Tuesday 27 March 2012

Soft-boiled eggs and soldiers

Soft-boiled eggs and soldiers

I didn’t often play with my food when I was a child. It wasn’t encouraged but occasionally I could dream as I ate. Dipping a spoon into the Lyle’s syrup tin and drizzling it onto a pudding, making sticky patterns with it and watching as it smoothed itself into a golden puddle was one such occasion. I tried to write my name with it but it was too quick for me. I loved the tin and never realised the lion was actually a rotting carcase. I was more interested in the words – ‘Out of the strong came forth sweetness’ - beautiful words to accompany a tooth-aching syrupiness.

Breakfast often featured eggs in some form. My favourite was soft-boiled eggs. First the egg was taken from the pan of boiling water and put in the egg-cup. It was too hot to touch but the urge to open it and reveal the rich orange-yellow yolk within its white coat was almost too much. Tap, tap, tap on the top of the egg (not too hard, don’t want to smash it), slice it off with a knife and spoon out the white from the eggshell – no yolk in the top - a little salt and pepper to taste, if desired, and then the feast could begin. To eat it with an egg spoon was enjoyable but by far the best way to appreciate it was to have soldiers. Buttered toast was sliced into strips and dunked into the inviting gooey sunshine – utter joyJ

All too soon the egg was consumed and the final game could be played. Quickly the shell was turned upside down in the cup, for all intents and purposes to look like an egg waiting to be eaten. It never fooled anyone but it was fun.
When I saw these ‘Eggs For Soldiers’ the other day I smiled at the memories they evoked then quickly sobered as I realised they were being sold in aid of Help for Heroes. I wondered how many soldiers can no longer eat their breakfast eggs without help – and how many will never eat again.


  1. Good advertising.
    I have never had 'soldiers', maybe because I never much liked eggs unless they were scrambled.
    Then again, you end with a very sobering thought.

  2. Playing with food wasn't encouraged in our house either, but somehow, eggs are different.

    I had no idea they were selling eggs for charity. Strange thought. What a way to raise money for people whose wellbeing should be a matter of national importance rather than charity.

  3. I used to play with my food as a kid. I would love it when my mom gave me Alphabet cereal.

    I would shake the box (like a Yahtzee cup!) and thoroughly mix up the little letters inside.

    Next, I'd pour an ample serving into my equally generous bowl.

    Once the milk was applied, the game began.

    I'd spoon a raft of unsuspecting letters and then force myself to spell a word before I ate it. As I chewed, I would be thinking of a way to use it in a sentence.

    Dad didn't like me playing breakfast games, but mom was more relaxed. It kept me quiet.

  4. I knew exactly what you were talking about when I saw the title! Your scenario took place in our house many times, but it must have been after the war because we only had powdered eggs until then.

  5. I'd never heard of 'eggs with soldiers' until today. Toast and eggs do taste great together. It is nice they are raising money for real soldiers, but as you say they paid a dear price. God bless them.

  6. I did almost the same thing with my eggs as a child but I had never heard the toast strips called soldiers.

    That is very nice that they are selling the eggs to benefit Help for Heroes, it sounds like a great organization.

  7. Hi Janice .. I loved egg soldiers - delicious and when (extremely rarely) I have breakfast - and that includes a boiled (or two) egg I still play soldiers .. lots of butter .. and s & p - too delicious not to do.

    You're right though about Help the Heroes .. sad indictment of our times .. and we need to remember all who have suffered, or are suffering - from war, or otherwise.

    See you soon .. Hilary

  8. What a sobering thought at the end! A shame perhaps that more people don't stop to wonder more often.

  9. The statement at the end is profound.
    I never knew the toast was refered to as soldiers, but I gobbled them up as a child. Now, I rpefer a more well done egg :)

  10. Wow, I didn't know where this post was heading. The end really is, as Dave said, sobering. I wasn't expecting that. We do need to think about these things!

    (And on a lighter note, I cannot stomach SOFT-boiled eggs anymore than I can tolerate medium or rare meat. I don't like fluid running on the plate. LOL.


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