By Elizabeth Prata
The British are not known for their many contributions to gourmet cuisine. Creamed Finnan Haddie, Black Pudding (it’s congealed blood and oats), offal like kidneys, and other dishes mystify us outside the US. When my grandmother babysat on one my parents’ frequent trips away, she’d serve some of these dishes to us kids, and we’d cry out, “can’t we all just have a hot dog?”
One dish my gramma introduced me to lasts in my memory in a good way, though. It’s the Chucky Egg. She was from Bolton, near Manchester. Chucky Egg is a regional moniker for a soft boiled egg served in a cup, one of two ways.
I needed to go to The Special Store yesterday to get a basket for under my sink area. They were having a basket sale. While I was there I also saw a shelf stand to give added organizational ability in a tall cupboard where the upper parts of a shelf are not being used. I also wanted a mug, which I did not find. I did find, though, the egg cup.
This sweet little Lefton china egg cup had been at the store for a while. I passed it up every time. Still on the shelf, lonely and wanted to be bought and used, I finally caved in and spent the $3. It was the memory of Gramma’s Chucky Egg that spoke to me loudest from the shelf.
Lefton China was founded in 1939 in Chicago by a Hungarian emigre Georgie Zoltan Lefton. American Antiquities says, “Over the years the Lefton Company has produced numerous products that are highly sought after by collectors including, but not limited to, cookie jars, holiday items, figurines, teapots, jam jars, planters, pitchers, shakers, Red Hat pieces, wall pockets and head vases” says AmericanAntiquities.com. The china from Lefton is known for high quality.
Here is how to use an egg cup to have a “Chucky Egg”. A British breakfast featuring a soft boiled egg will often be called ‘Eggs and Soldiers.’ The egg is obvious, and the soldier is toast cut into strips, for dipping. If you want to serve the soft boiled egg in the shell, place the cooked egg into the smaller end of the cup and slice off the top. Place that nugget on the plate. Top the egg in the cup with butter, salt, and pepper.
Dip the bread into the egg and proceed to enjoy deliciousness!
Alternately, if you want to eat the egg out of the shell, scoop it into the larger cup. You can still dip the ‘soldier’ into the yummy yolkiness.
It was delicious!
I went also for another creamer for my coffee bar in the morning. The Nasco one I had been using was developing more and more crazing and some dark spots, so I quit using and decided to find another. This one is china from a company named Victoria in Austria. It looks old and indeed one site says this particular version of the company’s watermark was issued on items between 1910 and 1918. It has roses on the front and is just so cute. I use the Hall’s ‘trinket dish’ I’d bought last week as a spoon rest. I did not find a mug at The Special Store so I went to the Dollar Store and used my gift card. My coffee bar is all set!
On the below-the-sink front, I got a basket to put in my dishtowels, rags, and sponges. They were getting all over the place under there, and I like to keep them contained. I also saw a shelf. The shelf I bought didn’t fit the above the sink cupboard but it did fit under. I tucked my spare paper towel roll under there.
I finally made some soup. I love soup. It is healthy, easy to make, and totally delish.
Chicken broth, a can of stewed tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, carrots, celery, green pepper, and diced chicken. Salt & pepper, and Italian seasoning. Voila!
So that is my story of this week’s shopping, organizing, and cooking, some of them anyway. I hope you all have a wonderful day.