Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Technically yes. Literally, no.

I examine the contents of the fridge waiting for something to leap out and inspire me. My elder daughter saunters into the kitchen. As she examines my spine she reads my mind, “howabout egg nests?”
“Oooo egg nests…..we’ve not had those for…..?”
“Donkey’s years!” I lean on the counter, transported back a couple of decades, when there was just the two of us.

Back then, my troubles were of an entirely different order.

Working parents still share these difficulties, how to create a meal that everyone will enjoy with limited time and fewer financials. Her request for ‘egg nests’ was code for ‘lets make it together.’ Whilst she impaled a potato, I would peel the others. Dollops of mashed potato would flop around the counter as we fashioned nests and tried not to burn our fingers. I would put the casualty eggs to one side to scramble at another time, as only perfect eggs could sink into the nest. With a few minutes under the grill and a sliver of butter, they would emerge steaming and lightly browned, a feast fit for one and a half. A cozy treat on dark, damp evenings, something we know as comfort food.
Nonna comments, “it sounds more like it is breakfast to me.” We ponder upon this too, another different era in another European country, in the days before cereal had been invented.

I pull out the tatty recipe book from the Potato Marketing Board, spiral bound and well thumbed. Nonna adjusts her spectacles, I clean mine. My younger daughter leans on her Grandmother’s arm for a closer look, “yuk, I don want English food!” The trigger word jump starts the boys into action. We all gather round the book. “Tell you what. Look at the pictures and choose one of these 5 recipes for supper. Potato kipper scramble, potato nests, potato scotch eggs, Spanish omelette or potato and egg curry. Whichever one gets the most votes, is the one that I’ll cook for tonight.”
“What it is?”
“What is what dear?”
“A kipper?”
“Fish, or rather smoked fish.”
The collective ‘yuk’ is drowned out by gagging noises.
“Smokin is bad! Jus say no to drugs!”
“Wot ee say?”
“Er………. it was drugs awareness week.”
“Eets not dat type of smoking. It’s a kind of preservation, like bottling or canning.”
“No bottles. Alcohol is poison of young minds.”
“Wot eee say?”
“Er……alcohol…….drugs awareness week. Remember?”
“No. You are wrong. It stops the food going bad, you know?”
“Bad food. We are not like dah bad food wiv dah alcohol and dah smoke.”
“Wot eee say?”
“I am not like dah spicy.”
“Curry doesn’t have to be spicy, I can adjust it to make it milder. Anyway curry is the national dish in England.”
“But we are hate dah England.”
“Wot eee say?”
“He’s………American, not English.”
“Scotch is being just like dah English. I am hate dah Kingdoms.”
“Wot he say?”
“More of the same.”
“Eee az some very funny ideas.”
“So no-one’s particularly taken with the egg nests then?” I note rhetorically.
“We are be liking dah Spanish.”
“You are?”
“Wot eee say?”
“Spanish. He’ll eat Spanish food.”
“No! I not eat it but I am like dah sound.”
“Wot eee say?”
“He likes the sound of Spanish food.”
“Eee’s a liar.”


tut-tut said...

I hope you get to make your egg nests!

Niksmom said...

Cracking up over here! BTW, egg nets? Are the poached in a "nest" of mashed potatoes?? This 'merican is trying to figure it out.

Chris H said...

Ha ha, very confusing conversation! So, what did you make then?

Anonymous said...

I don't know how you manage to repeat a whole conversation like that but I'm sure glad you can. Very funny, surreal.

I often cook egg-in-a-basket - egg fried in a piece of bread with a hole in the middle cut out with a drinking glass. The bread, of course, is whole wheat. This is about the only way I can flip a fried egg without breaking the yolk. lol.
Love ya, Maddy!

Anne said...

I'm with niksmom, I need more information about these egg nests!


DJ Kirkby said...

Another enjoyable post, I always feel like I am in the room with you all while it is going on. Please could I have the recipe for egg nests!

Jayne said...

Yes, please, recipe for egg nests!
So...what did you end up eating...?

Jocelyn said...

I want every single one of those recipes. Egg curry? I had no idea.

I do wonder if you ever got to a vote that day...

Anonymous said...

Maddy -- dj kirkby had it right -- reading this post makes me feel like I was in the room. Wonderful writing. You have a great ear (and memory!) for dialogue.