Alison, the Vintage Housekeeper over at one of my favorite blogs, BrocanteHome, is having a "Puttery Treats Challenge." Puttery Treats are wonderful ideas for making the ordinary fun, cozy, or delicious. Alison has a very long list that she keeps adding to over time. So there are many, many to choose from to inspire a post.
I've been very excited about this contest, since it started just about the time I was setting up this blog. But I had fully intended to make something pretty out of vintage postcards. Instead, as I was preparing to leave work on Halloween night, realizing that I was getting sick - chills, achy joints - I decided to look at the Puttery Treats list - because just reading about these ideas are comforting. And there under the heading "Sniffles" I found:
"Nursery Suppers. Give up dinner for a few nights and instead offer the kids a very old fashioned high tea when they come home dithering from school and a light nursery supper (boiled egg and soldiers?) an hour before they go to bed.."
Well, it was too late for high tea, as E. was out trick-or-treating already (and the concept would be lost on him), but the phrase "Nursery Supper" sounded very cozy indeed. It conjured up images of Christopher Robin, the Velveteen Rabbit, and plump Nannies fussing about. And eggs - that would just hit the spot for dinner!
But what was "boiled egg and soldiers"? I feared the worst as I Googled the phrase - I figured at best, whatever soldiers were, I wouldn't have them on hand (My, they sounded a little intimidating). But I was fully expecting them to be some sausagey piggy sort of food that I could never eat anyway.
But wait! Great news - they are slices of buttered toast! I even watched an informative video on how to cook and eat them with the boiled egg. ("Soft-boiled" as a method for cooking eggs has always been about as appetizing as "stepped-on" would be, but by Gosh! if it didn't sound great with it's dynamic partner "soldiers!")
Now, to go home and make it - and sell it as dinner to the boys!
H. hadn't made a real meal that night so he was on board. E., however gave me exactly the whiny (yet emphatic) answer I was expecting: "Eggs are NOT for dinner. They are for breakfast."
No, no I told him. It's okay. It's British. It's "Nursery Supper!" We'll have soldiers with the eggs.
Well darned if that didn't win him over!
Now, the next challenge - did we own anything resembling an egg cup?
Yes! The depression glass wine cups that my mother-in-law gave us.
N0! They don't fit an egg. Fine. Not boiled eggs. Sunny-side-up. At least there would still be something to dip the toast into.
Okay, this was becoming less a puttery treat and more a pathetic dinner by the second.
Finally after only one other kitchen mishap (I said Puttery Treat, not Buttery Feet!) our Nursery Supper was ready. Were the yolks soft - of course not! Apparently I can only make two kinds of eggs - scrambled and fried. Mostly, because I'm such an attentive cook that I kept leaving the eggs unchaperoned to answer the door for all the adorable ghosts and goblins (all eight of them.)
However, when all was said and done everyone was fed, I felt only half as crummy as when I came home, and E. said, "Mmm, can I have some more soldiers?"