There’s a Christmas tree in my house, and under it there are presents, all of them bundled up in love, as well as yesterday’s paper. There is a proper Christmas tree, and today is Christmas, London Christmas, because we fly on Monday to see my parents.
We did stockings in bed, and made presents for other people, and had breakfast, and opened Big Presents. I got Tall Man a lot of Lego. Tall Man got me..well, everything. Books and pens and paper and socks and Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem (which I am itching to try out) and tights and lip balm and a Sherlock badge and an incredibly beautiful massive mug, hand-thrown, with a little mouse by the handle. I am swathed in luck and love, and building this Christmas for ourselves- so good I almost wish we weren’t going away- is another little bit of proof in the pudding I’ve been cooking since September, when I started this blog. I’m getting better. I’m getting better.
Here’s a breakfast to celebrate, though it isn’t at all complicated, and I write to you from the sofa, with a glass of champagne and MR James, and a Tall Man absorbed in building something something Batman complicated, and I wish you all the very merriest of Christmases.
Christmas Breakfast, for two.
15 mins, start to table.
|I make no apologies for how ridiculously extravagant this recipe is; it’s my recipe and it’s Christmas and I shall be as decadent as I like with my breakfasts (within budget.)|
|Four duck eggs
Four slices of sourdough bread
Smoked salmon- plenty. You could also do this with parma ham.
|Saucepan; toaster/grill; bit of old newspaper; fingers|
Boil a kettle. While the kettle is boiling, take your duck eggs, and admire them. They are the prettiest eggs, all creamy-white and smooth. When I was a little girl we kept ducks (their names were the source of some dispute, as with all our pets)- but I don’t remember ever having duck eggs. Anyway, they are delicious, and if you’ve never had them I suggest you go out and hunt some down. Sainsbury’s have some.
Lower the eggs carefully into the water, and set a timer for six minutes. I did six minutes thirty, and they were a trifle too cooked. Still delicious.
Put the sourdough in the toaster. Bread is my best friend, and worst enemy, and I wouldn’t relinquish it for the world. There is nothing, foodwise, that I like more than really, really good bread. Sourdough is the best bread. Note also new Christmas chopping board. Anyway, toast that. Set a bowl full of coldish water on the table, and the newspaper. This is for peeling the eggs. Probably now you need to admire a Christmas present or two. (At this point, Tall Man was about half way through his Batmobile. I did a lot of admiring.)
Take the toast out, butter it generously. I like butter almost as much as I like bread.
When the timer goes off, spoon out the eggs into the cold-water, to stop them cooking, and peel them, one by one, onto the newspaper. You can sort of lever your finger under the outer skin, under the shell, and it all comes off in one-ish piece. An interesting thing to consider: you are the first person in the whole world to see the clean white inside of that egg. And when, shortly afterwards, you slice the egg with its dripping golden yolk onto the buttered toast, you are the first person to see that, too.
Eggs are mad. Eggs are brilliant. Slice the brilliant eggs onto the brilliant toast and butter.
Sprinkle with salt, if you like. I do. Pour yourself a glass of champagne, because it’s Christmas. Play carols. Layer over the smoked salmon. Eat.