Boiled Eggs in Brighton
September 5, 2008
I was in Brighton. I’d completely forgotten the racket the seagulls make when dawn breaks and the tang of salt in the air.
It was warm enough for us to eat our breakfast on the patio. Some of the back gardens already had their washing out and the shirts and sheets seemed somehow very maritime, blowing in the morning breeze.
It’s great being cooked for by friends – feel the love! Dinner is obviously fantastic, but even better- because more rare – is breakfast. It doesn’t have to be complicated; indeed the best breakfasts are not.
On this morning I was given eggs precisely boiled with runny golden yolks and the whites soft but not gooey. ‘I put them in a pan of cold water, add salt, bring to the boil, then simmer them for two minutes,’ said W.
Everything about W’s kitchen was what I call artistic – by which I mean colourful and cobbled together. Nothing as common as a set, but each plate and cup individual, passed down by family or friends or found in a sale. Even the egg cups didn’t match. Mine was plum coloured while hers was white with red dots.
Breakfast started with a bit of a shocker – W put the eggs in their cups upside down! The fat end was at the top! It threw me, briefly, this being only 10.30 on a Saturday morning, a little early for culinary surprises.
But I got to work, and you know, I could see the point. You didn’t have to delve through half an inch of white to get to the golden honey. It was there, glistening just below the surface, lightly steaming, just waiting for your soldier to be dipped in.
There was another surprise to come. Unlike lots of people I know who are watching their weightand eschew butter altogether, or think the ‘healthy’ option of margarine is the way to go, W eased a half inch slab of Lurpak onto her toast and eased it in. So of course I did the same.
It was one of the best pieces of toast I’ve had since I was child, when I ate such things regularly without compunction.
So I followed it with another. This one was topped with thick-cut marmalade, my favourite.