Well, I asked for drama and I got it! Who would have thought us EoMEoTers were such a bunch of drama queens??! Yes, once a month we may cook with some of mankind’s most basic (and satisying!) ingredients, but at heart we are as dramatic as anything you will find in a Michelin-starred restaurant. If food is theatre, this is the Oscars ceremony
OK, a few quick words from your hostess before the curtain goes up. I know silence is golden, but even I am ashamed at the amount of silence that has emanated from my blog of late. My sincerest apologies for the ridiculous lateness of this month’s round-up. What can I say – it’s been a busy month, what with Henley and the Euro-food-blogger picnic, my trips to Paris, Granada and Bareclona (not to make anyone jealous or anything…) and then of course the horrendous events in London on 7 July, after which I didn’t feel much like cooking, eating or blogging. So despite my good intentions of posting my contribution and the roundup last week, none of that came to pass. I mean, really, it’s only 2 weeks to go to EoMEoTE#9 and #8 is not even up yet! So today I intend to rectify at least that. The journey of a thousand omelettes begins with a slightly wonky not-so-non-stick pan and a battered whisk, so let’s get going.
At least the lateness has given some of you a few extra days to come up with a dramatic eggy ensemble. For those of you wondering what I’m talking about, check out the End of Month Egg on Toast Extravaganza announcement, where you will find a potted history of the event. This month I continued the ovo-literary theme and challenged you to provide a recipe featuring eggs on toast in a dramatic format – how you interpreted that was up to you. A couple of early entries beat me to it and posted before I announced the theme (one teensy problem with being late to your own event!!) and did not post a dramatic work, but hey, this is EoMEoTE where we prefer to speak of guidelines rather than rules, so nobody got excluded on the basis of lack of dramatic work.
So without futher ado, laydeeeeez and gennlemun, please welcome The Dramatists:
Making her stage debut, waaaaaay before the posters for EoMEoTE had even gone up, we have Mia, the Skinny Epicurean. She goes for a musical drama and goes all Madonna on us, telling her enthralled readers that she’s doing it "Like Virgin". Erm, well, she’s doing EoMEoTE like an EoMEoTE virgin, anyway! This is a family show, after all… Anyhooo. Mia gets into the groove, so to speak, and produces a happy marriage between lightly toasted bread and a yummy, runny egg yolk with a dramatic drizzle of soy sauce. Now that’s what I call a Shanghai Surprise…
At stage right, we have Viv of Seattle Bon Vivant, one of the entrants who beat me to the calendar and got their post up before I had decreed the theme. Her intensely colourful Araucana egg scramble with beautiful, vivid red peppers was a feast for the eyes. (Nope, I didn’t have a clue what Araucana were either – it’s a breed of chicken!). So was there drama? Well, yes, in the same way that a Fauvist painting creates drama by the use of vivid and contrasting colours. Or in the same way that an Impressionist painting captures a fleeting moment of beauty before it disappears forever. Burp.
At stage left, we had another super-punctual participant – one of our most loyal EoMEoTE supporters Sam from Becks & Posh. As she was another one who beat me to the finish line, Sam’s post was also up before the drama theme was announced. But she more than makes up for it in dramatic presentation. Picture the scene. The workers, solid, square peasants of crispy bread – the foundations on which any society is built. Crushing them underfoot are the capitalist pigs – little slivers of fatty pancetta goodness and exotic mushrooms, always thinking they are a cut above the bread. And on top, the monarchy, the queen of foods, the poached egg trembles with fear. Oh, she has heard the peasants revolting down below and although she told them to go and eat a souffle, she knows her days are numbered. Cruel execution by fork and having her remains mixed with the peasants will be the end of this little revolution…
Skidding in from the wings we have Sweetnicks, another one who snuck her bacon devilled eggs in before the drama theme was declared. Now that I can forgive, but there was worse to come… Think of it as an Agatha-Christie-meets-Cluedo murder mustery. Here we have Lord Egg, all hard-boiled and stuffy. Accompanying him we have Mrs Bacon, crisp with a bit of a tough rind. And of course, no such ensemble would be complete without Colonel mustard and his lesser-known colleague Major Mayonnaise. But (gasp!) there’s no Reverend Toast! Not only has he been killed off, there is no trace of his body – neither a crouton nor a crumb! I suspect Sweetnicks did it in the kitchen with the Global knife, but we will have to wait for Inspector Baguette to confirm these suspicions. [Yes, I did notice the distinct absence of carbs... Will treat this as an Atkins-esque lapse, but next month we'd better see something carby, or your entry is, erm, toast!! ;-)]
Making a grand entrance is Lyn from Lex Culinaria who gives us something in the grand tradition of Mills & Boon romances: a romantic getaway for two where the hero serves up a breakfast pizza with a difference – a quail egg and Prosciutto pizza to be exact! Like the pizza, her story appears to be quite ordinary, until you look more carefully. Then you will find it is scattered with gems like:
"[Nicholas said] ‘…I really don’t eat any non-pizza foods.’ That was one of the things she liked so much about Nicholas. He was not afraid to be weird. Weird and smouldering at the same time."
Vintage stuff!! And don’t even get me started on the bit where he covers her in "eggy kisses". Bravo! Encore!!
Upstage from Lyn we have Saffron from Writing on a Paper Napkin. You’d never guess she was talking about a simple breakfast of boiled egg and toast. It has all the elements of great art. First there’s a touch of Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot. Then there’s a bit of John Dahl’s film The Last Seduction. And then of course there is a grand finale in the fine tradition of Gustav Klimt’s painting Fulfilment. A more well-rounded, dramatic and artistic EoMEoTE post you’d struggle to find… She even manages to get a poultry-related pun into the last line – always a plus point here at EoMEoTE.
Rolling down the aisle towards the stage (if we are to believe her dramatised version of her physique!) is Elizabeth of Blog from Our Kitchen. Despite originally telling me I was out of my mind with this month’s theme (!!) she eventually came round to my dramatic way of thinking and gives us a Gothic foodie horror story in which our protagonist finally realises that it’s not the laundry shrinking her clothes, it’s her body outgrowing them in a horizontal direction. The resultant strict diet is hearbreaking for the reader, but at least she’ll always have eggs and toast…
Being gingerly lowered onto the stage (so as not to execerbate her pounding head!) is Clare from Eat Stuff. Clare breaks the first rule of the stage (never share a stage with children or animals) and finds herself completely upstaged by a little grey kitten that bounces adorably on her head and later on her breakfast. Aaaawwwww. The drama comes in when she discovers a distinct lack of ingredients in her fridge – but a lone egg saves the day and gives us the more egg-in-toast-in-egg than egg-on-toast dish of buttermilk pancakes – heart shaped, no less! So like all good drama, all’s well that ends well.
Stepping easily into the role of the Narrator, we find Jenni from Pertelote. When we met at the first London Food Bloggers’ lunch, Jenni told us that Pertelote the hen was the wife of Chanticleer the rooster - both characters in the Canterbury Tales. So a more appropriate combination that an ovo-literary foodie event than EoMEoTE would be hard to find! Jenni completely outdoes herself, firstly with her creation of cod roe and poached eggs on toasted soda farls, but more importantly with her Chaucer-esque eggy dramatic work in ryhming couplets of iambic pentametre. A better entry I could not have hoped / To grace these pages: well done Pertelote!
Leaping up from the stage trapdoor to frighten us all is sauce-splattered Augustus Gloop from Grab Your Fork. You’ll laugh (as you recognise the familiar Brady Bunch theme tune from your youth). You’ll cry (at the tension between the two blonde sisters Marcia and Jan). You’ll scream (when you realise that Jan is about to come over all Tarantino-esque and find out how sharp that Global knife really is…). Eggs to the left of me, toast to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with food.
Downstage of all the action we find Sarah of The Delicious Life (another one whose post preceded my demand for dramatic works…). Once again, the drama is all in the presentation of the stuffed French toast. Red strawberries to signify the blood of innocents. White cream cheese to signify the purity of heart. And of course then there is the placement of the two slices of bread. Note how the bread and the strawberries in front of them create a perfect triangle of empty space between them – the sign of the chalice, the sacred feminine. And if you think about it, the line of strawberries on the left-hand slice of toast is very straight – a true rose line. And then…. AAAAARRRRGGGHHHH noooooo! Not the albino monk….. [stage lights fade to black]
Making his EoMEoTE stage debut is Stephen of What’s for Dinner? And what a debut it is. Hats off to him for doing what I eventually lacked the inspiration to do: he creates a proper dramatic work with dialogue and stage directions and real narrative tension. And it prominently features an egg dish – even a holographic special effect of an egg dish!! Woo hoo, watch out George Lucas! This man deserves an Emmy… I mean Eggy. Oh, and in between all this drama he also manages to whip up a delicious-sounding Asian-style egg custard with crispy rice patties, spinach and mushrooms. Is there nothing this man can’t do??? I can’t wait for the sequel!
Waiting backstage is Upulie from Tales from the City of Ravens, who sadly also did not see the drama theme until it was too late. Ah well, she opens wth the dramatic revelation that the recipe was inspired by a meal at a fake-meat vegetarian restaurant – a very odd concept if you ask me! She then talks us through her Vietnamese-style omelette, and just as I was beginning to be a bit dubious about the presence of carbohydrates, she sneaks in some rice paper to roll it all up in. Well done Upulie!
Another splashy debut comes to us from Indira at Mahanandi who gives us the most unusual take on the eggs and carbs theme that I have seen in a while. From her fertile imagination we get the Paratta – a fabulous fusion between paratha (griddle-fried Indian bread) and a frittata! Again, the drama is not so much in the post as it is in the detail. The mysterious fusion between the ancient culture of India and the Moorish history of Spain is symbolised by the fusion between the paratha base and its colourful frittata topping. East meets West in a culinary entente cordiale…
Stepping out of the wings we have an unusual visitor to this event – it’s Owen from Tomatilla! I had a suspicion that the literary theme might tempt him to come out and play but oh my, he completely outdid himself! It’s perfidious calumny in imabic pentametre all round as Amelia and Grace decide how to deal with the two eggs of Lafayette – and in a dramatic finale it is decided to scramble them and
"…place them on their deathbeds;
Crisped, brown slabs of wheaten bread,
And, final ignominy, devour them."
What can I say Owen – I stand in awe!
When the curtain goes up, Andrew from Spittoon comes over all Evelyn Waugh and gives us a fabulously anachronistic view of life in the colonies. Disaster has struck and the creator of breakfasts has been struck down, but Andrew is there to save the day with cream and spinach – and of course, eggs and toast! From his fertile imagination he presents us with eggs en cocotte with spinach, ham and cheese – a passage to breakfast??
Right on cue, who should walk onstage but our beloved co-founder, Anthony of Spiceblog. With his usual flair for the dramatic (I mean, this is the man who deep-fried red wine…), he comes over all French art-house filmy and gives us his moody film noir shot of eggy tuna rice and leaves us with a lingering air of mystery. Why does Johnny only have one cup? One cup of what? Who has walked in on this scene and let a sliver of light penetrate into the darkness of his
kitchen soul? Is the bowl half-empty or half-full? Aaaah, such are the questions that occupy our minds here in the twilight of EoMEoTE#8…
And, of course, stepping out from behind the curtain to take a bow (and maybe accept a few bouquets of flowers!!) is me, the Cooksister. Nope, no iambic pentametre here – I’m all rhymed out after the last round-up. But inspired by a gift of Bohusmatjes from Anne, I could hear the drums (Fernando) and felt that was going to be so different when I’m on the stage tonight. So from me you got Super Trouper Abbasolutely Fabulous Swedish-style eggs on toast. I mean, how can you ever refuse??
**STOP PRESS!!** Egg and toast dish abducted by aliens! In a dramatic turn of events, it was revealed last night that one of the earliest EoMEoTE#8 entries was abducted by aliens for a series of bizarre experiments. Stephanie of Dispensing Happiness was comforting her entry at home last night after it mysteriously disappeared from the roundup. The egg-on-bacon-on-cheese-on-potato-on-bread dish was reluctant to speak about its experiences but did give our reporter this exclusive sound bite: "I saw a blinding light and then I felt as if I was being whisked off my feet. Then I was subjected to all sorts of horrible experiments – probes and spatulas and stuff. I think they were after my eggs…". Stephanie is happy to report that her creation returned to earth (and the round-up) safely – but all the potatoes had turned an alien shade of blue. The truth is out there…!
**NATIONAL ENQUIRER CORNER** This just in from our correspondent Spicey. "Pim has crabs!!" I had no idea the two of them were so close…! An infrequent visitor to this henhouse, Pim takes time out to give us omelette with soft-shell crab. Allegedly, there’s toast lurking somewhere on the sidelines, but to me it looks more like a case of crabs without carbs.
And so the house lights come up, the audience gets up to leave, and the show is over. All the eggshells and crumbs have been swept away and you’ll have to wait another couple of weeks for the announcement of EoMEoTE#9… Thanks all for joining in with such enthusiasm and see you at the end of the month!