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BOILED EGG and SOLDIERS - The only breakfast for me!

So it is a well known fact (to those who have known me well over the years) that I am a notoriously fussy eater. In fact, I was shocked when one friend blurted out one day that she, ‘knew for a fact that I had some sort of eating disorder’. I was so stunned by this, that I actually investigated her assertion by giving it a great deal of thought. And by noticing my eating habits and food choices.

What I discovered was interesting indeed. Being a natural born researcher (it’s a Scorpio thing, regardless of its position in the natal chart), I uncovered that it was historical - but it only applied to me! The rest of my family are gluttons - and I use this word in a loving, completely non-pejorative way! They absolutely love their food, and have a particular penchant for all things stodgy, heavy, sweet, savoury. I, on the other hand, had to be dragged kicking and screaming from the piano (to which I had chained myself on a daily basis), to endure chicken chow mein, meat curries (the meat ended up on the floor), potatoes, baked beans, rice and other heavy stuff I’ve blocked from memory. I especially did not like or eat crisps, chocolate and ice cream. My sister recently proclaimed that everyone thought I was weird because of these glaring omissions. And even I have to agree - somewhat.

So when I left home, I wasn’t in the greatest nutritional state. I stuffed myself with cakes whenever hungry because a) I was always starving and b) it was what we were given before dinner every night (which I didn’t eat anyway). As soon as I left home, I hit a health food shop in an attempt to start learning about the calorie content and nutritional value in every food. I then became an encyclopedia on these things. When I married Pete, it became a search for the Holy Grail of Health. We tried every single diet and food in order to ascertain which ones gave us the optimum nutrition and satisfaction for our immense physical output as athletes (year in, year out training and 10k and 10 mile races plus performing almost nightly at gigs and private parties).

This is a very long and winding way to tell you that in the end, over many, many years of trial and error, eating, not eating, dieting, not dieting (advice - never diet!), I eventually found a small group of key, nutritionally dense foods that I love to eat.

BOILED EGGS and SOLDIERS is one such gourmet dish!

An absolute necessity for me (being a historical veggie) is the taking on board of enough iron and protein. How I’ve survived on so little for so many years is a miracle of nature in itself. Getting nutritional deficiency anaemia (misdiagnosed as ulcerative colitis) was a huge turning point.

So I researched the best recipe to get the perfect soft boiled eggs into which could be dipped my favourite bread of the moment.

There so happened to be an article that sprang up in a food magazine which compared the various methodologies of these chefs:

  1. Antonio Carluccio

  2. Josh Emett

  3. Giorgio Locatelli

  4. Michel Roux

  5. Delia Smith

They all made them, and Loyd Grossman was the judge of the best. His conclusion was my favourite. It was then - and it remains my favourite breakfast and my favourite recipe. Well done, Josh Emett, head chef of The Savoy Grill during the Noughties!


1. Get a small pan plus room temperature organic egg/s.

2. Bring the water to a steady rolling boil.

3. Gently lower the egg/s into the water.

4. Time and cook the egg/s for exactly 4 mins and 30 secs.

5. Remove from the pan.

6. Serve immediately.

I experimented with various breads, persevering with sourdough which never quite hit the spot. Now I’ve found a supremely good rye bread with various seeds which I lightly toast, slather with butter (Pete and I always eat butter and use full fat milk), and slice into the requisite soldiers for dipping into the yolks.

It sets me up for the majority of the day, when I break for a cup of tea and a biscuit at 4pm. Yum!

Please send a review and a photo to

I WOULD LOVE TO SEE IT and hear about your culinary adventures!


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