EoMEoTE #13 – Jack Sprat and the Grand old Duke of York’s soldiers



Jack Sprat could eat no fat:

He hated it the most.

And so his wife, betwixt his meals,

Would make him eggs and toast

First she set the eggs to boil;

The bread she cut in strips

And generously sprinkled them

With Pecorino chips.

When the eggs were boiled soft

The bread she’d quickly grill,

For soldiers dipped in runny yolk

Are Jack’s most favourite thrill!

Aaaaah, the food of childhood:  eggs.  Bland yet nourishing.  Easy to digest. The perfect nursery food… But hang on a minute – I hated eggs as a kid!!  My mom used to make a dish of hard boiled eggs that she’d slice in half, lay in a shallow dish and smother with bechamel sauce, top with grated cheddar and pop under the grill.  Sound good?  Well, if my mom mentioned that she was making this for lunch, my brother and I would start beg her not to, make retching noises, clutch our stomachs and generally behave in a completely unsuitable way.  Man, we hated that dish.  I would scrape the sauce and the cheese off and try to eat those while leaving the eggs, but my mom would always see and suggest that I might eat the eggs too if I had any aspirations of leaving the table.  I also remember a friend coming to lunch and my mom saying we were having eggs in cheese sauce for lunch and my brother and I going through our exaggerated routine.  Poor friend!!  They thought they were going to get some truly frightening creation!!  Bt halfway through lunch, said friend turned to my brother and whispered "but this isn’t so bad!".  And I’m sure that the friend was correct.  But somehow, the sheer eginess of the dish always freaked us out. 

However, I would eat eggs if they were disguised as something else – omelettes were always good and eggs with toast soldiers were fun because there was activity involved – cracking the top of the egg, playing with the soldiers, deciding if you wanted just butter or butter and Bovril on your soldiers. Hours of entertainment… 

So this is just a grown-up version of eggs and toast soldiers, perfect for anybody in touch with their inner child, or anybody who just misses their mom.

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