off the land like the world's population used to before it urbanized, we'd see eggs in a whole new light besides the fluorescent glare of the grocery store.

For one, did you know that at the most optimal time, as in, when the chickens are in their prime and it's summer when the sun is a-shinin', a conventional chicken will produce about an egg a day? And, sorry, boys, they don't need a rooster to do it.

"It's a funny thing, isn't it?" says Jennie Helmer at Helmers' Organic Farm in Pemberton. "It's the same as us [women] releasing an egg a month, really, except they release an egg a day in their fertile years, which starts around six months and goes on as long as they're alive...And they don't have to get fertilized."

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