Monday, February 28, 2011

Poached eggs - in my favorite little pot

I made poached eggs this morning.  It's actually much simpler than the people who want to sell you the "necessary" gadgets would lead you to believe.  All you really need is a pot, some saltwater and an egg.

I prefer using my favorite little pot for this

Isn't it cute? 

To make poached eggs, all you have to do is to boil some saltwater in a pot.  Some people add a little vinegar, because it helps firm up the egg, I don't.  (If you'd like to know the chemical basis of the vinegar's function, I'd be glad to tell you...)

Then take the pot off the burner, crack an egg and GENTLY slide it into the hot (not boiling) water. The process works better with fresh eggs since they tend to hold together better.

(Contrary to that, if you want to make hard boiled eggs, you should use older eggs.  They peel more easily.  I actually keep track of the age of my eggs in the fridge and use them accordingly...)

The eggs will look something like this.

You can poach eggs in any pot - and I will use other pots when this little guy happens to be dirty or in the dishwasher.  But my little pot has a special insulating container that makes it perfect for poaching eggs. 

So, in my case, I close the lid...

...close the insulating container and set the timer for 7 minutes. 

While we're waiting, I can tell you the story behind the little pot. 

My husband and I got married in Germany.  One of the wedding gifts we received was a set of 3 pots, that I had selected with my mothers help.  It was this little guy and two bigger pots.  When we went back to the US, I only had room in my luggage for the two bigger pots.  The little guy was left behind, because his insulating container made him just too bulky.

The two bigger pots served us well in our new lives - and they were our central cooking vessels for the next ten years.  Unfortunately, while the pots were doing well and proved their quality construction time and time again, the same thing could not be said for the marriage.  

During the divorce settlement, by Ex husband demanded that he receive one of the two pots. 

I was appalled - and said "no".  There was no way he was getting one of the pots.  Yes, they were a wedding gift, but it was a gift from my family. I had given him everything we had received from his family. It was only fair that I kept what we got from mine. On top of that, his family was in the area and he had already received more hand-me-down cookware from them since the separation. These were the only two pots I had.  And last, but not least, the pots were a set - and you can't break up a set. So - "no!"

He would not take no for an answer.  He wanted one of those pots. 

I had a few good male friends at the time, who served as my advisors and sanity checks.  When I told G. about the pot, I obviously wanted him to tell me that I was right.  He did not.  He told me that I should think about how insignificant these pots were in the big scheme of things - and to give the pot to the Ex. 

Wrong answer!  He just didn't understand!  They were mine!  I had carried them on my back from Germany to the US and I was keeping them!

If you don't get the right answer from one friend, obviously you go on to the next friend.  Somebody will eventually agree with you, right?  I mean, maybe the first person didn't have all the necessary information to make the "right" decision. 

When I told my friend R. about the pots, I made sure that I detailed all the necessary facts: They were a set; they were a gift from my family that I picked out with my Mom - and I had carried them to the US on my back. He laughed - told me to give the pot to the Ex and to buy myself a new one. What was wrong with all these people?  "No way!"

On to the next confidant.... He listened to me, then told me how he remembered some of the insane things he was hanging onto in his divorce settlement.  He gave up a Ferrari without blinking an eye, but had a huge knock out-drag down fight over a Mickey Mouse phone. 

Hmm...... Was I being unreasonable? Was this my Mickey Mouse phone? 

In the end, I decided that - obviously - I could not break up the set!  So I gave both of our pots to the Ex and bought myself a new set. 

By the way, while my Ex got custody of the pots, I apparently have visitation rights.  Even now, one of the pots comes to visit occasionally.  When my Ex makes chili, he'll often drop some off at my house for our children.  So, every once in a while, when I open my fridge, I am greeted by a familiar old pot - with chili inside.

So whatever happened to the little pot?  Poor thing was simply forgotten.  It spent 20 years, still in the original packaging, in my parent's basement until we discovered it during a visit a few years ago.  I immediately decided that I would give it to my Ex.  After all, it was part of a set (and obviously you can't break up a set) and I could not wait to see his face when I handed him this pot - after all this time.

However, my daughter immediately fell in love with the little pot and wanted it for herself.  That's how the little guy came to live with us.  After all this time, the pot probably didn't even remember that  - once upon a time - it was part of a set... 

This could be then end of the story, but unfortunately for my daughter, I have become quite fond of the little pot over the last few years - and I may just have to fight her for it when she moves out.  After all, she can buy herself a new one.

By now, the poached eggs are done.  Just remove them from the water with a slotted spoon.  Dab away some of the excess water on the plate with a paper towel.

Voila, poached eggs!


  1. Great post! I'm not sure I could have given up custody of some of my treasured German things either. However, I'm glad you found the little pot again. Your poached eggs look perfect, I will need to try your method the next time I make poached eggs :o)

  2. Liebe Stephanie, danke für Deinen netten Kommentar! Bist Du eine Deutsche in den USA? Wie hat es Dich dahin verschlagen?
    Alles Liebe

  3. Stephanie I have never had a poached egg before. They look delicious though!

    Laura's Last Post: Biting The Hand That Feeds Me

  4. @Susi - I guess I should have asked a fellow expat rather than a guy...
    @Karoline - Ja, ich bin eine Deutsche aus den USA
    @Laura - Thanks. They are quite good - and low cal to boot...