Wednesday, 7 March 2012

'What a lot of old coddlers!' Vintage eggs anyone?

The full English breakfast is in my opinion the king of breakfasts. The Americans ruin theirs with maple syrup, pancakes and dodgy bacon, Chinese dim sum is really lunch, the continental breakfast is dull and the Japanese breakfast is vile. Having nailed my colours to the wall I must admit that an English breakfast, designed as it was to fuel an industrial revolution and an empire is a bit too heavy for lazy types like me. 

Eggs cooked in glass coddlers.

The non-negotiable element of the English breakfast is the egg, eggs are the perfect breakfast food, light, nutritious and yet they fill you up until midday. One of the nicest ways to cook an egg is to coddle it, this can be done in any container, just add egg, place in steaming water and cover. But a china egg coddler is so much nicer. One of my recent Crystal Palace charity shop bargains was one of these. Brand new it cost me £2.00. I subsequently amused myself by asking everyone I met what it was? The answers were mainly sugar dish, jam pot and face cream holder. All sensible. Only one lady knew, she looked at me as if I was a gibbering idiot and retorted that it was an egg coddler, of course! She was also the only older lady I asked. Egg coddlers stopped being widely used in the 1960’s.

The exact same coddler I bought recently for £2.00.

Here is a picture of the one I bought. You place your egg in it, pop the lid on, and cook in steamed water for as long as suits your preferences. You then eat from the delicate pot with a spoon as you do with a boiled egg. The difference is that you can add things to the egg: cheese, spinach, onions, ham, the options are endless. See the Vintage Patisserie Vintage Tea Party book or look on the interweb for recipes. And if you see one nestling amongst the cracked tea pots or chipped plates in a charity shop, pick it up. I think a china egg coddler filled with chocolates would be an excellent alternative to the traditional Easter egg. xx

The Downton abbey version!


Straight Talking Mama! said...

I really like the idea of this, but have never coddled eggs and would never have know what an egg coddler looks like. mmmm might have to look out for one now, I do like breakfast related rituals....

Sissy said...

My Mom used to make us poached eggs when I was a kid with one of those metal holders you put in water and then steam, but this is cooler as you can eat it out of the container, like the idea of adding stuff to it as well and actually my favorite type of cooked egg...I'll be looking for one of these neat contraptions, thanks for the post!

Mim said...

A lot of people nowadays coddle eggs without realising it - those 'poaching' pan things coddle the eggs, the eggs aren't in contact with the water. I've never seen the point of them, but with cheese or chives... that sound delicious!

LollyWillowes said...

I have often wondered about using them. I have never been able to poach an egg to save my life, not even when I was able to keep hens and had very fresh eggs. Perhaps this might be the alternative.

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