Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Toast Fingers December 2013 This is a recipe story I wrote for my family. As a child of a British mother, one of the cultural treats our family enjoyed for breakfast was soft boiled eggs with toast fingers. This tradition was passed onto my children as well. Hopefully our grandchildren and on down the generations will think of Nana Skilling (Joyce Davies-Conklin-Skilling, who immigrated to the United States when she was 21 years old) when they partake of this fun breakfast. Enjoy! With love, Laura Marie Conklin-Nielsen-Holbrook Magic happens when a slice of buttered toast is cut into finger width strips: TOAST FINGERS Here’s how to produce this sensational breakfast: Open a plastic bread bag (or make your own bread), remove one or two pre-sliced pieces of bread (or cut a slice of your homemade bread). Take those slices of bread and drop them into the toaster (or broil them in the oven). Push the mechanical lever down. Now is a good time to reflect for a moment on the original ingredients of the bread and all the people and the good earth that provided it: flour, water, salt and yeast. It’s a blessing. Imagine the synergetic results your taste buds will experience. During this meditation, you must be aware on some level that the toast will jump out at you when its done or will burn in the oven if not watchful. When the jumping bread has come to rest, and without being too anxious in order to avoid burning your fingers, retrieve the bread from it’s upright position. Lay it gently on a plate and butter it on one side. Don’t skimp here, spread the butter clear to the edge of the bread, making sure every part has a slippery film of this vital ingredient. (Use a butter substitute if necessary). Taking the same butter knife just used to spread the butter, saw off four or five finger size slices of bread. The end is near. BUT WAIT! What good is a handful of lonely toast fingers? Not nearly as good without with it’s mate, the soft boiled egg. Take one or more lowly but wonderful chicken eggs and submerge them in a pan full of cold water, make sure the water completely covers the eggs. Bring the water and eggs to a full boil and boil for three minutes. Carefully spoon the eggs out of the boiling water (unless you have burn proof flesh, in which case you can just reach in a grab them) and onto a plate. BUT WAIT! I almost forgot to include the egg cup! Dainty as it sounds, it’s the foundation that supports the whole event. Take your hot little egg and nestle it in an egg cup. Sit your hot little egg bum side down, which is easy to remember when considering anatomy and the smaller end, is heads up. Carry your egg cup to a waiting table with a beautiful setting of placemats, napkins, glasses of juice, salt and pepper, flowers arranged nicely in a vase and silverware, all that the Good Fairy prepared in advance for you. Prepare your mind for some violence, despite the peaceful setting. Eye ball the egg and aim for the top 1/3 or neck if we are still talking anatomy. This is your target. Pick up a butter knife with your right or left hand, you choose. Holding it as weapon, cock your arm back and quickly release with fury, one solid hit to the targeted place on the egg. Instant decapitation is the desired result. If more than one attempt is made, it gets messy. Keep the cap or head, it’s a delicacy. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired. One might think it’s a necessity, but times are changing. Ready your toast fingers for their job. You may have a personal preference as to what this means: lining them up or arranging them decoratively, circling the plate. Let your personality shine through here. Pick up one of the toast fingers and slowly insert, gentling turning the toast finger inside the egg. Remove toast finger and bite off only one bite at a time, nibbling the egg frosted toast finger to the next joint or about ¾” down. Do not gulp gluttonously! Savor the crunchy eggy bite. Repeat until the yolk is consumed. HOW TO DEAL WITH THE REMAINING EGG WHITE: Using a teaspoon, gently circle the inside of the egg, scrapping the last remains of the egg. Make sure the inside of the egg is completely cleaned out: WASTE NOT WANT NOT. CAUTION! Avoid the top edge of the egg shell where small bit of broken egg shell remains! (Unless you need more calcium supplementation and you can bear the crunchy sensation on your teeth). Don’t forget the cap or the head (we’re still referring to egg anatomy). It is a delectable tidbit of egg white! It’s a meal in itself!