Last night I woke up twice. The first time it was with one of the chorus lines of ‘She’ll be coming round the mountain… we will kill the old red rooster when she comes’. Alarming for both myself and the red rooster (I believe it’s the American version). The second time it was, ‘The old grey mare, she ain’t what she used to be’. I‘m too terrified to even hazard a guess as to the meaning behind that one…
This is the rather tragic nocturnal plight of a toddler’s mother. What happened to waking up with the buzzing drone that is the aural aftermath of a night of serious clubbing? Or simply waking up with an intellectual epiphany of sorts?
Being a mother is a 24/7 job and, while it can be a tad trying, it is for the most part pretty bloody marvellous. I have one serious gripe though… and it’s Mother’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, I am delighted that someone thought to honour us. In fact, I think that if it was done right it might actually be nice to make it a monthly gig, but that’s only if the kids and dads stay out of it or heed my sage motherly advice!
The first fatal mistake is the misguided belief that we are only too happy to be woken at dawn – on any day, but particularly on a Sunday. Usually swiftly followed by error two: breakfast, a mere three minutes after your eyes have opened. Bless them, they mean well.
Then there’s the post-breakfast kitchen – I won’t bother to elaborate.
After that there’s no telling what might happen, but it’s bound to include other mothers, mothers-in-law, grandmothers, set menus or, horror of horrors, a lunch buffet…
Now, I like a celebration as much as the next person, especially if it’s in my honour, and even if it includes every mother under the sun. And no, I don’t really mind eating rubbery eggs, cold toast and excessively milky sweet tea – I’d just like to do it after 10 o’clock! I draw the line at buffets of any kind though.
But if it’s my day, then the first thing I’d like to do is sleep late, then I’d like to wallow in a bit of quiet me-time with hot tea (just a splash of milk), the Sunday papers and absolutely nothing edible, especially eggs, until I’ve finished the first section of the Sunday Times – every single word.
Then, by all means, come bounding into the bedroom, leap on the bed and shower me with love, praise and affection. I’ll be ready, willing and most appreciative… and I promise all thoughts of killing the old red rooster or any other living creature will be banished from my mind.
A perfectly boiled egg, good-quality smoked salmon, rye or wholewheat toast, maybe the odd slice of cucumber and a glass of suitably chilled Krone Borealis Cuvée Brut Rosé – and voila, happy mothers the world over. Low on fuss, mess and there will still be room for lunch – à la carte, naturally.
THE PERFECT BOILED EGG
It is best to start with room-temperature, extra-large free-range eggs. They must not be chilled from the fridge.
Bring a pot of water to the boil. Gently lower the eggs into the boiling water and boil, uncovered. Timing is four minutes for soft eggs, five for medium and six for hard. Any longer than that and you’ll have the green/grey sulphurcoated yolks. Remove immediately and plunge into cold water. Tap to crack the shell and ensure easy peeling.
Please note, the simple boiling of an egg is a controversial issue; no two chefs or cooks agree. This is my method, take it or leave it!
Tagged Justine Drake