Saturday, March 31, 2007

Going to work on an egg

A soft boiled egg and soldiers is such an evocative comfort food dish for me and like many foods of this ilk I have to have it ‘my way’ or not at all. This soft boiled egg is one of my earliest memories of having to select a favourite food. At my very first school we had a project of cataloguing all the pupil’s most exquisite foodstuff. Everyone would name their food and we would find various packets and/or pictures to illustrate our preferred choice. If my memory serves me well many of my schoolmates selected food from packets and we made a collage of all these various packets but I was insistent that only a soft boiled egg would do and we scoured old copies of Family Circle until we fell upon an advert probably for Lion eggs or something and had a perfect egg in a blue and white striped egg cup. My egg picture had the pride of place in the middle of the collage and I was extremely pleased with my selection. And it’s such a perfect meal, still years later it cannot really be beaten but as I said I can’t have any arriviste combinations it HAS to be two soft boiled runny yolked eggs with white bread cut into soldiers and another slice still uncut to turn into an egg sandwich with all the remaining egg. The yolk has to be golden and now I am evangelical about the provenance of my happy eggs, that shouldn’t be a problem and the bread has to be white and never ever toasted. The toast crumbs in the egg yolk would seriously distress me. And brown bread would just be very, very wrong! The soldiers have to cut from the full length of the bread slice even though they can break, I don’t like them when they’ve been cut in half.

I have various egg cups that I’ve acquired over the years but this rather splendid black and white set bought for me last year by M seemed the perfect choice for today. And of course finished off with a white ceramic egg spoon as sometimes a metal spoon taints the taste.

A soft boiled egg is what I crave when I’m feeling a little under the weather or when I am feeling on top of the world and I have some fresh eggs and white bread to hand. Occasionally I would serve soft boiled eggs with asparagus spears as a decadent starter, and as I can almost smell the first asparagus of the season this could well be eaten very soon.

Fabulously happy eggs are nearly always sat in my china egg box in my kitchen, I don’t believe in keeping eggs in the fridge and I go through them very quickly so I needn’t worry about them. But bread I don’t keep in as much as I used to so spotting a small white sliced loaf when grabbing a few late night necessities at open until midnight M&S Simply Food was a special treat. I regularly have creamy scrambled eggs and barely hard boiled eggs but just occasionally, like today, only a soft boiled egg and soldiers will do.

I don't know if my soft boiled egg preferences will provoke as many responses as my perfect egg and bacon buttie but I suspect it may. But I will not be swayed, this is the only way to enjoy a soft boiled egg and soldiers - don't let others convince you otherwise!

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