soft boiled eggs

When I was a kid we had soft boil eggs. We had poached eggs, hard boiled, fried and omelettes, but the soft boiled eggs set us apart because we had the props. My mother had tiny little egg cups and tiny little egg cozies, knitted into chickens, I know for sure, and possibly rabbits as well. You tap the egg all around the top edge, lift off the cap, shake a little salt on the well of yolk inside, and cut a tab of butter in there to melt. Then you dip in the pointy edge of your toast and chase it back with hot chocolate. I’m imagining the hot chocolate part, but the rest is all true. I was telling this to Ferd so last night for dinner he insisted on eggs; I set them into espresso cups and wrapped them up with napkins. He poured out the egg yolk and ate the whites. You can’t win, but I let him slide because the other night when I gave him pasta with butter he said, “who made this, who made these noodles.” And I said “why?” And he said, “they are deliciss.”
Soft boiled eggs are beautiful with tiny peas that have been added to a pan of chopped pancetta and onion that have been cooking together until the pancetta is crisp but not hard and the onions are soft. A pile of toast points and some tiny potato pancakes. Spoon the eggs in their shells into boiling water and leave them in for 3 minutes if you like it really runny, or 4 if you like it runny but without the slimy white.
They are also great smashed warm with a little butter and salt onto a thick piece of hot buttered toast. Egg salad without the mayo.

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