Tag Archives: eggs

Dear Delia Smith Re. Your Boiled Egg Recipe

Dear Delia Smith, Re. Your Boiled Egg Recipe

I don’t really cook as LordCurd is a fabulous cook so he tends to do all the cooking in our house.  However I just wanted you to know that ever since I was old enough to boil an egg, without fail I have had to look up the “recipe” in your How to Cook – Book One.   It is my Boiled Egg Bible.

However unfortunately rather than solving my “how long do I fecking leave them in for!?” it then seems to create more cooking conundrums:

  • Do I have large, medium or small eggs?
  • They are barn eggs, I now have terrible guilt they are not free range organic ones.
  • Are they fresh? How do I tell?
  • They were in fridge- do I need to let them get to room temperature? (LordCurd insists on keeping them there- GRR)
  • Do I start with a pan of cold water or boiling water? Which is best?
  • I think two eggs each will be plenty (well probably too much for toddler but LordCurd might want it when he gets in) but what was that thing my mum said about you can only have two eggs a week unless you are a lorry driver?  I had scrambled eggs on monday – what does this mean? And why can lorry drivers have more? I had better ask twitter this.
  • I really need to buy an egg timer, that would be a useful thing.  Will look at the Lakeland catalogue.
  • Where on earth did I put the eggcups?

and so on. So I often then end up rereading your 4 page preamble into the world of eggs just to refresh my knowledge…..

So now we are at least 20 minutes into my attempt at following your recipe to make a very quick and simple meal for my me and my daughter.

In fact let me share with you in detail exactly how my attempt to make boiled eggs for me and my eldest daughter went last night following your recipe:

  • Get How to cook book and turn to page 15
  • Get eggs out of fridge (and sigh again at LordCurd who won’t keep them at temperature).
  • Boil a kettle
  • Check whether the recipe says boiled water or not- see option 2 for perfect soft boiled egss is the boiled water one (phew!) so follow that one.
  • Put boiling water in a pan on the stove.
  • Remove hungry toddler who is in imminent danger of being horribly scalded from the kitchen.
  • Realise pan is too big to cover my eggs by the 1/2inch of water your recipe requires and so locate smaller pan and pour the boiling water into that pan.
  • Remove toddler again who wants to “help”
  • Add eggs gently to water with a spoon as your recipe suggests.  Instantly one cracks and bubbles because they were at fridge and not room temperature against your wise advice. Thanks LordCurd.
  • Realise I haven’t set the timer.
  • Remove now tantruming toddler from the kitchen and try and distract her with Cbeebies while I try and remember- To “Simmer for one minute” so try keep half an eye on the clock.
  • Start hunting for the countdown timer on my iPhone so I can time the rest of it PROPERLY and so have perfect soft boiled eggs with a runny yolk.  Realise that a minute has probably passed by now so turn off heat.
  • Toddler starts yelling because she wants to play on my iPhone.
  • Realise recipe requires pan lid- can’t find pan lid for new pan, so use pan lid for the orginal pan that was too big.
  • Time is ticking on- finally find the stopwatch on my phone and set it for 5minutes rather than the 7minutes required as reckon about 2 minutes have elapsed since I was supposed to start timing.
  • Put the toast on.
  • Realise the recipe said take the pan OFF the heat. Take the pan off the heat.
  • Locate the very hungry caterpillar egg cup and soldier tray that has never been used and was a newborn present for Oddler (she’s two!)
  • Locate the VW campervan egg cup for my eggs
  • Butter the toast and cut into soldiers. Realise not enough soldiers for me. Put more toast on.
  • Timer goes off, get egg out and put it in egg cup.
  • Toaster pops up – get distracted into buttering more soldiers
  • Realise have left other eggs in boiling water so are still cooking.
  • Take them out.
  • Get boiled water dripping all over my lovely hot buttered soldiers.
  • Sigh.
  • Chop the top off my perfect soft boiled eggs that I followed a recipe for.
  • Discover they are infact mostly hard boiled with that annoying vaguely liquid bit in middle which is hopeless for dipping.
  • Sit down with Toddler to eat them.
  • Baby starts screaming
  • Toddler refuses to eat anything but the soldiers.
  • I eat mine.
  • Toddler then wants to eat mine and is cross because I ate mine.
  • Toddler is then half tricked into eating the egg white part and utterly rejects the yolk (as I often do too!) so thus rendering the entire sorry business of trying to get the perfect yolk utterly redundant.

And that Dear Delia- is “How to Boil a Fucking Egg” in my house.

Eggsarperatedly yours



Hungry Caterpillar tray (the second egg was redundant!)


The cracked egg I nobly ate myself instead of giving to the toddler


My egg


Your marvellous bible that teaches me how to boil an egg.


Might have helped had it not been upside down

Dear Eggs

Dear Eggs,

Today is Easter Sunday and my thoughts have turned to eggs. Not the ones made of chocolatey goodness but the ones within my ovaries.

Oh Human wondrous Eggs of mine, when I was just a fetus I had 7million of you just chilling out in my ovaries. By the time I was born you had dropped to one million strong, by the time I hit puberty further decimation in your numbers had occurred and I only had a few hundred thousand left. 😦 but still more than enough for a football team.

Once my menstrual cycle kicked in every month approximately 50 of my eggs are recruited to develop but the rest become atretic and die at different stages and only one (sometimes two rarely more) would ever actually be ovulated  (thus losing more eggs in great numbers every month).

The one  super ‘head of pinsized’ egg that makes it that month, will burst forth from its follicle and be wafted by the cilia of the fallopian tube, towards any hopefully waiting sperm for possible fertilisation.  In absence of any sperm the egg will waft on dejectedly and be lost. The collapsing deteriorating follicle (that the egg burst out of) will send a signal for the womb lining to be shed in the absence of fertilisation.  Eggs are only viable for 24 maximum 48hours after ovulation before they die (but sperm can live for several days inside the female reproductive tract) therefore it’s a blimming miracle when all things align so they do get fertilised. Especially awesome that a few hundred sperm will really batter the exterior of the egg (see pic!) and as soon as one makes it through the entire surface of the egg changes so no more can make it through. Totally and completely and utterly amazing!

Only 400 eggs or so will ever be ovulated in a lifetime, fewer if you spend a long time on the pill or breastfeeding, and sadly eggs have a use by date and their quality declines dramatically after the age of 35 before finally ovulation ceases for good at average age of 52 (in UK) (in comparison to “cheap as chips” sperm where millions can be produced everyday from puberty until old age (although quality may decrease).

I’m totally  completely and utterly in awe of reproduction and the science behind it.  Yes I would definitely say there is a miracle of life but it’s not a religious miracle but a scientific one, and so today I am mostly celebrating Eggs and my remaining ones and eating too much chocolate – after all Easter is often linked to Spring Fecundity, and who knows maybe one day, one of my remaining eggs (I’m estimating 200 oddish will be left to ovulate- Yikes!) will turn into another Curd Offspring. But maybe not as Lord Curd is putting his foot down!

Here endeth your Easter Science Lesson.

Happy Eggtastic Easter

Love LadyOeufCurd

P.S This post dates from my knowledge studying reproductive physiology at University 8years ago. Of course science has moved on in that time and I completely forgot that last month research was published that indicated human female eggs may not be finite in number after all (see here) which is also groovy and amazing stuff.

My Favourite Kind of Easter Egg