Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Monday, 17 June 2013
Strangling celebrity chefs
When Nigella Lawson brought out a cook-book entitled, 'How To Boil An Egg', I did find it a little patronising, but I never felt the slightest desire to strangle her - just the opposite. (Just been told that Delia Smith wrote this book - see comments below. Oh well, I can't change this post now...)
Then I thought that maybe the book was aimed at young men who had just left home for the first time, and needed all the help they could get which was not given by their mothers, but having never read the book, I don't know.
Then I remembered that the one thing I cannot do consistently correctly in the kitchen, is boil an egg.
I used to have (and possibly still do have) a single and strange allergy attached to eggs, and it took me years after leaving home to discover what triggered it.
About twice a year, I would wake up in the morning with extreme dizziness and acidic nausea, so bad that I could not leave the house for at least 24 hours, and had to stay lying down for the whole time.
Then one day when I woke up in this sorry state - again - I tried to think back about what I had eaten the previous day, finding that it had been nothing out of the ordinary. Having a full 24 hours to think back with nothing else to do, it struck me that - because I was completely broke at the time - I had searched the fridge for something to eat the day before and found two eggs, one of which I had soft-boiled and eaten. Nothing else, just one egg.
These were the days when proper, free-range eggs were very difficult to come by, and because the fridge and it's contents belonged to someone else who did not have the same scruples as the starving, vegetarian me, I suspected that the egg came from a nasty battery-farm. Because the white of the egg was under-done, I also began to suspect that it was most likely to be the cause of my strange, temporary illness.
I began to deduce - lying horizontally and incapacitated - that the symptoms of my allergy would only become apparent 48 hours after I had eaten the runny white of a battery-farm egg, no matter what I had eaten in the previous 24.
The next day I awoke completely refreshed and well, and decided to conduct an experiment by going back to the fridge and under-cooking the remaining egg, then eating it. Next day I was fine. The day after, I could not stand up again for dizziness, and that lasted for 24 hours. The reason it had taken me so long to find the cause of my regular illness was the time delay in the onset of the symptoms.
All this was many years ago, and ever since I have never had the courage to under-cook the white of a chicken's egg, whether it is organic and free-range or not. I have never had a recurrence of the problem either, but I found out that one of my nephews cannot eat anything other than organic eggs without suffering the identical problem.
This means that - as far as H.I. is concerned - I have lost the ability to boil an egg, if I ever had it in the first place. Every time I boil her an egg, she complains that the yolk is hard. All she has ever done is toss an egg into cold water and bring it to the boil, somehow instinctively knowing the exact time to pull it out with a hard white and a yolk so runny that soldiers can be used to dive into it (anyone not know what 'soldiers are?).
I wonder if all of this could be of use if the police do go ahead and press charges against Mr Saatchi for the alleged domestic (but public) incident the other day?