Simon Kelner: Rockers have crazy urges but a boiled-egg rider is a step too far

Kelner's View

Share

Try this out in your workplace. Inspire a discussion about any matter of political importance, like, for instance, the euro crisis or reforms in the National Health Service. Some people will have deep convictions and strong views but I would guess that, by and large, you will be surprised by a lack of general engagement in these issues of great moment.

And then, casually, ask if anyone has an opinion on the best way to boil an egg. Stand back for the reaction: four minutes; five minutes; put the egg in and then boil for three minutes; let it stand; put salt in the water; better to simmer than boil. On and on they go, as if what we're trying to achieve is the perfect soufflé, or an award-winning baked Alaska. It's a boiled egg we're talking about.

This was the topic du jour in my office when I happened to mention that one revelation in a new book about the wild and wacky lifestyles of some great figures of rock'n'roll was that Mick Jagger insisted on having his eggs soft-boiled and served in a Wedgwood egg cup.

Blimey. I knew rock stars had crazy, uncontrollable urges, but surely that was a step too far. Drugs, women, even jelly babies with all the green ones removed, but a specific rider involving boiled eggs? That's going too far. (In my very limited experience, however, this is not untypical. The only rock star I know well likes nothing more than a quiet evening in with a bottle of home-made elderflower cordial and some Cheddar.)

This is not the first time that the humble boiled egg has become a national topic for discussion. We all recall how particular Prince Charles is regarding his boiled eggs – according to Jeremy Paxman's book on the royals, Charles has seven eggs cooked, each for a different length of time, and then tests them all before settling on the one that suits his taste. (This was later denied by the Palace, fearful of what it would do to the Prince's environmental credentials.)

And what about Delia Smith? In her 1998 book, How To Cook, the original domestic goddess devoted a whole chapter to the foolproof way to boil an egg, and left herself open to ridicule; fellow chef Gary Rhodes accused her of insulting people's intelligence. But it's clear she was on to something. "Even the simplest of cooking demands a degree of care and attention," she wrote, before detailing the precision needed.

In case you are interested – which I am sure you are, if only so you can emulate Prince Charles and rock gods everywhere – she says you should lower the egg into simmering water for exactly one minute, then remove the pan from the heat and let it stand for six minutes (fairly liquid yoke) or seven minutes (a firmer, creamy yoke). All of which, I'm afraid, is just an excuse to reprise my favourite cartoon of all time. It was in the New Yorker magazine and showed a chicken and an egg in bed together. They were clearly in a state of post-coital bliss, and the chicken was smoking a cigarette.

The caption simply read: "So now we know which came first."

 

 

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - Infrastructure / VMWare - Hertfordshire

£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established industry leading business is l...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Engineer - Hertfordshire -Large Established Business

£22000 - £28000 per annum + study support, gym: Ashdown Group: A large busines...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Manager

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity to...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Manager - Production

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Managers are required to join the UK's...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

The TV non-debate: Miliband does better than expected, but not better than Cameron

John Rentoul
Nigel Farage is pictured leaving the pub after the invasion by protesters  

How does terrifying my family count as ‘good-natured protest’?

Nigel Farage
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss