stories

Ode to eggs

left: original artwork, right: the tea towel itself (creased, stained and used)
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I have always loved eggs; they play a key role in so many memories. As a child I remember the embarrassment of opening my mum’s egg mayonnaise sandwiches in the school canteen, the sulphur smell wafting from the crumpled tin foil (another embarrassment as all the ‘cool kids’ had cling film), the onslaught of comments about having ‘blown off’. But secretly I was always chuffed to bits with my stinky lunch... mum’s egg mayonnaise - a mix of mayo, salad cream & way too much salt - was always a winner in my eyes. She also cooked curried eggs which, in hindsight, might have been unusual for my family but we always cleared our plates so it must have been okay. For a 70s dinner party my mum served cold curried eggs as a starter… eat your heart out Nigella!

As an adult - in charge of my own egg preparation - I progressed to being obsessed with eggs benedict & eggs florentine; amazing when the yolk is perfect, blending with rich, buttery Hollandaise sauce. Then there’s smoked salmon & scrambled eggs, which has always felt like such a treat. My daughters & I used to have it with Buck’s Fizz on Christmas morning while their Dad & brother had the less sophisticated bacon rolls to start the day. 

It has been a bit of a blow, after some medical problems and subsequent tests, to be suddenly told that I am ‘egg intolerant’ and to have to cut them from my diet. As a vegetarian (who eats the odd bit of fish), eggs form a big part of my protein intake. More importantly however, they satiate my cravings. Having been vegetarian for only 5 or 6 years I can still remember the satisfaction that a meat based meal gives you; it’s rare for me to feel that fulfilment from a vegetarian meal. 

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t miss eating animals but that craving for satisfying fullness is not always met. Eggs were the only thing which came close, so I’m sad that they have ‘left the building’. To fill this gap, I am currently eating a lot of sweet, home-grown cherry tomatoes and smashed avocado on seeded rye bread with loads of olive oil, salt & black pepper. We’re getting there. The replacement breakfast tastes amazing. A new variation may be needed soon, but I’m not bored - yet.