There are certain words I have trouble saying. 'Fine dining' sticks around my glottis like second-hand bubble-gum. The word 'fare' instead of 'food' feels like I've borrowed someone else's tongue and, quite naturally, my lips will not form the word 'wrong'. Sometimes, though, they can get dangerously close to it - particularly where egg scrambling is concerned.
I like scrambled eggs and, as I learned much of my cooking manufacturing breakfast in disreputable diners across the States, I've always enjoyed the performance of cracking a handful into the skillet, perhaps with some finely chopped spring onions or a few chunks of chorizo and beating out a kind of rubbery, proteinous mound. Manly, unfussy, redolent of diesel, bottomless coffee and a fifty-year old waitress from Boise with hennaed roots and an attitude you could use to sharpen your Wüsthof - scrambled eggs are supposed to be slapped onto thick china for men beaten by the cares of life who need a solid breakfast to face the day but whose hangovers make runny yolk an impossibility.
I don't get to scramble eggs at home. The Baker takes a couple of eggs that have only recently departed the chicken and stirs them with ample melted butter over a ludicrously low fire for far longer than it takes me to battle the espresso machine. It seems like hours of gentle, loving stirring until the eggs take on the texture of a hollandaise with loose, soft curds. The cooking is stopped with the merest dash of double cream then the eggs are heaped onto sourdough toast, new-sprung from the Dualit and smeared instantly with yet more unsalted butter. They retain just enough structural integrity to form a heap and support some fresh-ground pepper, but not a hint more.
It's wrong in more ways than I can count, to subvert an honest diner staple into a mimsy, pampered, stacked-up yuppie brunch but God, it's good.
Of course, the Baker can never be entirely right as that would make me wrong - a philosophical impossibility - but I am prepared to admit that the Baker's eggs beat anything I make for breakfast into a cocked hard-hat. That said, as I value my life you wouldn't catch me serving it to a hungover trucker.
So how do you like your eggs in the morning? Cooked low, slow-stirred and enriched with butter to a curdy custard ... or slung in a frying pan and hassled into rubbery lumps?