How Do You Like Your Eggs, Sir (or Madam)?

A couple of posts back when I was extolling the virtues of J and her miraculous composting skills, I made a throw-away remark that such was the heat generated in her heaps/bins ‘. . . you could coddle an egg in there or slow cook a casserole!’ not that I had ever done either, you understand. It was, I thought, just one of those neat little concoctions that strung things along and added a bit of colour to the sentence. A throw-away remark!

So, it came as a bit of a surprise (and a twinge of guilt) when someone, whose own writing I admire greatly, came back with a comment on the post ‘. . . do you really coddle eggs in there?’ a comment that was followed up by an email about her granny’s egg coddlers. That thown-away remark had been well and truly ‘fielded in the deep’, as John Arlott used to say.

Now, I have never owned an egg coddler, the closest I have ever got to one was in the pages of ‘Antiques’ magazine in the dentist’s waiting room. Something had to be done; I know I’m full of ‘bull’ but pride doesn’t want others to think the same. I wasn’t about to try cooking a slow casserole but I could try poaching an egg without exerting too much effort and if it didn’t work I could always slink off into a dark corner somewhere and suck my thumb! The results are shown in the following photos; and no comments about ‘Photoshop’ either, if I’d used that I’d have doctored the burnt bits on the toast!

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü

in the cooker

on the cooker


ransom note with date


on toast




'scrummy in the tummy!'

12 thoughts on “How Do You Like Your Eggs, Sir (or Madam)?

  1. I am SO excited about this post. This is SO cool. I am amazed – well even though it is logical – amazed that this is possible in the compost heap! Did you take the temperature in there? So it looks as though you had a plastic bowl and wrapped it all in a plastic bag (smart). It looks PERFECT. We must have an egg party this coming summer, and I will donate a coddler to the compost effort. I am inspired to root out one of those old egg coddler’s of my Granny’s to make one for lunch! I wonder if the village kids could rip themselves away from their over-sized chess set to learn about coddled eggs? You should do some science education for the local schools – the science of composting, and egg coddling along the way. Thank you so much for this post!! Oh – and with awe at your own witty words I also thank you for the generous and kind words if that was SBS you were referring to!

    1. didn’t take temperature at the time but have just done so – over 55C but can’t be exact as it’s at the top of the tube. Used a cup from our poacher and covered with cling-film to keep the debris off. The education thing is interesting because there is no culture of composting here in Turkey. J had a professor from the agricultural dept. of Mugla University waxing lyrical about her activities and wanting her to go on a tour with him around the farmers.
      It was indeed SbS that I was referring to.

  2. I have never heard about an egg coddler before. Unique way of cooking your eggs but I would prefer the pan on the hob, me thinks

    1. Ha! This was definitely poaching; coddling has you (or your cook) put the egg inside a little egg shaped china thingy on a chain – you then dangle it in a pot of non-boiling water for god-knows-how-long until done. I think the compost heap is probably faster!

  3. Dear Sirs
    It’s time to stop coddling those eggs. They need to stand on their own two feet!!
    Infuriated in Izmir

  4. I couldn’t understand why my compost heap never really came to anything until I came home early one day to find two village ladies emptying the recently filled contents into tins to take back to their hens and goats. So I have to use a cooker to coddle my eggs

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