Wednesday, 18 November 2015

I'll have a Lightly Boiled Egg please.


                                             Afficher l'image d'origine

Delia Smith's aunt would sing three verses of 'Onward Christian Soldiers' to time her soft boiled eggs. Woodrow Wyatt would time his for exactly four and a quarter minutes. Me, I have a nasty little plastic timer (now broken) that I used to set for about three minutes, then leave the eggs in the boiling water for a little while longer.

I have it on good authority that after a hard day's huntin', Prince Charles likes nothing better than a perfectly boiled egg. It is said that his valet always boils 7 eggs for him; each one boiled for slightly longer than the other. Charles then cracks the first one and if it's not quite perfect will move on to the second, etc, until he finds the one that is absolutely perfect.

The 1882 composer of The Boiled Eggs Polka (a certain Mr Hardtberg of Berlin) suggested putting your eggs in boiling water, playing his Polka 'allegro moderato' from beginning to end, then removing the eggs as soon as the piece was finished.

Even Einstein had his say about boiled eggs. He always claimed that his second greatest discovery was to boil his eggs in with his soup, this way it saved on the washing up. One just hopes they were cleaner than the ones that my hens lay.

What a wonderful thing is the boiled egg. Seeing as my valet is away, my timer broken, and I don't possess a copy of The Boiled Eggs Polka, I shall now have to learn the words to Onward Christian Soldiers (boiled eggs with soldiers?).



52 comments:

  1. Is that beautiful egg from one of your chickens ?

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I'm afraid not. My girls are on strike, and have been for months. I must give them a good talking to.

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  2. What a smart posting. Lovely subject, informative and a great last four words !

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  3. Mine are always a 5 minute egg. Lovely with Marmite soldiers.

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  4. My preference is for a perfectly fried one with a runny intact yolk and a brown lacy underside served on buttered granary toast.

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    1. I love fried eggs too, and poached; but not scrambled.

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  5. No eggs here either......well, not that we can find, although we did find a stash of eggs behind our cobweb festooned, flat tired, and rusting, bikes in the middle barn. Not sure how old the eggs are so they are destined for the pigs. Meanwhile, I continue to shop for eggs in the local supermarket until we get our Chicken Project sorted out.

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    1. I don't suppose ours will start laying again until early Spring. Meanwhile I feed them for nothing.

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  6. Well, they say you learn something new every day. Who would have thought there were so many variations on the same theme?
    Intrigued to know exactly what you'll say to your girls to get them laying again !

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    1. Firstly I lean the axe against their door, then speak to them nicely.

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    2. I'm glad you're giving them the option, Cro !

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  7. Have to have soldiers with my boiled egg. And a cup of tea.

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    1. It's been a while, but I agree with you.

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  8. I LOVE an eggy ..... boiled, fried, poached, scrambled, coddled, omelet ..... any which way !!!! The yolk must be runny but the white set ..... no snotty eggs for me !!!!! XXXX

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    1. I'd rather they were burnt to sunder that with a runny white!

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    2. Me too. Snotty is the perfect description. I would not touch an egg with runny white. I used to have to have the cords removed too. The smartest person in the world, Marilyn Vos Savant, when asked what food she would take on a desert island, said an egg as it is the perfect food.

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  9. I like a 4 minute one with soldiers.

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    1. 4 mins is about right; soldiers are certainly right.

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  10. Ever since the story of how Prince Charles got his valet to hold his willy for a urine sample into a bottle, I have taken all little 'insights' into his private life with a pinch of salt, just as I take my boiled eggs.

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    1. I've always feared that the egg story was invented; but I like it anyway.

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  11. I reckon you are missing a treat, not being partial to scrambled eggs. Though I don't often blow my own trumpet, I'm always in charge of breakfast and scrambled eggs when I catch up with my gaggle of friends for a weekend. Cooking them gently (the eggs, not the friends), with slivers of garlic and finely chopped chives are the trick.

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    1. It's a bit like Bread and Butter Pudding, I like all the ingredients, but not the assembled product. For some reason it's the same with scrambled eggs. I stay with un-scrambled thanks.

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  12. I'll keep that in mind, should you ever pop in.

    And on a side note, I like that you responded to my post straight away. It's evening here and morning where you are so there is only a small window of opportunity when we are both awake and active. The wonders of the internet! It never ceases to amaze me.

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    1. It's also a foul day here, so I'm staying indoors in the studio.

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  13. My favourite afternoon tea Cro - lovely brown eggs from my new pullets, whe are laying madly. I have a rather nasty metal digital timer. I put the eggs in to cold water to cover them and then slowly bring them to the boil and boil for exactly four minutes - just time to lay two trays and cut the soldiers for both. Exquisite - noting to beat them.

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    1. Four minutes seems to be the favourite, and also the soldiers.

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  14. Four minutes here also, but a different technique. I gently lower the eggs into boiling water and then cook for four minutes.
    Our hens aren't laying either. Gosh do we miss the eggs.

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  15. Oh dear....always the radical....I like my yolks hard whether boiled or fried.

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    1. I think you're in the minority here Delores!

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  16. Singing while waiting for the egg to boil sounds like a lovely idea. It has the added benefit of contributing to a good mood. May I suggest a four minute jig also. Might as well get some stretching in while watching the egg boil.

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    1. I keep with the singing... I'm not really a jig person.

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  17. We called them soft-boiled eggs where I grew up. My Mom would make them for us kids with toast. I am assuming that is what "soldiers" are (sorry, clueless here)? I haven't had one or thought about them in years. Will have to give it a grown-up try now that I know how to make it.

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    1. We call them soft boiled eggs too. Yes, as Rachel describes so well below, it's toast cut into dipping sized fingers.

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    2. Except that my soldiers aren't toast, just bread and butter.

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    3. Thank you Rachel. I was wondering all day what those soldiers are, you can never know nowdays

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    4. Yael... I read it like that too...
      it sounded just like a line from a BBC Radio 4 programme...
      "I'm sorry I haven't a clue!"

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    5. I learn a lot here. I also gooled the suet thing, now i know,

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  18. You butter the round of bread and cut it short side into quarter inch strips just right for dipping in the yolk. I have a boiled egg like this at least once a week. 4 minutes into boiling water. Starting in cold water is for hard boiling.

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  19. Do not like soft-boiled eggs, my yolk must be cooked through or it's no dice. So boil for 9 minutes.

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    1. There's no accounting for taste.... it'll always be soft boiled for me, unless they're for a salad.

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  20. I love eggs but put a poached egg in front of me and you will eat alone.

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    1. I don't particularly like poached eggs that are cooked loose in swirling water, they have to be cooked in a pukka poacher with plenty of butter and black pepper.

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  21. I call them soft boiled eggs, too, and yes, must have soldiers with them, as that's half the fun. I used to wait until the water boiled to put the egg in for three or four minutes, but after a couple cracked and oozed a bit, I opted for putting the eggs in at the beginning, and when the boil comes on, remove the pot from the heat, and wait 3 or 4 minutes to scoop the egg from the pot.

    I have trouble with making ringless hard-boiled eggs. I nearly always get a grey-green ring around the yolk, so if anyone can enlighten me on how to avoid that, i'd be most grateful.

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    1. Do you take the eggs from the fridge, they should be room temperate

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    2. Yes, Marlene, I do, so perhaps that's the secret. I'll start with room temperature eggs next time and see how I fare.

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  22. I can't be bothered with the shell, I drop an egg into lightly salted boiling water and have mine poached, very much the same, just no shell.

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  23. Have just eaten my two boiled eggs with soldiers Cro. Divine. Food of the gods.

    Did I read that you had to drive to a town some way away in an effort to get shredded suet? (Forgive me if I dreamt it - I have wierd dreams). If you can't get it then let me know and send me your address and I will mail you some with pleasure.

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    1. I went yesterday. I had two things on my list that I knew this store would stock; suet and pink lentils. When I got there they had neither!

      Thanks for your very kind offer, in fact Lady M mentioned it to a friend after we returned, and she's offered to do the same. Problem solved.

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