Coddled Eggs from Merry Olde England

Coddled Eggs from Merry Olde England

What a whirlwind the past few weeks have been! As soon as I got home from my road-trip to South Dakota, I started preparing for my trip to the United Kingdom. I simply transferred some of my stuff from one bag to the other for my journey across the pond. It was fun but tiring and I am glad to be home. I am done travelling for the summer.

For post and pictures on South Dakota, please check out Ma Biren Goes West – Part I and Ma Biren Goes West – Part II.

I did share some pictures on Facebook. If you would like to take a look at them, please head over to the Fan Page. There will be a series of posts and recipes on my travel to the UK. Here is the first one…

I touched down in London bright and early. It was a gorgeous day, sunny and cool. The drive to my destination was a fairly short one, or so it seems, as I was busy looking at my surroundings and chatting with my host. After unloading my bags and freshening up, we were ready for some lunch. My immediate immersion into English culture was a visit to the local Calleva Arms Pub in the village of Silchester. This is a typical English pub serving drinks and local favorites. We met up there with another school friend for lunch.

Coddled Eggs from Merry Olde England

We had Twiglets, whole wheat sticks flavored with yeast extract similar to Marmite for a starter. These savory knobbly sticks which do look like twigs are very crunchy with a slight bitter after taste. Like Marmite, it is definitely an acquired taste. I think it will be great with a pint of ale but it also went down well with my glass of wine. My entree was sliced roast leg of lamb in Yorkshire pudding. The pudding was more like a bread bowl or pastry shell. It came with roasted potatoes and steamed vegetables on the side. Mint sauce is a must with lamb.

Coddled Eggs from Merry Olde England

It is a joy to meet up with old friends. We go back a long way. On the left is the lovely Ms R, and on the right is my wonderful and most gracious host, DongXing.

Coddled Eggs from Merry Olde England

After the “celebrity” pose, we took a stroll across the commons to Calleva Atrebatum, the Roman town in Silchester. This ancient town is laid out over 40 hectares. Important buildings here included an administrative center (forum basilica) in the middle, a resthouse for travellers near the south gate used by travellers on imperial business, an amphitheatre on the eastern edge of town, and public baths in the south-east quarter.

The picture below is the Roman Amphitheatre, built between AD 55 and 75. It could accommodate between 3,500 to 7,250 spectators. Standing in the midst of the Amphitheatre, I could almost hear the cheerings and jeerings of the ancient spectators during a gladiatorial combat…yikes! Good to know that milder and less bloody sports were also held here. Horse bones recovered suggest that equestrian events took place.

Coddled Eggs from Merry Olde England

The walk around the Roman town took a good part of the afternoon. I was ready to head back for a cuppa and some rest. The next morning, we headed north-west to the picturesque town of Stratford upon Avon, birthplace of Shakespeare. It was a lovely drive on the wrong side of the road through postcard towns and villages. The roads are narrow and we had to move to the side when a lorry approached. Some lorries might grow up to become trucks, but most of them remain “cute” and small.

Coddled Eggs from Merry Olde England

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances;” As You Like It (Act II, Scene VII).

Coddled Eggs from Merry Olde England

There are five Shakespeare Houses to visit. The first is this house on Henley Street where William Shakespeare was born and raised. This family home also doubled as a workshop for his father’s business as a glove maker.

Coddled Eggs from Merry Olde England

Next is Nash’s House named after the husband of Shakespeare’s granddaughter, Thomas Nash. Next door to Nash’s House are the foundations of New Place, Shakespeare’s final home until his death in 1616. A short walk away is Hall’s Croft, home of his daughter, Susanna and her wealthy physician husband, Dr John Hall.

Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is the family home of Shakespeare’s wife. This picturesque home is the most romantic Shakespeare house. He courted his future wife, Anne Hathaway here.

This was the end of our Shakespearean tour. We did not have time to visit Mary Arden’s Farm, the home of Shakespeare’s mother.

Coddled Eggs from Merry Olde England

Our next stop was the spectacular historical site of Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire. First built in the 1120’s by the royal chamberlain, Geoffrey de Clinton, it was later expanded and enhanced by 13th century King John, 14th century John of Gaunt, son of King Edward III, and 16th century Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. Robert Dudley transformed Kenilworth into a palatial residence for the pleasure of Queen Elizabeth I.

This is the castle as seen after passing through the main medieval entrance, Mortimer’s Tower. This group of buildings of the inner court encloses the court on three sides. To the left is Leicester’s Building, followed by the State apartments, and the Great Hall.

Coddled Eggs from Merry Olde England

To the right of the Great Hall is the main kitchen built by John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster in the 1370’s which remained in use into the 17th century. The hole in the wall in the lower center of the picture was the bread oven. The indentation on the ground to the right was the furnace.

The furnace was built to house a large copper or cauldron. The copper was used to boil large chunks of meat with vegetables added at the last moment. The steps enabled the servants to reach into the copper to stir as necessary. The food was taken up to be eaten at the Great Hall via steps at the opposite end of the kitchen.

Coddled Eggs from Merry Olde England

From the kitchen, we moved to the garden. I was excited to see the garden as it was one of the main attractions of Kenilworth for Elizabeth I.

This reconstructed garden is based on a remarkable eyewitness account by Robert Langham, an official to the Leicester’s household, in a letter to his friend Humphrey Martin in London. He sneaked in one day while the queen was out hunting and described all the main features which have now been recreated. The garden has a variety of flowers, shrubs, and fruit trees like roses, carnations, marigolds, pink thrifts, pink dianthus, holly topiary, juniper, viburnum, wild strawberries, and pear trees. All the plants now growing in the garden would have been available in Elizabethan England. The planting is designed to peak each year in July, the month of the queen’s visit in 1575.

There is also an aviary at the far edge of the garden. The top cornice has been painted to resemble studded jewels. The birds in there are domesticated but the birds during the time of Elizabeth I were supposed to be colorful and lively.

Source: English Heritage Guidebooks – Kenilworth Castle

Coddled Eggs from Merry Olde England

Finally, a brief stop at the gift shop. Fancy some nettle or dandelion wine? Not your cup of tea…er…wine? Perhaps the dandelion and burdock drink might just be. πŸ˜‰

Coddled Eggs from Merry Olde England

And a picture with another lovely friend, Ms Kitty Kat, who was my very knowledgeable guide for the day, both at Stratford upon Avon and Kenilworth Castle. Big hugs to both DongXing and Ms Kitty Kat for a very interesting day out. β™₯β™₯β™₯

Coddled Eggs from Merry Olde England

Coddled Eggs and egg coddlers are somewhat of a rarity these days. They are pretty little porcelain cups with screw top lids used to make soft-cooked eggs. An egg is broken into the buttered cup and seasoned with choice of flavorings. Chopped ham, grated cheese, herbs, and cream may be added. The coddler is then capped and partially immersed in boiling water to be simmered for several minutes. The egg is served in the pretty cup like a grown-up version of egg soldiers.

The best place to find egg coddlers is on-line. Most of the new ones are quite plain. Pretty ones like those below can be found on eBay. Small baby food jars may be used in place of egg coddlers.

And now for the coddled eggs recipe which I adapted from Coddler Recipes, Cooking, and Handling Tips

Coddled Eggs from Merry Olde England
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 4 large eggs
  • Β½ tsp butter, softened
  • 1 sliced cooked ham, cut into strips
  • Salt and pepper
  • Β½ tsp dried parsley, optional
  • 2 tbsp shredded cheese, optional
  1. Fill a medium sized pan with water to come half way up the egg coddlers. Bring it to a boil.
  2. Butter the insides of 4 small egg coddlers and their lids. Line the coddlers with the ham strips. Break an egg into each of the coddlers.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle parsley onto egg. Top with shredded cheese. Screw on the lid lightly. A loose turn is sufficient.
  4. Place a small dish towel in the pan to prevent coddlers from rocking. Stand coddlers on the dish towel in the boiling water. Reduce heat and simmer for 7 minutes.
  5. Remove coddlers from pan by lifting with a fork through the lifting ring onto a dry dish towel.
  6. Using a towel and holding the lid by the rim, not by the lifting ring, twist the lid to loosen it. Serve immediately.

These tender coddled eggs are delicious with toast and a cup of breakfast tea. They come out perfect each time! :)

Coddled Eggs from Merry Olde England

If you like soft cooked eggs but do not have egg coddlers, please check out this post Gyudon with Kimchi and Onsen Tamago on how to prepare the egg.

NOTE: This post was updated on July 17th, 2014 with new pictures of the coddled eggs.

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎

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  1. says

    Welcome back! Looks like you had a really nice trip. I really love England, especially all the tea, haha. Coddled eggs are great, such an easy and tasty way of cooking the almighty egg :)

    • Biren says

      Thanks Victoria! I had a wonderful time. I love the tea too and those egg coddlers. Nice and elegant way to prepare eggs. :)

  2. says

    Hi Biren, Welcome back! I miss you :) I’m sure you took many beautiful pictures in UK.
    I like your porcelian cups, they are so pretty and the coddled eggs look very delicious too :)

    • Biren says

      Thanks Ann! You are so sweet. I had fun in England but it is good to be back home. Yes, those cups are really pretty and I enjoy using them. The eggs come out perfect each time. :)

  3. says

    Wow – what a fun time you had in UK. Loved reading about your visit to all the touristy place. I love your pretty coddled egg cups too. What a wonderful way of serving breakfast.

    • Biren says

      Yes, I had fun Mina. I visited a lot of the touristy places that I missed in my previous trip. Since I was alone this time, I could get around a little easier.

      Those coddlers are very pretty. They were a little heavy but I am glad I lugged it home. :)

    • Biren says

      I especially enjoy going round to the villages. They are very quaint and pretty. You should try coddled eggs the next time you go back. They are soft, silky, and delicious!

  4. says

    I thought when I saw you were in England that weren’t you just in the Dakotas? :) You are such the world traveler!

    I have not used my egg coddlers yet and I might just have to dig them out to try this out! I am not big on jiggly eggs so I’ll have to take everyone else out before mine! Problem solved! :)

    • Biren says

      It was a little hectic. I only had a few days in between trips but it helped that I did not have regular hours to keep while out there. I pretty much ate, slept, and went about whenever I felt like it.

      You should try using those coddlers. Leave yours in for a minute or two longer and they would be well cooked but not hard.

  5. says

    What nice pics Biren! I havent made it to England yet and I loved seeing the places you went. The name “coddled eggs” so doesnt sound as sexy and yummy these are! Poor eggs :( Love the holders too!

    • Biren says

      Thanks Lindsey! Your comment made me laugh but you are right. Coddled egg does not sound “sexy” at all although these soft silky eggs looks great and are delicious. πŸ˜€

  6. says

    Thanks for sharing the photos. You brought me memories of Stratford Upon Avon….and those Shakespeare houses.

    Looks like England has its take on steamed eggs too, called coddled eggs. I can cuddle that πŸ˜€

    And it’s so good you can travel alone and meet friends across the globe. Such good friendship and memories to treasure.

    • Biren says

      It is indeed wonderful to be able to get together with friends around the globe. Thanks to modern technology we are able to keep in contact. We made some good memories to treasure.

  7. says

    What a lovely account of your UK trip! Wish I was able to meet up with you and Stella! I hope you had a most fantastic time. Love your coddled egg. Would be just perfect for my breakfast now….mmm

  8. DongXing says

    Hi Biren, I am enjoying this, firstly with you in person and secondly in virtual mode! It was fantastic to meet up with you again and my family certainly enjoyed having you stayed with us, especially the kids – they were spoilt by all those wonderful bakings and icecream which you’d managed to sneaked in in between those hectic visitings and tourings. Come back soon! A priviledge indeed to have a mention on your blog, tahnk you.

    • Biren says

      DongXing, many, many thanks to you for your wonderful hospitality. I really enjoyed my stay and hope to visit again. Your kids are adorable and I miss them already. I hope they will remember their “auntie” the next time I visit. I am glad to hear they enjoyed the treats we made. It is always a joy to cook for an appreciative audience.

  9. Kitty Kat says

    Hey Biren…..I told you I needed to tidy up before you click the camera and maybe put on a dash of lipstick!I am thrilled to be on this blog! It was nice playing your unofficial tour guide for Stratford & Kenilworth….next time we will hit more spots when you come back our way again! See you again!

    • Biren says

      Aww…you look just fine. Thank you for spending the day with me. It was most enjoyable and it was great meeting your kids too. Can’t believe how grown they are! There are lots more places that I have not been too. I will be back. :)

    • Biren says

      You make me smile Christiane! I think you will not be sorry for ordering those egg coddlers. They are very pretty just for display but using them would be even better. :)

  10. says

    Wow Biren! Your trip looks amazing – I’m so jealous stuck at home with a sinus infection :(

    I love the containers you used for the coddled eggs. Never made this before, but I’ll have to try it someday!

  11. says

    Such lovely pictures Biren! England is beautiful – and so rich in history. A real pity about the horrors in London and a few other locations besides, these last few weeks. Glad to know those happenings did not dampen your holiday and you’re back safe and sound :) You do have the most gorgeous and amazing china – enough to open a shop, I think LOL Definitely looking forward to more on England!

    • Biren says

      The riots only broke out towards the end of my stay there. My friend and I were actually in London the day of the rioting in Tottenham and the police were out and about. We just went about our way and tried not to think about it. Thank God nothing untoward happened.

      I have too much China and I try not to be tempted these days. πŸ˜‰

  12. Jeannie says

    This sounds interesting and you have very pretty egg coddlers! Must taste really delicious! And I envy you your travels, looking at your photos, I know I would love visting the places too!

  13. says

    Oh Biren, you seem like you had GREAT time with your old friends… how nice to spend time with them without kids (you know what I mean). I bet all of you enjoyed endless chatting. I never knew Coddled Eggs, but the way you cook is similar to Chawanmushi (I’m sure you know). Very interesting and delicious!

    • Biren says

      It was fun to meet up with my old friends and we did stay up chatting. It was all good – good food, good chat, and good visits. :)

      Yes, this is like chawan mushi except that the egg is kept whole. I do have a post on chawan mushi in the archives.

  14. says

    Biren – how did I miss this??? So glad you had a great time here and I hope next time you’re in the UK you’ll let me force my way onto your agenda! By the way, I love Fentiman’s range of drinks – their Rose Lemonade is fabulous and is what my kids get to drink in lieu of champagne on special occasions. Apparently there was a row about in the US because it has trace alcohol content – too funny!

    • Biren says

      Yes, I had a wonderful trip. It is always good to meet up with old friends and I will likely visit again. I would love to meet up with you. :)

      That Fentiman Ginger Beer and and Victorian Lemonade looked good but I opted for the Henry Tudor Red Ale instead amongst other things. Will have to try their Rose Lemonade next time.


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