What were your fondest memories of food as a child?
This was the question posed at a recent dinner and drinking session. It’s an interesting question resulting in many an interesting story, especially when you have three people (for starters) from different cultural backgrounds:
Polish → Bart (me)
Australian → Kelly
Greek → Xystros
So we decided to relive the comfort foods of our youth in a series of dinners. Last night, was the first in the series: egss on toast with tea.
Eggs on toast with tea
As a child I fondly remember having many traditional Polish dishes for dinner. Sometimes though, working full-time, looking after two children, and planning and cooking dinner resulted in simplified meals utilising her cooking knowledge and tastes as a traditional Polish woman. Eggs on toast was one of those meals.
We didn’t have it too often — once of twice a month from memory — but it has really stuck in my mind as an adult. I suspect the simple combination of flavours is responsible. Here’s the basic gist of the meal:
You cook a family amount[1. My mum had the ‘Polish mum’ affliction of thinking there were at least two more people in the family than there actually was, resulting in more of every meal — and then being yelled at for not finishing.] of square white toast. Spread butter on each one. Hard boil some eggs (roughly 1 egg for every 1¼ pieces of toast[2. This was when toast was still normal-sized. Nowadays bread is baked bigger, so I’d allow as many eggs as pieces of toast.]). Slice the eggs and lay out evenly over the toast. Add salt and pepper to taste (or a little beyond). Sprinkle finely sliced spring onions over the top (I used to pick most of these off as a kid). Present to the family as a stacked toast-pyramid on a large plate.
Accompanying this was always a cup of tea, and to this day I can’t enjoy eggs on toast like this without tea. My family had our tea with milk, whereas my cousin’s family had no milk, but lemon. I always disliked having to wait for my tea to cool down to not-burn-my-tongue-and-roof-of-mouth temperature at the Zablocki household. But I did like the taste. I must’ve been an impatient child[3. Kelly would ask: So what’s changed? *shrug*].
This meal can be had for breakfast as well as dinner, and we probably have it as breakfast more often. It’s easy and quick, and much less clean up than a weekend fry up. We keep it pretty much the same although Kelly prefers her egg yolks a little googy. I’ve become pretty good at anticipating the cooking time to where the whites are solid, and the yolks are solid-ish but soft-ish, i.e., not sliceable. In stead of slicing, I mash the eggs onto the toast with a fork. Still good.
So that’s it, eggs on toast with tea. Pretty simple.
We’ll have the pleasure of Xystros’ childhood favourite in the next instalment.
Did you have a favourite meal as a kid?
Let me know and we might give it a go!