Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Poached egg & 'chips' to soothe a tortured soul.

Well, there we go it was short-lived, but for 24hrs I basked – yes, BASKED – in the most recent reward for sort of persevering with Twitter. I don't really get Twitter, but I am trying ot be better at it, and - wow - Nigel Slater (yes, actually, NIGEL SLATER) retweeted my rhubarb & vanillajam post, and my daily page views, which have been steadily creeping up (nothing awesome you understand but satisfying for me personally), shot up so that I got OVER 400 page views in about 36 hours. Now I know there are many, many bloggers out there who get 400 pages views just for coughing, but I tell you, wow, it was exciting.

You’ll be pleased to know though that it’s back to reality, and as with all good things, it came to an end. Still, nice while it lasted, and it gave me a boost because I have been feeling a little over-wrought with life. Probably better that it’s over, really, because frankly, I’m not sure I can cope with much more excitement (what am I saying?? Nigel. If you ever read my blog again, if you read this – thank you – thank you – it was AMAZING!).

go on - guess how much you think it weighs
I do like to be busy, but I’m finding this half-term a little exhausting – the relentless events: sports day (which may or may not go ahead on Friday having already been postponed once), the school fete (fruit cake for guess the weight of duly baked, face painting team organised, raffle tickets obtained, sorted, distributed and prizes sourced),the parents evenings, the swimming gala, the discos...

Instead of wading through to the end and crumpling into a big heap on the last day of term with a vat of chilled sauvignon blanc in which to drown, the first week of our holidays is Scout camp. No sooner has the cash been counted after the school fete finished on Saturday than I will be assisting the senior scout wife organise various Olympic-themed craft activities, the meal plan (actually, that needs to be read in a big, deep, booming voice “T-H-E-M-E-A-L-P-L-A-N” – 18 meals for 22 scouts plus the leaders and hangers on, partners and kids is serious business!), a cash & carry run, a ‘Ready Steady Cook’ night. ... There’s also the small matter of a job, and everything else to contend with too. At this rate, I can see myself hitting Christmas with a bang and wondering where on earth the rest of the year went. It will be loads of fun, but sometimes, it’s a bit tiring to think about it all.

On top of this (I am getting to my point, slowly), Pink seems intent on picking a fight with me every step of the way at the moment. I’m trying not to over-analyse, to accept it’s just a phase. I know she’s tired, and  perhaps some of the fall-out from all the busy-ness that she’s feeling a little neglected. I’m trying not to lose my temper with her -  that’s the thing with Pink, she knows EXACTLY which buttons to press with me. I’m trying to second guess her, to stay ahead of the game, but it’s exhausting.

So this evening, they had an hour’s after school activities. After I’d picked them up from school at 4.30, and had to deal with her latest list of my deficiencies as a mother (well, she didn’t quite put it like that, she’s only 6, but basically that’s what she was saying) as we walked home, I was amazed to find that not only did the complaints stop when I put the supper on the table, she actually started to be nice. Lovely and gorgeous in fact. First she apologised for not thanking me at her birthday party (in May) for the cake I had made (bless!), then she proceeded to get out the cutlery without complaining (and without being asked – I nearly dropped everything I was carrying on the floor at that point) and set the table, and she didn’t once niggle at her brother through the meal. Best of all, it was a doddle to put together, and was pretty much ready to go once I’d got in from school.

So what was this amazing feast? The feast that tames the spirit of a restless and dissatisfied 6 year old (for a short time, at least). I know you’re dying to know.

It was poached eggs and ‘chips’ (well, my homemade potato wedges) and a ‘salad’ of chopped raw stuff from the bottom of the fridge. Amazing.

Poached Egg and Potato Wedges with chopped salad

Ingredients: (to serve 1 Adult and 2 kids) 4 reasonable sized potatoes, a little olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and some chopped fresh rosemary if you have some, 3/4 of a red pepper, a courgette and 5 spring onions, 6 eggs

Method: Turn on the oven to 1800 C, and slice the potatoes into half lengthways, then slice each half into wedges – if the potatoes are quite thick, you can always cut the potato into thirds lengthways first then into thinner wedges. If you have time, drizzle a little olive oil into a roasting tin/baking tray and put it in the oven for 5 mins to heat up the oil, but if you don’t have time, toss the wedges in the oil first, spread out on the baking sheet and sprinkle with the salt and rosemary. Put the tray into the oven – the wedges will need about 40-45 minutes.

(At this point, I went to get the kids from school)

When the potatoes are pretty much done, fill a pan with water (I use a frying pan for poached egss) and put on to boil for the eggs. Chop your veg up into little-ish cubes, and mix together.

Poach the eggs (Delia can tell you how to do that), and serve with the wedges and salad.
with yolks this good, there's no need for salad dressing!


  1. Recipe Junkie, I bow down to you! The Slater? The real Slater? Now that is impressive indeed. Well done to you. I am now about to head over to Twitter and start following him! Your dinner looks fab by the way, look at those perfectly poached eggs - a real life skill being able to perfectly poach an egg! Well done again :)

    1. well - the one on twitter who calls himself @realnigelslater . Actually if eyou watch him on twitter, he seems really great with lots of retweeting and responding to people. Honestly, I nearly fainted it was so exciting!

      It helps that we have chickens so the eggs are always gorgeous and fresh.

    2. Ohh, chickens and the real Nigel Slater! I'm swooning! So pleased for you. :)

  2. We've never managed to poach an egg successfully yet. :( Any top tips, or just consult St Delia??

    1. Hmm. The bot about Delia was sort of a joke cos she does tricky stuff like add vinegar to the water. Sorry I didn't get to put the comments sooner - I have been 'team away daying' today :-).

      It helps if the eggs are really fresh because the white is much more 'together' and stays closer to the yolk. Other than that, just watch like a hawk and kind of keep slopping the water over the top of the egg to get it all cooking evenly. Probably not very helpful...

    2. Very late reply for you but, I started to make poached eggs properly a few weeks back finally. I just use a shallow big pan, bring lots of water to the boil, then turn it down to the lowest heat, wait till its simmering, then, crack your egg into a little dish/bowl a little bigger than the egg in size.
      Then, stir the water in the pan, not too fast but with a good, 'swirl' to it, then drop the egg in very fast and keep stirring for 3 mins, no more time is needed (seriously). then its done, no more needed. Then enjoy. Hope that helps :)

      I'm gonna make, slim chips with 2 poached eggs and some curry or fajita beans tonight, nomyumyum

  3. I've a 6-year old who's constantly reverting between spoilt princess aka one of the stepsisters, and well, a sweet little princess..
    Apparently they get a bit tired and bored with school, ready for a new challenge, but restless because they can't process those feelings yet, and need their hols to do so. Just hang in there!!


    1. I think you're right - my daughter is a bit of a handful when she's not occupied anyway and they sort of lose the structure during this half term because of all the other stuff thats going on. Not long to go now!

  4. Wow!!!!! how exciting - I really should try to figure out twitter!!!

    1. :-) - I'm not claiming that I understand it!

  5. Wow Recipe - that is FANTASTIC!! Hope it happens again. Obviously worth persevering with Twitter. One day I'm going to try to get my head round it.
    Funny you should say that about Pink. I'm at my wits' end with my daughter. She's being tricky and completely irrational at the moment. From about 7am she cries and moans about being late for school. The bus stops right outside our house and we've never missed it - she's driving us all mad! I know she's tired and I am TRYING to be understanding, but very few of the things she gets upset about make any sense. Roll on the holidays.
    Unfortunately she doesn't like eggs, but I love them - tea looks delicious x

  6. Just before you put the egg to poach in the pan of simmering water (with a drop or two of vinegar) stir it round and round with a spatula and then while the water is still spinning crack the egg into this and it will stay complete and together and not spread out in the pan.


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