Thursday, 16 September 2010
Magpie Tales #32 Eggs
In the days when I could still eat eggs without them causing discomfort – it's not an allergy that developed but an intolerance – I cooked them in many different ways. I loved to have cheesy scrambled eggs on hot buttered toast but was never particularly fond of omelettes - they always seemed rather rubbery but that was probably the way I overcooked them.
Fried eggs were tasty but cooking the white while keeping the yolk soft was a knack and one I still strive to acquire when I prepare them for my family. Poached eggs were easier though inclined to stick to the pod. Putting them straight into boiling water avoided that but resulted in messy looking eggs with globular yolks and untidy straggly whites. They still tasted the same on toast with ground pepper and perhaps a little salt.
Shrove Tuesday was always fun – I was an expert pancake tosser and none of them ever landed on the floor or stuck to the ceiling. Lemon juice and sugar made them tangy and sweet and I made piles of them until everyone was sated.
Soft-boiled eggs with soldiers were always welcomed by all the family – there aren't many occasions when playing with your food is acceptable. Tapping the shell with the back of a spoon and peeling the top off to reveal the treasure within felt naughty but was allowed. How else could you reach the glorious food inside? Removing and eating a slice of white disclosed the sunny yellow. Crisp toast fingers were dipped into the golden runny yolk within its firm soft white and finally the whole of the rest of the egg was scraped out of its shell, every mouthful to be savoured. One boiled egg was wonderful but two were a prize that would keep even the most active child feeling satisfyingly replete until lunch time. The concluding joy was to reverse the eggshells in the cups and pretend that they were as yet uneaten. No-one was ever fooled but it was a harmless ritual that always made everyone smile. I learned the hard way when very young and not yet married that soft-boiled eggs cannot be kept warm in the water they've been boiled in!
Hard-boiled eggs were a different experience, the yolk now firm and crumbly, like cheese though tasting quite different. They could be sliced into salads, mixed with cress into sandwiches, curried, coated in a mixture of breadcrumbs and spices or simply eaten whole, a small and satisfying snack.
Eggs to be hard-boiled must be watched carefully for the water can boil away very quickly. One day I had set eggs to boil and then been distracted. I was upstairs and had forgotten all about them until I detected a rather strong odour and almost instantly heard a loud report. I hurried down to the kitchen to be met by a new style of home decoration. Blobs and gobbets of yellow and white adhered to all surfaces adjacent to the cooker. Even the ceiling was attractively transformed into a miniature depiction of stalactites.
I've never attempted soufflés!
Thanks go to Willow who organises and hosts this meme. To read more Magpies please click here.