An Egg Cup Breakfast (Or The Joys Of Reviving Ritual)

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    Dec 06, 2014 2:47 PM GMT
    Some months ago I started an RJ thread about egg cups, that are used to eat soft-boiled eggs from the shell, but difficult to find today. I finally got the other items I needed, and now I can regularly recreate the breakfasts of my youth, that were abandoned when I left home for my Army career, never revived until now.

    My modern improvement is the delivery last week of a German device that cleanly removes the top of the egg shell in 1 instant motion. I also got a set of small spoons, essentially for demitasse cups, that work inside the egg perfectly. A new fully automatic toaster completes the "set".

    So once again this morning I had the most leisurely, one might even say indolent, breakfast I've had in many years. But just 1 egg, and one slice of toast, with a cup of tea, so not very overloaded with calories. Oh, and I began a morning newspaper subscription, so I can read that at the table, too.

    Very old fashioned, very pampered routine, modeled after my grandmother, my parents, and my distant youth, with the somewhat deliberate intention of making it a protracted and fussy ritual. Not the quick gulping down of food and running out the door for school or work I did for so many years. And surprisingly tranquilizing, if one has the time to give.

    I do recommend such soothing moments, if only on your days off. Whether it's soft-boiled eggs in an egg cup, my own weakness at the moment, or some other little indulgence you enjoy, do take the time to spoil yourself. A little relaxing nostalgia is good for you.
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    Dec 06, 2014 5:09 PM GMT
    BTW, for the curious, here's what that German gizmo looks like, and what it does. I'm not sure how, there are no moving parts inside the metal cap, just a sharp ridge.

    You pull the handle up, which is spring loaded and extends. Then you release it, while the cap is resting on the egg shell. Voila!

    I suspect the reaction to the downward snap of the handle causes the cap to jerk down for a millisecond, with just enough force to break the egg shell where the inside metal ridge rests on it. Rather simple and elegant.

    Eggcutter_zps6ec44956.jpg
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    Dec 06, 2014 5:13 PM GMT
    Yum yum. I saw a segment on Cook's Country about how to make perfect eggs, all styles, including this. Really made my adventure into eggdom more reliable. Check it out unless you're already the master.
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    Dec 06, 2014 5:17 PM GMT
    Destinharbor saidYum yum. I saw a segment on Cook's Country about how to make perfect eggs, all styles, including this. Really made my adventure into eggdom more reliable. Check it out unless you're already the master.

    Thanks! No master, more the novice. I'm looking how to make a soft-boiled egg more quickly, and reliably. Boiling enough water to cover even 1 egg is rather tedious & wasteful.
  • FredMG

    Posts: 988

    Dec 07, 2014 6:51 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    Destinharbor saidYum yum. I saw a segment on Cook's Country about how to make perfect eggs, all styles, including this. Really made my adventure into eggdom more reliable. Check it out unless you're already the master.

    Thanks! No master, more the novice. I'm looking how to make a soft-boiled egg more quickly, and reliably. Boiling enough water to cover even 1 egg is rather tedious & wasteful.


    ... hmm. my immediate thought on this is to use an electric kettle to boil about 2/3s of a cup of water, pour it into a 1c pyrex measuring cup (or other ceramic vessel. Maybe into a small, wide mouth thermos, and let it sit for 7-9 minutes and try that.

    Which I think I may have to go into the kitchen right now and try.
  • IgnatiusReill...

    Posts: 158

    Dec 07, 2014 7:24 PM GMT
    This brings back memories. My mama always served eggs in an egg cup. She had several sets and they were beautifully decorated. She was from Ireland and she was taught by her mother that mealtime was to be family time and elegant. Consequently the table was always exquisitely set. My brother and I have carried many of her dining customs forward into our home. Mealtime is not to be rushed, but enjoyed. A friend summed it up very well after observing our eating habits, 'You don't eat, you dine!"
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    Dec 07, 2014 7:48 PM GMT
    IgnatiusReilly saidThis brings back memories. My mama always served eggs in an egg cup. She had several sets and they were beautifully decorated. She was from Ireland and she was taught by her mother that mealtime was to be family time and elegant. Consequently the table was always exquisitely set. My brother and I have carried many of her dining customs forward into our home. Mealtime is not to be rushed, but enjoyed. A friend summed it up very well after observing our eating habits, 'You don't eat, you dine!"

    My maternal grandmother lived with us after my grandfather died. She was half Irish and half Dutch (my grandfather was also mostly Dutch, with a bit of French & Scot), although she identified more closely with the Irish side of her family. And it was she who loved soft-boiled eggs in an egg cup for breakfast, and would often prepare one for me, too.

    But not in a fancy egg cup, rather plain white. And that's what I have now. I do see those elaborate cups, online and at flea markets, some quite whimsical & fantastic, and obviously collectible. But our breakfast table is very simple, all patternless white, plus I really prefer things that are dishwasher safe when possible.
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    Dec 08, 2014 5:25 AM GMT
    icon_redface.gif Well, now I realize that's what some of the tarnished silver "shot jiggers" among mom's stuff are. Ain't no way I'm keeping any of the silver. Life's too short for polishing.

    Speaking of rituals - Sunday is bacon & waffles day. Eggs are for all the other days.
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    Dec 08, 2014 6:35 AM GMT
    yummm, dippy eggs with soldier toast. icon_lol.gif
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    Dec 08, 2014 2:53 PM GMT
    Art, although you seem to reject the idea of mindfulness, traditions such as this where we do things slowly are very much typical of people who practice mindfulness. Maybe you're craving this way of being without even realizing it. One of the most common ways is through a daily tea ritual. I can see this whole egg cup thing being just as calming and meditative if done correctly. Simple things like this can bring incredibly peace and calm.
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    Dec 08, 2014 2:56 PM GMT
    hairyandym saidyummm, dippy eggs with soldier toast. icon_lol.gif

    I'm thinking about trying that. For now I'm content to spoon the drippy yolk onto my buttered toast. Or, if no one is watching, I just pick the egg up out of the cup, and drizzle the yolk directly onto the toast. Yummy!
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    Dec 08, 2014 3:01 PM GMT
    Scruffypup saidArt, although you seem to reject the idea of mindfulness, traditions such as this where we do things slowly are very much typical of people who practice mindfulness. Maybe you're craving this way of being without even realizing it. One of the most common ways is through a daily tea ritual. I can see this whole egg cup thing being just as calming and meditative if done correctly. Simple things like this can bring incredibly peace and calm.

    I also have a bit of a tea ritual, that I'm now combining with this new egg ritual.

    I make my tea in a special ceramic teapot, with a built-in infuser. I bring the water just to boil in another container I have solely for that purpose (never overboil the water), then I pour the hot water into the pot to brew. The tea is imported from the UK, BTW, a rather stout blend (Yorkshire Gold), perfect for someone like me who's transitioning from coffee.
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    Dec 09, 2014 11:10 PM GMT
    That German gizmo also can be used to open the shell and get the pieces of soft egg out and into a warmed bowl where you can add bacon crumbles and torn pieces of sourdough toast, which is a ritual in and of itself. Thas how I eat 'em.
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    Dec 10, 2014 2:10 PM GMT
    [url]http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_11?url=search-alias%3Dgarden&field-keywords=egg+cup+and+spoon+set&sprefix=egg+cup+and%2Cgarden%2C186&rh=n%3A1055398%2Ck%3Aegg+cup+and+spoon+set[/url]

    31m96hWtyrL._AA160_.jpg
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    Dec 10, 2014 2:32 PM GMT
    Yes, I've seen that plate variant before. Good if you don't want to put the egg cup on a separate plate, which is what I do alongside the toast.

    http://www.amazon.com/Ceramic-Egg-Plate-Spoon-Rest/dp/B00309QGU6/ref=sr_1_4?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1418220982&sr=1-4&keywords=egg+cup+and+spoon+set

    I still prefer a simple white ceramic egg cup. Some people like quite elaborate cups, collecting the more unusual ones. This is the kind I have:

    4eggcups_zps4ad10d85.jpg

    Here's another kind of egg cup & plate combination:

    eggplate_zpsfacf0db5.jpg
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    Dec 10, 2014 2:42 PM GMT
    My husband's passion is poached eggs, about which he's very particular. There are restaurants where he'll only order them after he asks to ensure certain chefs are on duty. So this is one of his upcoming Christmas gifts, by Calphalon, I've already got it here waiting to wrap. Let's see if he can make his own poached eggs at home as perfectly as he likes!

    33ca7a04-1974-4d1a-8da1-28b248565239_zps

    PSSST! Don't tell him about this! It's still a surprise!
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    Dec 10, 2014 6:33 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    Destinharbor saidYum yum. I saw a segment on Cook's Country about how to make perfect eggs, all styles, including this. Really made my adventure into eggdom more reliable. Check it out unless you're already the master.

    Thanks! No master, more the novice. I'm looking how to make a soft-boiled egg more quickly, and reliably. Boiling enough water to cover even 1 egg is rather tedious & wasteful.

    Here ya go: Cook's Country:

    Be sure to use large eggs that have no cracks and are cold from the refrigerator. Because precise timing is vital to the success of this recipe, we strongly recommend using a digital timer. You can use this method for one to six large, extra-large, or jumbo eggs without altering the timing. If you have one, a steamer basket does make lowering the eggs into the boiling water easier. We recommend serving these eggs in eggcups and with buttered toast for dipping, or you may simply use the dull side of a butter knife to crack the egg along the equator, break the egg in half, and scoop out the insides with a teaspoon.

    INGREDIENTS

    4 large eggs
    Salt and pepper

    INSTRUCTIONS
    1. Bring ½ inch water to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Using tongs, gently place eggs in boiling water (eggs will not be submerged). Cover saucepan and cook eggs for 6½ minutes.

    2. Remove cover, transfer saucepan to sink, and place under cold running water for 30 seconds. Remove eggs from pan and serve, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

    Easy. The reason this is more reliable is because you are cooking the eggs in steam, not boiling water. The smaller quantity of water returns to a boil more quickly after the eggs are placed in the pan and thus the heat and cook time is more precise. One caution, have the lid for the saucepan ready to go on when you start the cook. I'll bet your new pan (without the poaching cups) would work great.

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    Dec 11, 2014 4:07 PM GMT
    Destinharbor said
    INGREDIENTS

    4 large eggs
    Salt and pepper

    INSTRUCTIONS
    1. Bring ½ inch water to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Using tongs, gently place eggs in boiling water (eggs will not be submerged). Cover saucepan and cook eggs for 6½ minutes.

    2. Remove cover, transfer saucepan to sink, and place under cold running water for 30 seconds. Remove eggs from pan and serve, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

    Easy. The reason this is more reliable is because you are cooking the eggs in steam, not boiling water. The smaller quantity of water returns to a boil more quickly after the eggs are placed in the pan and thus the heat and cook time is more precise. One caution, have the lid for the saucepan ready to go on when you start the cook. I'll bet your new pan (without the poaching cups) would work great.

    Thanks. I do steam hard boiled eggs, in a microwave device. But soft boiled are too touchy for me to get consistently right that way.

    I'm using the device pictured below, intended to make single poached eggs. But I just put the whole egg in it, letting it sit on the kitchen counter about 30 minutes to warm a little. Then I immerse it in the boiling water, using a small cast saucepan I bought this week for the purpose. It uses less water and heats more quickly. I do have a digital timer, setting it to 4:20. I lower the heat slightly, but still keep an active boil.

    As the timer rings I pull the egg out using this holder, and again set it on the counter to cool a little. That's when I start the toast. After a minute I lower the egg into cool tap water. When the toast is done and I've buttered it I place the egg into the egg cup and crack it, still warm.

    I know it sounds complex, but really very simple in actual practice.

    BTW, when you say large, that is exactly the biggest USDA graded size to use in the US for soft boiled, not Extra Large or Jumbo. Those greater sizes are too big to fit in most egg cups.

    eggpoacher_zpsfa2eafd0.jpg
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    Dec 11, 2014 4:39 PM GMT
    mindgarden saidicon_redface.gif Well, now I realize that's what some of the tarnished silver "shot jiggers" among mom's stuff are. Ain't no way I'm keeping any of the silver. Life's too short for polishing.

    Speaking of rituals - Sunday is bacon & waffles day. Eggs are for all the other days.

    Yes, some egg cups are metal. Sterling is classy, but stainless is less maintenance, and dishwasher safe. Amazon has some stainless egg cups, with matching spoons.

    We sometimes have waffles or pancakes on Sunday, too. But that's his job, I don't "make" things, I basically just open and/or heat.

    A few years ago I bought a Foreman electric grill, for quickie meals for us. But I made sure to get one with removable and interchangeable non-stick plates. His old Foreman had fixed plates and was a hassle to clean, you couldn't immerse it in water.

    You just snap out these plates and pop them into the dishwasher, as easy as doing the dishes. But, and here's the connection, I got a plate set for making waffles. And they work great! Makes 2 large waffles at a time, as easy as can be.

    Plus as I said, the cleanup (always my job) couldn't be easier. He also had a dedicated waffle iron, and we simply retired it. The Foreman makes waffles just as well, without any of the mess afterwards.
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    Dec 12, 2014 3:47 AM GMT
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    Feb 12, 2015 1:55 PM GMT
    postscript: I scored the German egg decapitator for 8 bucks! Got it yesterday at Charleston Cooks on East Bay Street in Charleston [SC]. They had a good supply of them too. When I saw the price I got so excited I almost peed myself. Williams Sonoma used to charge $22 and then they stopped carrying it altogether. Any guys in or around Charleston, or if you travel there, check it out!
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    Feb 15, 2015 5:35 PM GMT


    What would RJ do without the consistent asshole-ishness of Southbeach? It's very nice of Southbeach to be a role model of the type of people to avoid.