Soft Boiled Eggs
I almost feel guilty making this a post, but decided that doing so from my mom’s kitchen was so very appropriate. When I was growing up my brother and I were taught cooking basics and how to eat basics. They included the typical topics, like the use of fork, knife, spoon and napkin. Little B’s current challenge is elbows on the table, but that is a different story altogether. In addition to the basics we were also taught more specific skills we used less often, but practice never hurts! Things like getting every bit of meat off bones of roast chicken with a fork and knife (no fingers allowed), escargot with shell fork and tongs, crab with mallets and picks, grapefruit halves with serrated spoons, rolling long pasta with spoons and separating mussels and clams from their shells (again, no fingers allowed). I promise we did not end up snooty, just knew how to mind our manners in pretty much any food situation. We also learned how to sop roast meat off a platter using bread chunks, double dipping chips, licking our fingers and nibbling while we cooked. I am sure my mom loooves this disclosure! It was always interesting to see what mom and dad would come up with next. A fun breakfast skill we learned quite young was how to eat a soft boiled egg from a cup. It sounds almost silly. Why not just peel it and eat from your hand, you ask? The practice is actually used in many parts of Europe. My dad learned it from his Irish father and both my parents ate them in this manner while living in France, Germany, etc. Most people probably don’t have the requisite egg cups or tiny spoons, but you can probably adapt. I was very happy to introduce such a breakfast to Little B during our most recent visit to Texas. She was more excited about opening the egg than eating it all, but that’s okay. I was always around to finish it up. You may not believe me, but eggs cooked and eaten like this taste different than using your hands or frying some up over easy. Maybe it is the gentle cooking of the yolk while protected by the white, but a spoonful with a little yolk, white, butter, salt and pepper is a wonderful way to start the day, and appreciate the humble egg.
Soft Boiled Eggs
Large fresh eggs (quantity varies)
In a medium pot add water, enough to cover the eggs, and a sprinkling of salt. Bring water to a full boil. With a large spoon gently lower each egg into the boiling water. Lower heat slightly but maintain the boil, and cook for exactly six minutes. Remove eggs with large spoon to serving cups or serving bowl. Serve with salt, pepper, butter, breakfast meats and bread.
To Eat: place an egg in an egg cup, pointy side down. Some eggs may not have a pointy end, so just guess – typically the round end will have the yolk closer to it in a boiled egg (think where the filling goes in a deviled egg) so the next step will more likely reveal yolk. While gently steadying the egg with one hand and using a knife in the other, tap the egg about 1/4 inch from the top, turn the egg and continue tapping until there is a ring of cracked shell all the way around. Using the point of the knife pierce all the way through and lift the knife away from you, catching the egg top with your knife-free hand. There should be soft yolk showing. Place a small piece of butter into the yolk and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Using a small spoon scoop out a bite, making sure it includes white and yolk. Eat. Repeat. Don’t forget to scoop the yummy bite from the egg top!