Scene – The kitchen, somewhere in rural France. Table set for lunch, wine open and salad ready for tossing
‘Who wants an egg, and how do they want it ?’ I shout over the vigorous conversation of the happy crew who are finishing off the last of their aperos and picking what’s left of the olives out of the bowl.
Orders are noted – soft, almost hard, soft – and I place the six eggs in the pot of water, place it on the stove and light the gas.
‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING ???!!!!???’
‘I’m making the eggs,’ I reply calmly, blowing out the match.
‘You’re What ??!??? You do NOT boil eggs like that. They need to be placed AFTER the water has boiled!!’
‘But (I say, hand on aproned hip, beginning to think that this coversation could take some time) I’ve always boiled eggs like that and we’ve always enjoyed them .’
‘No I do not think so. Like I said, that is NOT how you boil an egg. You can never boil an egg like that. It must be placed in the water only after it is boiling and then you must time it!’
At which point family member no. 2 adds :
‘Oh yes, that is the ONLY way to ever make an egg. It is nonsense to try it any other way. I have never heard of boiling an egg in this way.’
Okay, so I’m outnumbered in my own home.
‘What is all this about ?’ enquires family member no. 3.
‘Why can’t she just make an egg how she wants to ? …Actually, I must say that I haven’t ever heard of this method myself, but maybe it could work ?… We could give it a try ?…’
‘You really believe that ??!!!!???? But surely you are not being honest ! You have never seen eggs made like that, why would you say it is okay ??!!??’
Glad to have the vote of confidence, I soldier on with my defence that I’ve always done it this way, place the eggs in the water, bring it to boil and continue boiling for 3-10 minutes, depending on how soft-hard you want the egg, and that it’s always been successful.
But I don’t think I’m being heard. The conversation has turned up a notch and way past my comprehension.
Full-scale war you could say. And the time is 12.17pm.
It’s all on, men vs women and I’ve turned off the gas.
Family member 3 seems to be continuing valiantly in my defence but I’ve completely lost track of the ‘discours’ and am losing interest in the eggs. If they want eggs, they’re welcome to it. I’m not cooking them.
Suddenly the noise has lowered and family member no 1 is firing up the stove and asking how everyone wants their eggs.
Would I like a glass of red ?, family member no 2 gaily asks me ?
‘Why yes, I’d love one !’