Egg Cups and Soft-Cooked Eggs

March 26, 2012 · 13 comments · Print This Post

in Breakfast, Eggs, Nostalgia

After 31 years of wanting an egg cup my mom sent me a pair of pretty purple porcelain ones last week. OK, so perhaps I’m exaggerating about the 31 years thing but it’s entirely possible that my Bread and Jam for Frances egg cup induced obsession began while I was still in utero. At the very least I can positively confirm that from the age of five on I was absolutely hooked on the idea.

Of course, much like Frances at the beginning of the story, my younger self really didn’t want anything to do with the soft boiled egg that you were supposed to perch on top of the dainty cup and then eat. I just wanted a pretty dish. As a former picky eater that you could barely coax into eating scrambled eggs I distinctly remember feeling horrified at the thought of eating a runny tepid egg. Pass the cheese pizza please. There was no way I was eating anything so weird and potentially slimy.

This afternoon I finally had the opportunity to take my egg cups for a test drive. I dug out the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, found the proper instructions for making soft-cooked eggs and popped a few organic eggs into a pot. While the eggs were boiling the oddest feeling came over me. I seriously started dreading the thought of eating not quite set eggs. It was as though I’d opened up a psychic connection to itty bitty Erin and all she wanted to eat were cheeseburgers with mustard and grilled cheese sandwiches cut into exactly nine squares.

Even while I took photographs of my egg cups meeting my copy of Russell Hoban’s book for the first time I honestly wasn’t sure if I would actually be able to eat what I had cooked. I can’t even begin to express how utterly absurd this feeling was. Especially considering the amount of eggs benedict I’ve consumed in my lifetime.

Finally I steeled myself and worked up the courage to take a bite. And I loved it! I sprinkled a little salt on the exposed yolk and went to town and honestly before I knew what was fully happening I had polished off two tender eggs and was getting ready to whack the top off from a third. Eureka! Soft-boiled eggs are amazing! What on earth was Frances thinking? Why had I let that little jam fiend get into my head and brainwash me into believing that this simple breakfast was awful when in reality it’s actually extraordinary? I suppose the moral of the story is that even when you’re a grown-up there’s still a picky little kid somewhere in the back of your brain that needs to be put back in their place from time to time.

Soft-Cooked Eggs
Originally published in the New Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

4 eggs
cold water

Place eggs in shells in a single layer in a medium saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover 1 inch above the eggs. Bring to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat so water is just below simmering. Cover and cook for 4 to 6 minutes; drain.

Fill the saucepan with cold water and let stand just until the eggs are cool enough to handle. Cut off tops and serve in egg cups. Or, cut the eggs in half and use a spoon to scoop the eggs into serving dishes. Makes 4 soft-cooked eggs.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Wummy March 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm

When I saw them I knew they were perfect for you!!

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2 Erin March 27, 2012 at 10:39 am

I love them! Thanks Mom!

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3 Jacy March 26, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Oh my, I remember that book so well. I was fascinated by the egg cups in the story, and I knew we had some kicking around the house. I never got to use one, however, because my mom always told me that they are a pain in the butt. Now that I can do whatever I want (oh, the joys of living on your own!), I may just have to try it! Your purple ones are adorable!

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4 EB March 26, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Yay for Frances!

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5 Julia Barrett March 27, 2012 at 8:04 am

That looks so civilized! Now all you need an english toast rack! http://www.thebritishshoppe.com/Merchant2/graphics/00000001/toast_rack_large.jpg

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6 Erin March 27, 2012 at 10:39 am

I would LOVE to have a toast rack. I’ve been eyeing them at every Downton Abbey breakfast scene.

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7 Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) March 27, 2012 at 9:00 am

Those are SO CUTE! I always see them in movies about breakfast but have never used one myself. And I do love a good soft boiled egg!

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8 LizA March 27, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Now you just need the fancy-pants snipper that perfectly cuts the top off!

I remember soft boiled eggs as a kid, but we didn’t have the little cups. We’d tear up buttered toast into a cereal bowl and spoon bits of egg on top to coat everything in runny yolk. I miss simplicity sometimes!

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9 Erin March 28, 2012 at 10:10 am

Ohh! I really want an egg topper now too. Also, there are apparently special spoons you can use as well.

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10 nicole @ i am a honey bee April 17, 2012 at 7:16 am

ooo i love soft boiled eggs… not hard boiled. I love these eggs cups. I had so many growing up. I think one was an rabbit holding a basket and the egg would be in the basket. not very practical but cute

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11 DanaD. December 22, 2012 at 11:50 am

Erin! You have inspired me!! I, too, felt that I needed my own egg cup after reading Bread and Jam for Frances in first grade and have been fascinated with them ever since! It is one of my daughter’s favorites now, too. So I have just purchased 2 cute egg cups on Etsy and we’re going to have a Frances breakfast. So excited to make my first soft boiled eggs! 🙂

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