The beautiful weight of two shiny orbs cupped in my hand… the feel of them as I roll them between my fingers, my heart pounding in my chest at the anticipation that they will soon be in my mouth, my tongue swirling around them … EL James, eat your heart out.
I’m not talking Fifty Shades. I’m talking lunch.
Specifically, I’m talking eggs.
Don’t tell my husband, but I have just spent £1.50 on two boiled eggs and twelve spinach leaves. At home we have two chickens living in splendid, palatial surroundings for the sole purpose of providing us with fresh, guilt-free eggs. We also have two fridge drawers full of spinach and other even more expensive salad leaves. He will tell me I have been profl-egg- ate. (Apologies.)
The trouble is, Slap and Tickle are both off lay at the moment and I am on the British Military Diet.
This is a diet in which egg and toast have a starring role. I must and will have eggs!
Anyone in Executive Youth who has ever put themselves through a diet will know the value of an egg. Low in calories, high in protein and versatile, an egg is the dieter’s best friend. Me and eggs? I love ‘em. And I grab ‘em, right by the refrigerated snack section. Man, I can’t get enough of eggs!
It was not ever thus.
Eggs, in my youth, meant only one thing: school packed lunch.
Wherever we were taken on those exciting days out of the convent, boiled eggs came too. We’d each be given a paper bag containing a cheese sandwich (2 slices of white bread, jammed together by resentful kitchen staff who’d be over generous with the cheap margarine and not generous enough with the grated cheese) a packet of crisps, a floury apple and… a boiled egg.
It is said that, upon entering his kitchen, newly recruited chefs are asked by Gordon Ramsay to cook eggs. People who know how to cook, know how to cook eggs.
The chefs who cooked our eggs would have melted in the heat of Gordon’s expletive laden fire breath.
The eggs they prepared were cooked hard and hot to ensure that they were as solid as an egg could ever be and finished off with that unappetising grey/green iron sulphide film around the yolk.
It is not surprising then, that most of us teenage girls rejected them, preferring instead to put them to other, more entertaining uses.
I remember standing on the beach at Walton-on-the Naze as a collection of us chucked our eggs at the sea wall to see how many throws they could survive.
At Hampton Court I juggled two eggs and an apple to entertain the bloke dressed up as Henry VIII we found having a smoke in the grounds.
And at Chartwell, home of Churchill, we lobbed them like grenades at jeering schoolboys. Sir Winston would have been proud.
My ‘eggsperience’ then, left a lot to be desired and in 1988 my anti-egg prejudices were confirmed when Edwina Currie came out with her ill-judged and factually incorrect denunciation of eggs. “Most of the egg production in this country,’ she said, ‘is now infected with salmonella!”
Tony Hancock must have been spinning in his grave. All that work for the Egg Marketing Board undone! But music to my ears. Confirmation bias! All my suspicions about eggs confirmed! They were awful!
So it took quite a long time before I came round to eating eggs again. In fact, it took a sophisticated breakfast of eggs Florentine at The Wolseley to make it happen. (Anyone wishing to cure me of a similar aversion to shorthorn beef fillet, please feel free to book us a table at The Berkeley.)
These days, when my body requires fewer calories (damn that Executive Youth metabolism) eggs are packing value.
I may not ‘go to work on an egg’ (though this might be preferable and more effective than going to work on Southern Rail) but I do take eggs to work. Wrapped up in silver foil.
Yes when I tip them out on the desk they do look like Ann Summers jiggle balls, but trust me, when you’ve only eaten two hundred calories by 1pm, they are twice as pleasurable (and they last longer).
Yeah, baby, drop them bad boys in my mouth!