The Shell Game

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This morning, over yet another meaningful breakfast, my wife of 27 years asked me why I used a certain method to eat a soft-boiled egg. There have been thousands of eggs over the course of our relationship but she chose this morning to gaze across the table and launch an inquiry.

Though our eggs sit in identical china cups we access the contents differently. She taps the entire top half of the eggshell with the back of a spoon..and peels it down to the centre line. I tap a break line across the top third of the shell..all the way around with a knife…and essentially decapitate the egg. This works for me. This has always worked for me. Why would she question my methodology now?

She claims that her technique allows cleaner access to the egg with less chance of accidentally snagging bits of shell on the spoon. I argue that my method leaves more of the supporting shell to essentially act as its own cup with less chance of having molten egg yolk escape over the side. Plus, my system leaves you with a tiny cap of egg white in the severed tip..which can then be popped out with a single swipe of the spoon. I have always regarded this as a charming bonus.

I put tiny dabs of butter on my egg along with the salt and pepper as I eat. She would never do this. She was raised to often put anchovy paste on small pieces of toast to accompany her egg. I can think of nothing worse.

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She has been eating a soft-boiled egg like this since she was not far from an egg herself. Me too. The symbiosis that occurs at so many levels of a relationship, over so many years of marriage, apparently does not extend to some breakfast rituals. We may often finish each other’s sentences but there’s no way we’re embracing each other’s eggs.

How are we saddled with these behaviours? It has to be parental in origin. We watched, we learned and we undoubtedly copied.

Parents…take care when you introduce your child to the concept of a soft-boiled egg. The seeds you sow at the end of one smallish spoon can last a lifetime.

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2 Responses to “The Shell Game”

  1. I’m curious Dave. Who has the most influence at your kitchen table, you or the misses. How do your kids eat their boiled eggs? Maybe a Sunday morning family breakfast is in order…………

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