How to cook the perfect poached egg, with Colin the emotionally unstable chef

AS A chef, I’m frequently asked is how to poach the perfect egg. If that’s your biggest problem in life go fuck yourself with a rusty saw, because some of us dream of being that fucking lucky. So let’s see which method works best.

Deep water

Boil at least four inches of water and add a teaspoon of vinegar. Be warned – this method does tend to leave wispy strands of egg white. What a fucking tragedy in your middle class foodie life. Let’s have a national day of mourning for your wispy egg.

You know I was once so skint I had to eat cat food? Not the pouches either. Or the tins. Dry food. That’s what a real problem looks like. You people. Where’s the cooking wine?

Strain and poach

Put the egg in a colander to drain off stray bits of albumen, then simmer it for exactly four minutes. Very much the fussy ponce’s method of poaching an egg. But that’s you, isn’t it? The sort of ponce who never misses Observer Food Monthly and knows how to ski.

Fuck knows what you’d do if you were me, stuck in this shithole rented flat, eking out a living writing inconsequential food articles, destined to be forever alone. I’d kill myself but nobody would notice. Also I’ve not finished poaching fucking eggs.

The whirlpool method

Create a vortex in a large pan of water and put the egg in the middle. Takes some practise, but definitely the professional chef’s method for making the perfect egg. Imagine being so worked up about a fucking egg that you’d do this shit.

I tell you what’s a vortex? My life. A vortex of self-loathing, debt, addictions and unbearable pain. Humilation and degradation, all whirling around in a soup of regret, spiralling down the drain. Meanwhile you’re there with your lovely houses and lovely children called Hugo and Portia and lovely schools and lovely au pairs and lovely cottages in the Cotswolds. Your unthinking sense of entitlement is disgusting. I wish I was you.

Fine strainer and no salt or vinegar

As the name suggests you need a strainer with a fine mesh to remove excess albumen. Yes, excess albumen. That’s what’s keeping you awake at night. There’s a war going on practically on our doorsteps and you can’t sleep because of your albumen build-up. You make me fucking sick. Shit did I finish another bottle of wine already? Just nipping to the corner shop.

The no-fuss method

We all love no-fuss cooking! Just bring a pan of plain water to a simmer and slide the eggs in from a ramekin. The eggs will come out a bit flat and not round, but no one said life was fair. When I was six my best friend was my puppy Patch. He ran under the gate and a van hit him. That’s what real life is, mate. Cruel, fucking cruel.

My conclusion

And so my odyssey of poaching comes to an end. Of all the methods I tried, I’d say the best one is: just fry the fucking thing. And take your pampered bourgeois existence and stick it up your arse. You’re like Marie fucking Antoinette if she’d said ‘Let them eat poached eggs’.

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Mash Blind Date: 'We divorced in 2017, is this some kind of sick joke?'

Tom, aged 38, is reunited with ex-wife Mary, aged 34, to see if the love they once shared might bloom again and for a laugh. 

Tom on Mary

First impression? 

My stomach dropped as my adrenal medulla flooded my brain with hormones and I regressed to primal fight-or-flight mode. Could it really be her? Why would this happen? Did she mean it when she swore to kill me?

How was the conversation? 

Horrifically tense. Even the most trivial of observations about the bread starter got weaponised. It was like we’d only been arguing yesterday and picked right up where we left off.

Memorable moments?

When her knuckles whitened around her knife as I admitted I’d been dating someone ten years younger than me. I honestly thought it was going through my eyeball.

Favourite thing about Mary?

She doesn’t follow through on her death threats.

A capsule description?

Intimidating, terrifying, expensive in a legal sense. With a strong undercurrent of bitterness and rancour, and the unmistakable implication that the world would be a better place without me in it.

Was there a spark? 

My heart skipped a beat. I may now have permanent cardiac arrhythmia.

What happened afterwards?

I ran home to check our divorce papers, make sure that the decree is really absolute, and ensure there aren’t any loopholes she could exploit. There aren’t. Thank fuck, there aren’t.

What would you change about the evening?

The location, the company, everything. Even the crème brûlée tasted like ashes in my mouth.

Will you see each other again?

I am willing to dedicate the rest of my life to making sure that does not happen. No matter what it takes.

Mary on Tom

First impression?

This fucking prick? Seriously? Do they want him to fucking die?

How was the conversation? 

Difficult. He seemed very reluctant to talk about his affairs no matter how often I asked him about them. Even the ones I’ve found out about post-divorce and haven’t even screamed at him in white-hot rage about yet.

Memorable moments?

I’m pretty sure he wet himself in terror just after the starter, when he admitted he was seeing that bitch who used to walk our dogs. To be fair I was reasonably close to murder.

Favourite thing about Tom?

The involuntary spasm of fear when he hears my name, and his cowering. Let me assure him he’s right to do so.

A capsule description? 

A spineless piece of shit with no integrity who follows his pathetic little dick through life. The bread starter was excellent though.

Was there a spark? 

It was more like a supernova of pure, unbridled loathing.

What happened afterwards? 

I keyed his car.

What would you change about the evening? 

Ideally, he wouldn’t have survived it and his body would never be found, but I’d have a watertight alibi.

Will you see each other again?

In hell.