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Like Toy Soldiers

Soft boiled egg“So you’ve never had a soft boiled egg before?”


“In an egg-cup?”


“And dipped toasted soldiers in it?”


“And we don’t own any egg-cups?”

“I don’t think so!”

Honestly … these Americans have never lived. And they don’t appear to eat soft-boiled eggs either. And none of the shops that we’ve visited over the last couple of weeks seem to sell them either.

I found egg-slicers, egg-poachers, egg-dippers (what?), but no egg-cups.

Until yesterday … when I thought I was out of luck again as the young girl serving in Williams Sonoma didn’t even know what an egg-cup was. Her older colleague listening in behind her did though.

“There are some over in the sale section” she chipped in.

And there was indeed. A $1.99 glass one shaped like a chicken. It looked a bit tacky. I preferred the nice white china ones on the rack behind that weren’t in the sale section and thus were $14. Seven pounds for a small white egg cup.

So I’m all excited. I’ve found an egg cup! I even found a changeable colour egg timer to tell you when your egg is done nicely. But as I’m all gleefully heading for the check-out, items in hand, Leigh sidles up to me and gives me a nudge.

“You could always NOT buy those today” she says with a look in her eye which I fail to translate immediately. “After all, it is your birthday next month, and you never know what someone MAY HAVE ALREADY BOUGHT YOU”. Ah – translation complete.


And I go and put them back.

Looks like I’ve got to wait a while before I can play toy soldiers again. You’re never too old to do that, right?

13 responses to “Like Toy Soldiers”

  1. geofftech says:

    incidental side fact:

    got chatting to a woman in WS who owned some chickens and ate her own fresh eggs every day. she informed me that the colour of eggs (white or brown) is linked to the colour of the EAR LOBES of the chicken. white ear lobes = white eggs. brown ear lobes = brown eggs.


  2. Ben says:

    Martika! Classic…..

  3. Tina says:

    So how do the American people eat their breakfast eggs then other than scrambled or fried? Do they hard-boil them and slice them, or just soft-boil them and squidge them out on a plate? I have seen that done by other non-Brit people and it looks disgusting!

  4. Gerard says:

    I’ve just realised that we share the same initials, subject to middle ones of course.

    Perfect soft-egg, follow Delia, boil for 1 minute and then turn the gas off, place the lid on the pan for 6 minutes, works every time (total 7 minutes).

    Emergency egg cups:
    1] Cut out a bit of the box that eggs come in, or
    2] Espresso-size coffee cups work well

    Now you can tell me that they don’t have espresso cups either! (Belated congratulations to you both btw!)

  5. David - Portland, OR says:

    Brilliant! Success! I just can’t understand how Americans can have hot sauce on there eggs!

  6. DaveP says:

    I once saw a chicken with black ear lobes – what would happen then? Black eggs?

  7. Paul says:

    We bought one of those egg timer thingies from Lakeland the other week. It says it was devoloped in America, so surely, at least one American has boiled eggs for breakfast. Incidently, the timer does work very well..mmm runny eggs!

  8. Rudi says:

    The main reason that most Americans don’t go for runny eggs – soft boiled and the like – is that there have been major salmonella outbreaks over the years that were attributed to under-cooked eggs. A lot of this has to do with the mega-farm system, as well as the USDA requirement that all store-bought eggs be washed before packaging.

    The latter bit is the reason why all eggs sold in grocery stores here in the U.S. are sold refrigerated, rather than on the shelf. Once the protective coating is rinsed off the egg’s shell, its shelf stability is greatly reduced. And while the pre-sale rinse is said to reduce the spread of disease, it’s also the likely reason that there have been salmonella outbreaks in U.S. egg supplies: that coating makes the egg far more resilient to contamination.

    As for me: I love soft-boiled eggs, I own egg cups, and life is sweet. I also buy all my eggs from a farm market that isn’t required to rinse the eggs before packaging – most cool.

    And one more beautiful thing made with raw eggs: real mayonnaise. It’s so simple to make, and soooooo good.

  9. leslie says:

    I LOVE soft-boiled eggs. I’ve never seen them here in the States though. I also love sunny-side up eggs. MMMMMM runny yolk.

    Americans mostly eat eggs fried or scrambled. Some do eat hardboiled eggs, though I’ve seen them more for lunch. We also put hardboiled eggs in salad.

    And hot sauce with eggs is DIVINE! It’s even better to make migas. Basically, scramble some eggs with tortilla chips, cheese, and salsa. mmmmm. Good thing to do with stale tortilla chips.

  10. geofftech says:

    Someone sent me these… (as a JPG, not physically/literally)

    Guinness Egg Cups

  11. geofftech says:

    And did anyone (as a child) ever do the trick where you eat your soft boiled egg – the flip it over so that it looks like if you haven’t broken into it/touched it at all.

    I think i managed to fool my mum at least three times doing that over the years…

  12. Tina says:

    No you didn’t, I showed you how to do it, I just let you think I was fooled. BTW Do you slice the top of your egg off or tap it?

  13. While you’re waiting for your birthday egg cups, a small mug or glass padded with kitchen roll does quite a good job as a stand in.

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