I have mixed feelings about visiting home. I get to see and spend time with my family with is amazing, but sadly there’s not much else to look forward to when I go home. My home-town is dead, for lack of a better description. The park here isn’t much more than a patch of grass and some trees. It used to be more heavily wooded, but the council dug up most of the plants to ‘improve’ it. There’s a swimming pool and gym, but the entrance fee is extortionate so many people avoid it.
Since the recession a few year back, most of the shops have shut. Only the necessities remain; a DIY shop, the supermarkets and the butchers. As a result, there are no jobs. Lastly, all of the close friends from my school days who I’m still in contact with no longer live in the area, so meeting with them and catching up is sadly not an option. One of them might be visit with his girlfriend for a few days, so we might catch the bus to the next town over for a milkshake, but that won’t be until the following weekend. I have a small work placement with the RSPB starting tomorrow, but only for five days. As as result, all I was left with last week was hula-hooping (I have a fetching bruise on my hip now so I’m taking a break for a few days) and cooking to keep myself occupied.
As we did grocery shopping late one afternoon, we were able to pick up some reduced fruit which I put to good use during the week. I have a back-log of recipes to upload for you guys now; Blueberry & Lemon Bundt Cakes, Avocado & Chocolate Cake, Banana Butterscotch Milkshake (my brother’s quick and tasty invention), Chilli-Cheese Flatbread, and a Strawberry and Black-pepper Flatbread.
My first meal of the day, as always, was breakfast. A tasty Poached Egg on Toast with Avocado… spiced with just a touch of hot sauce. Wholemeal and seed breads are my personal favourites, but the rest of the family prefer a white loaf so I had to make do with what I was given. I can ignore the toast though, because look! Proper poached eggs!
By ‘proper’ poached eggs I mean the hot-water and white vinegar in a pan and fingers-crossed they don’t go all weird and stringy kind. I’ve nothing against poached eggs made in those handy little silicon cups -I use those myself when in London, as I don’t want to fill the flat with the smell of vinegar- but nothing beats poached eggs made the real way. My family don’t mind the smell, thankfully, so I was able to poach away to my heart’s content.
Recipe beneath the cut.
This is a pretty simple dish that probably doesn’t need a recipe, but I thought I’d type it up anyway. As well as simple, it’s also amazingly filling. I finished with a small apple for ‘breakfast-dessert’ (I have really bad a sweet tooth, okay?) and that all kept me going for a good 5 hours until lunch.
As well as filling, this is also nice and healthy; less than 350 calories per serving if you use your average 80 to 100 calorie slices of bread. There’s no need for butter or spreads as the avocado is packed full of healthy fats and oils, and the eggs provide a lovely dose of protein for the day. Chilli sauce is also great, as it gives your metabolism a bit of kick-start!
Poached Eggs and Avocado
For the avocado toast:
- 2 slices of bread
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1/2 tsp Sriracha chilli sauce (more or less to taste)
- 2 walnuts, chopped roughly
For the poached eggs:
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup white vinegar/distilled malt vinegar (the colourless, clear kind)
- A watch or clock of some kind, digital works best
- First things first, the easy avocado toast.
Remove the skin and stone from your avocado, and place the flesh into a bowl. Add the 1/2 tsp of Sriracha (my boyfriend introduced me to this magical chilli sauce) and the chopped walnuts, then mash into a paste with the back of a fork. If you prefer a smoother spread, keep mashing until you get a nice smooth paste. Personally, I like the little unmashed chunks so I did a pretty lazy job with mine.
- Set the avocado spread aside and pop your slices of bread into the toaster, but don’t start them toasting just yet!
- Now for the eggs. In a pan, bring the water to a rolling boil, then add the vinegar. Leave for 30 seconds so the water can get back to a rolling boil if it’s cooled a little, then stir with a spoon so you get the water spinning… a bit like water going down the drain.Quickly crack open your eggs, and drop into the centre of the spinning vortex. Take care and don’t drop them from too high; you don’t want to splash yourself (ouch!) or break the yolks. With the eggs in the pan, quickly make a note of the time. Now is also the moment to start toasting your bread.
- For a runny yolk, after exactly 3 minutes lift the eggs out of the pan with a tablespoon and lay them on a tea-towel or some flattened kitchen roll, carefully flipping them over once to drain off the excess water. No one wants soggy toast!They might looks a little disgusting the first minute you put them in the pan, but they’ll quickly take their shape and look like poached eggs after a minute. If you prefer your yolks solid, leave the eggs for an extra 2 minutes before removing from the water.
- When your bread is toasted to your liking, spread the avocado mix onto the slices then top each slice with a poached egg. If you want, finish with a sprinkle of salt and a crack of black pepper. Or, if you like it spicy, another drizzle of chilli sauce.
I made this again for lunch, but with a handful of chopped tomatoes and some sliced pastrami mashed in the with Avocado. If anything, that was even tastier than my first try. I also added extra chilli sauce; being with my boyfriend, I’ve noticed I’m developing an appetite for more and more spicy food (I’ve had really bad cravings for Som Tam -Green Papaya Salad- for weeks now, but I can’t find Papaya anywhere). Chilli has such a fresh and clean tasting kind of heat, and I find it brings out the flavours in everything really well.