Parlez-Vous Tasty?


We always assumed I was going to be taller. After all, you don’t see many ten-year-olds with size six feet roaming around the joint, and my grandmother on my father’s side was tall herself. She used to inspect me and say with a knowing nod, “yes. You are just like Mah-Mah. You will be tall”. When I entered secondary school I was one of the tallest in my class, lined up towards the back of the group during fire drills feeling proud, holding my head high and my spine straight.

The following summer I came back to school and suddenly the rest of the girls had grown a foot whilst I had stayed, disappointingly, at a mere five foot two. One school mate came running up to me to tell me her summer news, only to stop short, giving me a quizzical look as she found herself looking down at the top of my head. “Oh,” she mused, raising an eyebrow, “I thought you were taller” – I never grew again.

At first the disappointment at going from one of the tallest in the class to the shortest, bar one girl who was only a couple of inches taller than that of a classified midget, made me incredibly bitter. I measured myself obsessively – the pencil marks covered the wall behind the kitchen door, the spot we had measured ourselves at since we’d moved in five years previously – but I remained at that minute height, wishing for just a couple more inches.

However, after a while I started to discover the benefits of my diminutive size. I could slip through big crowds by ducking under arms and squeezing between bodies; I almost always managed to find a seat on the tube; men were always taller than me, even in heels; and people assumed that I was fairly sweet and innocent, which meant I could get away with most things! And then there were the miniature things.

This is going to sound a little odd but when I realised I wasn’t getting any taller my love for miniature things suddenly became a lot more significant. Things that were small were cute – I even had two sets of miniature tea sets, out of which I often had afternoon tea – and, more importantly, things that were small were smaller than I was.

These days I’ve come to terms with my entire being and am perfectly happy how I am (give or take a few pounds). I still love miniature things, however. My favourite cook shop in Chiswick, Whisk, has many a cute thing and on one browsing occasion I came across a terracotta egg “carton”. After seeing it an idea suddenly bloomed for a miniature oeufs en cocotte – baked eggs, usually in a ramekin or similar container, with various other ingredients like cream – using quails’ eggs.

This dish would be a perfect amuse bouche, served with buttery toast soldiers. Be sure not to overcook your eggs – you want them runny and delicious. You could also use a regular hen’s – or duck’s – egg in a ramekin for a more substantial starter, but if you can find a smaller container why not? Great things come in small packages, after all – just look at me.

Serves 6.

6 quail’s eggs
200 ml double cream
3 tsp truffle butter, plus a little normal butter for the container
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chives or parsley for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

2. Use the normal butter to grease the insides of your ramekin/container then crack a single quail’s egg into each cavity. Add about 2 tbsps of double cream, season to taste and top with 1/2 tsp of truffle butter.

3. Place in the preheated oven for about 7-8 mins – keep an eye on it, depending on how runny you like your eggs. Snip the chives/parsley with a pair of scissors and garnish the tops of the cooked eggs.

4. Serve with buttery toast soldiers and enjoy!

Until next time, peace and love.

Jax x

PS: Don’t forget to enter my give-away to win a George Foreman Heritage Family grill! See here for details. You’ve got until midnight (GMT) on the 31st – what are you waiting for? Go, go, go!

16 Responses to “Parlez-Vous Tasty?”

  1. Marc @ NoRecipes Says:

    I love miniature things! I made a mini steak and eggs once with 1 bite brioche toasts, a mini wagyu steak and quail egg. I just have big clumsy oaf-like fingers that have a tough time cracking open quail eggs without bursting the delicate yolk. Any tips?

  2. Jenn@slim-shoppin Says:

    Ha! I was the same exact way growing up. I am also 5’2 and have been this tall since the 3rd grade. My twin sister and I towered over most in 1st 2nd and 3rd grade, always in the back of the pictures. And then we stopped and everyone grew taller than us! So I think it was a blessing that I got to experience what it felt like to be tall and now OK with being short! Our mom is only 4’10 to next to her I am super tall!

    I love these small eggs!!

  3. Melissa@EyesBigger Says:

    just remember… mini cadbury cream eggs are much better than the big ones! not too much, not too little and you can tolerate more of them ;-)

  4. January Says:

    lovely minis! :) i used to be the tallest in class in first to fourth grade but i seemed to suddenly stop getting taller. i remember my mom giving me vitamins from a Chinese drugstore telling me they’ll help me get taller. but nope, i stopped at 5’2″ :P recently, i saw a gadget being sold at home tv shopping where you lie down on a bench and you attach something on your head and also something on your feet then they start pulling and stretching you in opposite directions. they claim to make you taller by 4-6cms :) not that desperate anymore but makes me curious if they’re worth a try :P

  5. Paula Says:

    I love that terra cotta egg carton and your *big* idea to make mini ouefs en cocotte (my first time spelling that and have yet to eat it!)

    I’m the middle child of seven and the smallest. In Grade school I was always the shortest in my class and it continued throughout my big growth spurt into high school where I reached my full height of 5’2″. I understand what you are saying about being *short* and having a love for miniature things. I collect Swovarski Miniatures. I don’t like large platefuls of food and prefer smaller portions. (Weird I know and I could go on but I won’t :))

  6. Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence Says:

    That egg carton is adorable!!! I love eggs en cocotte. Especially with a little dab of homemade tomato sauce and crusty garlic bread. Mmmmm. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Kavey Says:

    In my first year at secondary school, I was tallest in the year of 250 kids, boys and girls both.
    Soon enough, some of the girls and most of the boys overtook me and I remain at 5 foot 6 inches, of very average height.
    Love your post!
    Have seen similar ceramic egg containers, but glazed in different colours.

  8. Ashley Says:

    “I love you the just the wayyyyy you are” — Billy Joel.


    I have never had quail’s eggs. Hmm…

  9. Momma Lee Says:

    Goes without saying: NOBODY PUTS MY BABY IN A CORNER!
    Baby Lee was a 5 pounder at birth. Well, she’s more than made up for lost womb time (can I say womb here??)What she ain’t in size, she sure makes up for it in everything else; trust me, I live with her.

  10. Russell at Chasing Delicious Says:

    What a cute story. And i love your love for miniatures! Onto this terracotta egg carton. I’m coming to steal it. Just saying. Seriously though. You should just wrap it up and send it my way to save us the trouble. : )

  11. Reeni Says:

    I had a younger, taller sister with skinny legs up to the sky! And then there was me at barely 5″3. I feel your pain. But I’ve learned to embrace it for some of the same reasons you mentioned. Oh, the cuteness! Your egg carton is adorable – I bought two at Easter and had no idea what to do with them other than stand up my dyed eggs in them. The eggs are rich and delectable treats! xoxo

  12. Sophia Says:

    Given how big and awesome your personality is, I kind of imagined you as a tall person as well! But you know, I’ve always been jealous of short people bc they are always so…adorable and tiny and they can wear however high heels they want!

  13. Isabelle @ Crumb Says:

    Having been raised by a mother who stands just shy of 5 feet, I can assure you that a good set of lungs and a little moxie more than make up for lack of height. I’m ever so thankful I got my dad’s height and grew to a far more reasonable 5’5″, mind you. :)
    That said, I have a soft spot for all things in miniature, quail eggs included. And how cute is that terracotta dish? Love.

  14. Kim @ Coffee Pot Chronicles Says:

    You’ve more than made up for your lack of height with a great personality and (pardon the cliche) a larger than life way of living.

    I stand at 5’4 and often feel tiny compared to some of my peers…and I don’t mind. My mother is 4’11, my half-sister 5’2, and my half-brother 5’6. I like being somewhere in the middle.

    Now, about those eggs: I am not a huge fan of eggs but I’d certainly be willing to try it! Definitely looks interesting. Just don’t expect me to attempt to pronounce it.

  15. Jenny Hammerton Says:

    I’ve got one of those terracotta egg containers but I never thought of COOKING eggs in it!

    Love your blog and hope to go to Food Blogger Direct so would be great to meet you – Jenny from Silver Screen Suppers x

  16. mademoiselle délicieuse Says:

    I love miniature food! Especially when I’m not the one who has to painstakingly portion everything accurately and evenly in order to achieve the effect.

    P.S. I am also 5 foot 2. On a good day, plus half an inch =p

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