So Shmalentines Day has come and gone. Meh.
Any half-witted wannabe Casanova can pop into the local petrol station for last-minute overpriced red roses. Booking a table for two at the local Italian or French restaurant doth not a Romeo make. And why girls the world over fall into a swoon over those transparent tubs of Ferrero Rocher from their Don Juans is a complete mystery to me. Like, hello! Put some meaning into it, guys! (and girls – fair’s fair).
Proper honest-to-goodness relationships are about so much less than roses, chocolates and gaudy costume jewelry. It’s all about happily putting up with the idiosyncratic weirdness that comes standard with another human being, and embracing mundane everdayness. It’s all about Dutch Ovens, tolerating snoozeworthy action movies about sentient vehicles, and other wildly unromantic overtures. Here’s a quote from one of my all time favourite books, The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult*.
“What I want is what other people take for granted… To ask, Did you set the alarm? To say: Remind me that we are running out of toothpaste. To have our time together not be so romantically charged but instead, just plain boring.”
And so, I come to the humble egg. Eggs are not exactly a source of culinary white-knuckledom; we all have them lurking in the fridge and kind of take them for granted. But given a little extra attention, you could turn them into something mildly romantical that’s right up there with shouting at each other to put the cap back on the toothpaste tube.
To make heart shaped eggy lurve, you will need:
- A chopstick or similar; they don’t necessarily have to be adorned with little kitties but I find that this detail adds to the overall experience
- A piece of stiff cardboard and same-sized piece of foil or wax paper
- Elastic bands, or if you also have a hard time finding stationery at home, clothes-pegs and a bit of patience
Firstly, I have to mention that I spotted this on Pinterest ages ago, and went into one of those thought-rages about having found yet another hoax pin. What prompts people to put crap like that out on the net? (I refer to things like melting tequila bottles in your home oven, how eating overripe bananas leads to instant weight-loss, how ramen noodles will wipe out the human race, etc.). Anyway, to cut a long story short, I tried it out since I’m a voracious consumer of boiled eggs, and boy was I pleasantly surprised – it works!
So very simply, hard boil the eggs in whatever way makes you happy. While that’s happening, lay the foil or wax wrap on the cardboard and fold in half, making sure the crease is extremely sharp. Peel the eggs as soon as you possibly can after cooking them, then kind of wodge them lengthways into the V formed by the cardboard. Working quickly, firmly but gently press the chopstick along the top and secure the whole bunch with elastic bands.
OK the elastic band bit comes from the websites I originally checked out but I could only ever find one and it was kind of stretched out to the point of uselessness, so I used two clothes-pegs and kind of kept up some pressure with my hands on the V part of the contraption.
After just a few minutes, you will see that, lo and behold, the egg has not disintegrated and has a bumcrack from the chopstick.
Release it from your Maguyvere’d egg-shaping device and slice neatly in half. Wow! Look at that! Heart-shaped romance in a boring foodstuff!
Now if you really want to lay it on thick, bake it into bog-standard meatloaf to really knock your other half’s smelly, threadbare socks off (you know if they don’t mind you seeing the state of their socks, it’s the real deal) (likewise, if they are impressed with your heart-shaped boiled egg you know they’re a keeper).
Happy regular plain old day, everyone.
*Have you read her latest? Leaving Time. I must admit to being disappointed. It was disjointed and not particularly convincing, I felt. It was like a wildlife documentary/M. Night Shyamalan mash-up. But hey, that’s just me, and I certainly couldn’t do any better.