the sky broke like an egg into full sunset and the water caught fire


There are a number of foods that I just do not get along with. But that I like to eat. It’s hard when you like something that has the potential to make you sick. Eggs are one of those items and do you have any idea how many food items include eggs? I’ve semi learned to live with it because avoidance can just get awkward and I LOVE food. So instead I’ve just enjoyed eggs cooked by themselves, or as a side – whole ones, not mixed up (Cake fine, fried eggs not) unless circumstances are exceptional. There are sometimes I risk it. I went to Ottolenghi in Islington a few months back and ate their amazing Shakshuka ( North African dish with eggs, peppers and tomatoes served with labneh and grilled focaccia – according to the menu) And, whilst I did pass on the focaccia, I just couldn’t say no to the eggs that were sunk into this dish eyeing me with their golden yolks. And again at Dean Street Townhouse where I had Avocado and poached egg on toast (with mushrooms)
Yet as delicious as this late brunch was – the potential consequences of this event were somewhat terrifying. So instead, i’m sadly pathetic, I diarise and egg day. An entire day devoted to the pleasure of eggs, because as much as they do make ill, the general recovery is 48 hours and I can handle that. Just.

So yes, egg day. Also known as one of those days where you do housework, catchup on phone calls, read a book etc. I start egg day having purchased 6 organic, free range fancy eggs. You can only ever buy 6, so my egg eating housemates love these days. I ensure I have worcestershire sauces, tabasco, a decent amount of proper black pepper and maybe some spinach. And then I poach.

Anyhow, so I make myself fresh coffee, and I poach the eggs and I drizzle them in worcestershire sauce and tabasco and black pepper and maybe a side of wilted spinach and I eat them, savouring every second of each mouthful of each beautiful cloud of egg.

And I then I find a good book and settle in, whilst crossing my fingers that I wont be sick for the next two days. And even if I am? It’s worth it, every so often that is.

words: Pamela Hansford Johnson
picture: me

Aside – a couple of years ago I really wanted to learn to poach eggs (let’s just say there was a man involved) and I found a foolproof recipe that ALWAYS works. It’s amazing.

Crack egg into a glass.
Put water in pan, and bring it to boil.
At point of boil, pour egg into pan (don’t be gentle, that’s when it separates) and leave it on heat for EXACTLY 2 minutes. (Time it on your phone)
Then turn the heat off and leave it for another 2 minutes, longer if you want it less runny, and bam, you should have a perfect poached egg – by perfect I mean it’s stayed together and cooked and you don’t have a sea of egg white remnants in your pan!

(I think maybe from Nigella or Jamie, but I can’t remember)

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