Boiled Egg!

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#1
A little while back, I wrote a little tale about a boiled egg. I found it again the other day whilst looking for articles to put on my new Triumph Bonneville site, having completely forgotten about it. Knowing how some here have a penchant for this sort of thing, I thought I'd share it with you.

Please don't be cross with me...


The Boiled Egg

Well, hey ho - the school holiday has reared its ugly head once more. Like countless other dutiful fathers around the country, I have found myself occasionally taking on the mantle of daytime carer to my sons, the older of whom (aged 8, now) I gladly allow to join me in my workshop and on visits.

What I find more than a little irksome, though, is the ever emergent routine of daytime catering - a chore I often circumvent by finding an excuse to visit a timber merchant or builders’ supplier in close proximity to a burger van. However, sometimes I just have to roll my sleeves up and cook lunch.

Two or three years back, and smarting from this enforced domesticity, I decided that, in the spirit of Wendell Berry, simple was best and boiled some eggs and made some toast. This, I thought, would be a bit of a treat as my wife tends to err on the side of extravagance when it comes to culinary matters. I buttered the toast and presented it to my son on a plate with cupped eggs and a tea-spoon. I sat down at the head of the table and ate mine in thirty seconds flat. Sipping my tea, I decided to read the newspaper.

After a couple of minutes my son commented that he didn’t really want the egg. Now, the only thing that pisses me off more than having to cook during the day is having to cook during the day and then being told that I needn’t have bothered in the first place.

Exercising considerable restraint, I put my paper down and spoke to him encouragingly, saying, “Come on, eat up lad. You’ll have to eat your food if you’re going to grow up big and strong.” Flexing my biceps playfully, I smiled and gave him a wink before turning back to my newspaper. From behind the paper, I listened to the sounds of him eating, smiling to myself at his little munching noises.

Then, I heard his spoon being placed on his plate and a little impatient sigh. “This isn’t how mum cooks it.”

Closing my eyes and gritting my teeth, I composed myself. With practiced cheer, I said, “Hey come on, it can’t be that bad - it’s only a boiled egg after all.”

“I don’t like it,” he replied.

I looked over the top of my paper at him and said, “Look, I downed my tools to cook you that so you’ll bloody well eat it.”

No sooner had I snapped at the poor boy, than I felt a great pang of guilt course through me. Still, he had to learn - with all the starving children around the world who’d be more than grateful for what he had on his plate, I’d be damned if any son of mine was going to grow up spoilt. I hardened my jaw and resolved to stand my ground.

“But dad.”

“But nothing,” I glared, “you’ll eat it and be thankful.”

Over the top of the paper, I observed him as he ate, head bowed and with tears brimming around the corners of his eyes. He finished his toast but seemed to be making a show of how difficult it was to eat the remainder of the egg - as though every swallow was going to kill him. With only a small amount left in the bottom of the shell, tears were now running down his cheeks.

“Come on lad, you’re nearly done.” I said, with firm encouragement, “Finish it off.”

“All of it?” he sobbed.

“Yes, every last bit,” I demanded, holding his gaze and folding my arms to make a point of watching him.

He looked at me imploringly through tear red eyes and said, “What, even the beak?”


………………..

If, as a result of reading this, you find yourself seized by a disposition of the flaring nostril variety and a sudden urge to call the RSPCC, please be absolutely assured that is just a work of fiction - no embryos were eaten or small boys humiliated during the writing of this. We haven't even had eggs this week - honest!

:-D
 
#2
My Mom made us eat cabbage - that is equivalent to bird's beak in my book. Of course then there was liver - parents have no compassion at times.

I thought it was a cute story. You have any more eggs? :)
 
#3
Nice Story, but as one who has chickens and Roosters, ah, I do get a few non nice eggs to look at!

When this happens I promptly get sick to me tummy!


I like boiled cabbage and consider it a treat. Madelyn loves it also as she does spinach, collard greens and the like.

We harvested our first spinach and had it with supper last night! Sure was good. My stepson who is 25 won't touch it. Madelyn informed him it was delicious and he was crazy!
 
#4
It is funny how my parents (just post war) tried to get me to eat food. Why did they prepare certain foods in the least attractive way. Was it just to say "You are just fussy. If you were hungry you would eat the leather from your shoes". OK, so I might have but we were in a country with a reasonable standard of living (albeit some rationing).
As you say most fried eggs had a trace of bloody embryo included, liver was 3/4inch thick with all the tubes and accompanied by translucent marrow, cabbage was the whole lot, stalks and all and over-cooked and the gravy was probably made with the greens-water, lamb/mutton stew (ghastly enough as it was) included all the fat and,it makes me ill to say it, pearl barley!
WHY?
Don't get me wrong she was a 'good' cook, it was probably more to do with the relationship between parents and children in those days.
It took me probably15-20 years to like stew, fish, cabbage, liver and lots of other things. Fortunately my wife was also "fussy" and made sure these foods were cooked in the best and most attractive way possible.
Good times!
 
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#6
That's one - "tongue"...never figured that one out. How can you eat something that is licking you back --YUK!!!!!!!!!!

As for gray matter - who even came up with it... one sick individual

I do like spinach but will pass on the rest.

if it is red - don't put it on my plate
 
#7
Really great story!

Sad to say many of those foods mentioned like tongue, greens which were really wild weeds, were devised to eat by those who lived in extreme poverty.

Ever ate Chitlins? Pig guts? My mom and dad loved those. I will eat them but don't go out of my way to find them. She came from the 30's depression era and that is when many had only to eat what others threw away.
 
#9
As you say most fried eggs had a trace of bloody embryo included, liver was 3/4inch thick with all the tubes and accompanied by translucent marrow, cabbage was the whole lot, stalks and all and over-cooked and the gravy was probably made with the greens-water, lamb/mutton stew (ghastly enough as it was) included all the fat and,it makes me ill to say it, pearl barley!
I think I need to go back to the eye doctor. The first time I read this I thought you said Pearl Bailey! And I wondered why Pearl Bailey made you sick. :oops:

Personally, there are a lot of foods that I would not eat when I was "at home". It wasn't until I moved out and starting cooking for myself that I found out you could actually make pork and chicken without drying it out to the consistency of leather. And that there are more ways to have cabbage than just Sauerkraut or cole slaw.Of course, this also explains the mysterious weight gain I experienced after I found all of this out.
 
#10
Liver, brains, tongue, eyes, ears or bum are all disgusting in any shape, form, gravy or manner cooked!
Brains... hmmm good... in my old neighborhood growing up we called them Breggs...
Pork Brains combined with scrambled eggs. ;-)
I have to confess that one of my very favourite meals is "trotters and brawn", a combination of jellied pigs head and vegetables served with pigs trotters - which, by the way, I make myself. It's just one of many traditional recipes that most folks these days tend to avoid because of the mental image associated with it. Another is grilled pigs cheek - a little reminiscent of very good quality bacon, only far better and richer in flavour.

Perhaps it's symptomatic of our increasing disassociation with the sources of our food that we shy away from such things. It's incredible that most people in the western world have no idea how the food they eat is produced, let alone how to produce it themselves. The idea of using the "whole animal" is anathema to them purely on the basis of their upbringing rather than on the quality of the food it yields. I think that's very sad. Yet, when looked at from a global perspective, thankfully still a minority viewpoint. I'd say that, in terms of sources of nutrition, the west could learn much from those whom it condescendingly considers unfortunate enough to have that standpoint forced upon them.

Just a thought.
 
#11
I don't know where you were educated about the west but I can tell you as a westerner there are many who have eaten way off the usual track of what some considered edible.

That thing you mentioned about jellied pig... Hog-Head Cheese we called it... Pig Trotters? Are those Pig's Feet? That's what we called em... Ham Hocks? Pork ankles... :smile:
 
#12
Ya can't make good greens or a pot o' beans without ham hocks or fat back. I've used to like as a child pickled pigs feet. I'm of the mind set that not all of an animal should be edible. After all we don't eat the contents of their bellies or bowls! lol
 
#13
I don't know where you were educated about the west but I can tell you as a westerner there are many who have eaten way off the usual track of what some considered edible.

That thing you mentioned about jellied pig... Hog-Head Cheese we called it... Pig Trotters? Are those Pig's Feet? That's what we called em... Ham Hocks? Pork ankles... :smile:
I consider myself to be a westerner in many respects - I use the term more as a cultural epithet than a geographic one. Sure, there are many in "the west" who do indeed have a more open minded diet than most, but they remain a minority without a doubt.
The term "brawn" does refer fairly specifically to the head and its contents.
The trotter are indeed the feet and the hock is normally taken to be the part between the knee and the fetlock of the hind leg - so, yes, near enough the ankle and a very nice cut if prepared well. I like it when it's just starting to cover with the grey mould which adds an almost spicy taste.
:grin:

Ya can't make good greens or a pot o' beans without ham hocks or fat back. I've used to like as a child pickled pigs feet. I'm of the mind set that not all of an animal should be edible. After all we don't eat the contents of their bellies or bowls! lol
I'm quite delirious about haggis - always best served in the bladder or intestine.


Given the level of interest, I'm almost tempted to post my illustrated brawn recipe but I suspect that might be going a tad too far!
 
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#17
Never should any of you forget that westerners were once europeans, asians, eurasians, middle-easterners, africans and aussies, and everything else.

What ever happened to good history teachers is beyond me.
 
#20
sessileoak said:
DSL Guy said:
Never should any of you forget that westerners were once europeans, asians, eurasians, middle-easterners, africans and aussies, and everything else.
Good lord - QED, I'd say! :roll:
Actually, you don't know how right DSL Guy is. I wasn't born here; I was born on the other side of the pond. :wink:
 
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