Good Egg's Bad Egg's
For breakfast this morning I devoured 6 locally produced free range soft-boiled egg's, lightly gathered with the exposed ends all dispatched with a cunning zeal using my hosts favourite butter knife. It is often asked as to whether the correct etiquette dictates the 'end caps' containing the first sliver of milky white goodness should be left untouched whilst eating in public. I will admit to a slight reticence when in company, however within the constraints of my own breakfast room I am inclined to slurp at will.
Soft-boiled egg's are always to be served in an eggcup made with a wide rim and a bowl that is narrow at the bottom. Place the egg's most pointed end in the cup, never, for the love of all things holy, should the pointy end be placed uppermost as this will surely evoke the divil and his winged hordes of demons condemning you to an eternal life in purgatory. Crack the shell with a knife in a horizontal movement, all the way around the egg. The tip of the knife is used to lift the shell from the egg and place it on the side of the plate. May Jaysus himself take your eyes should you even consider smashing its heid with the spoon. That method is strictly reserved for people who wear odd socks and follow fitba teams in the Scottish third division.
Never underestimate the pure pleasure of dipping warm, toasted, golden yeasty soldiers into the richness of a well-timed soft-boiled egg. One must always start with a porcelain eggcup. Plastic, silver or various composites of tin will not suffice and in certain unsophisticated western countries usage of banned breakfast alloys can be punishable by a cereal substitute known as 'Cheerios'.
Avoid these at all costs, people who buy these usually practise satanic rituals involving roosters.
My sisters and I once went a full 3 days without acknowledgement after I discovered them using a wooden cradle to holster a 'supermarket egg'. Needless to say the faither soon married two of them off to Englishmen to spare the family from further shame. The third is firmly ensconced within the New South Wales/Victoria areas of southern Australia where ex Irish conscripts prepare egg's cooked on builders shovels or across the swage lines upon the bonnets of rough terrain vehicles in the small rural townships of both Albury and Wodonga.
Because the exposed part of the egg is relatively flat, if a dab of Scottish butter is placed on it, the butter melts and flows over the egg. If the butter slides off then you have failed and will surely end up in a fiery hell of liquid fire.
A mound of salt and pepper is best made on the side of the plate supporting the eggcup. With a small metallic spoon, such as an after-dinner coffee spoon, a soup son of egg is scooped from the shell and dipped into the seasonings. Alternatively, a pinch of salt and white pepper may be sprinkled over each bite by hand. On this occasion cracked black pepper may be used.
The height of the egg's used in the production of perfection is as crucial to the meal as the timing of the wee fellas themselves. When I want a soft boiled egg I want the yolk soft and the white firm. The boiling time has a lot to do with your elevation. 3 minutes is perfect for an elevation of 1100 ft (330 metres) if you are nearer sea level decrease the boiling time, if at a higher elevation increase the time. So simple as it may be I am sure there are many French chefs that struggle for the perfect soft-boiled egg. Invest in an egg pricker, a wee tool that will prick a small hole in the bottom of the egg allowing the air to escape, preventing the egg from cracking as it boils. Adding sea salt to combat cracking is an auld wives tale and should not be trusted. If it was true it would be in the bible, correct?
Please note, air escaping can continue to manifest itself from small holes after the consumption of the egg has taken place. Avoid theatres, long train journeys or libraries where possible.
Of course, if you are unsure of your height and elevation level and you still insist on the perfect soft boiled egg, ask a man to do it. Ladies have warmer hands and may effect the temperature of the egg's prior to boiling as they stand gossipping for long periods in the garden with their mothers about the fertilisation of their own egg's. These are deemed inedible and are not advisable for consumption.
Moving swiftly on...
After our first soiree into the seemingly innocent restaurant business we engaged the services of a tall Glaswegian gentleman who was famed for seeking out those charmless characters blighted with clumsiness when it came to dinner plates, dining chairs and a rather large ornate glass tank displaying the catch of the day. It was irony at its best considering his prey were masters at seemingly dropping everything they were paid to touch. Every debt has a life of its own. At every twist and turn in the debtors journey, people change sides and squirm, manipulate and wriggle their way deeper into the collectors pockets.
Clarity eventually prevailed, the clumsy were punished, payments realigned themselves with the original terms and the Glaswegian gentleman perfected his tastes for fine cuisine as he dined out frequently on braised lamb, vine leaves and haloumi salads without so much as ever having to raise another fork in anger. Everyone has a dark side. His was just darker than most.
Disagreements were often settled between other restaurateurs in the area with a discreet change of Glaswegian pleasantries, while a swift stroke of a cleaver signalled the perfect out for those who wished to explore pastures new. It was never personal he once explained, purely business of course.
Other lessons he learnt was 'to make hay while the sun shines'. Eating out in swish restaurants in Glasgow back in the early eighties was still in its infancy and ripe for exploitation. A well known Scottish bank in the west end of Glasgow, of which shall remain nameless, was stunned to find that its staff eating area had been plundered of its 20 or so intricately carved ornate table and chair sets whilst undergoing an overnight cosmetic change.
Not a single note of money was stolen during the clandestine refurbishment, however takings elsewhere rose dramatically and were very kindly deposited back in the bank vaults by way of a paying in slip. I'm sure the bank that likes to say yes would vehemently nod its wealthy head in agreement at the poetry and symmetry of the unofficial loan. These avant-garde table sets are still in residence and are still classed as extremely bohemian, if not slightly "Rive Gauche" by the many rich bankers that gather to sit around them for their business lunches. Although, I am not sure whether the Marcel Duchamp's or Peggy Guggenheim's of the eighties would have been as comfortable if they knew the origin of such finery.
Och.. c'est la vie, eh?
Created & prepared by Chef Files