How do you poach the perfect egg? I told myself this was a trivial matter, which should hardly disturb my mind when I have important things to do, like working on the Christmas short story. I knew poaching an egg wasn’t the easiest thing to do. In fact, I seem to recall that the last time I tried to do it, I produced a nightmare of a dish which didn’t even get as far as the plate which I had put out to receive it.
But the image of two perfectly poached eggs on a bed of spinach continued to haunt me. I fantasized that there might be a fresh bread roll beside it? Or a piece of buttered toast? So I asked a friend here and a friend there how they managed it, and the answers were many and varied. Vinegar was mentioned, and special appliances. One said you swirled the water around before sliding the egg in. Another said he’d seen someone put clingfilm into the poacher, drop the egg in that, fold over the clingfilm and Bob’s your Uncle. But no one admitted to having created the perfect dish themselves. Their excuse was that the eggs had to be really fresh for a good result. Well, who can get a really fresh egg nowadays? Apart from those of us who keep hens.
So I cooked some spinach, and I tried to poach two eggs. I ate them. Well, almost all of them. (You know what happened to the whites, don’t you?)
I must admit to being rather tired today. I’ve spent the last ten days doing the copy-editing of the next book, titled MURDER-IN-LAW. Oh dear, oh dear. It arrived in teeny weeny print that I could hardly read, so it was a real problem for me to check out trouble spots and correct them. I do like that story, which has the dreadful Diana dumping her children on Susan and Rafael as they move into their half of Ellie’s big house, now divided into two. But finally, my corrections have all been done, and accepted . . . which only means, of course, that the proof reading will shortly be on its way to me.
Something to remember; the paperback version of the Bea Abbot story came out on Friday 30th October. I do hope your libraries are opening up faster than ours is. I am visiting our local bookshop far more often than I used to do. Mind you, I’m grateful that these bookshops still exist. I’ve been tasting the work of some authors I know well, and others of whom I have heard but not yet read. Perhaps it’s good for one’s broader education to try something new . . . so long as it doesn’t end up with you feeling extremely depressed. I like a positive ending!
The story from the archives which automatically comes with this newsletter is called ‘A Change of Address’, which can happen to some of us as we get older. It’s a sensible practice to downsize, but can be difficult for the people concerned. You can access it here . . .
A blessing on all those who share pieces of cake they’ve made with their neighbours.