Today I managed to knock over a cafetière FULL of newly made coffee. It’s hard to describe quite how far reaching coffee grounds in water can be when you haven’t squished down the top filter. And also how hard it is to try and pull boiling water soaked denim away from your leg while avoiding standing either on the pot on the floor or in the flood of gritty coffee and stopping the pancakes burning simultaneously. I was then at the stove drenched in hot black liquid with a lump of hot sediment in my shoe trying to keep the rest of the breakfast on track. Also, as is always the way, the day I drop the coffee is the day I have a family in, and, though I was just out of sight, there is no way that the 3 children didn’t hear my ‘Fuck fuck fuck’ shouted quite loudly out into the kitchen. I console myself with the thought that they were all over 3 and therefore are likely to have heard that language many times before, particularly if they go to school and spend any time with teachers. I know whereof I speak. That’s where I learned my bad language.
However, despite the burn, I did get the pancakes made, and consoled myself after breakfast by sitting down with 3 of my own so as not to waste the batter. This is very important. Though in truth chickens like leftover pancakes quite a lot.
This in a way is an easier mistake than dropping the poached egg on the floor. Easily done, as they are surprisingly slippery and if you haven’t organised the work top well enough for the poached egg plate to be right up to the hob, they can leap from the spoon in the most energetic way sometimes. It’s not quite so recoverable from – another pot of coffee can wait, but ALL the other perfectly timed (sometimes) ingredients are sitting waiting on the plate while you have to lob in a new egg and the sausages are never quite the same lush plump things when they’ve been sitting.
The most disruptive breakfast scenario to date was a few years ago when the bell rang during breakfast making with a neighbour coming by to tell me the ram had got out, and with the dire warnings of my shepherd friend that more people are killed by rams than any other farm animal in my head I had to sprint into the dining room to tell them they’d have to wait till I’d lured the ram back into the field. As he was getting no breakfast the guest came to help and we spend about 30 seconds getting Josh back into the field with the temptation of a bucket of chicken food, and another 20 minutes disentangling him from the fence that he tried to jump through. Still, all done, hard hard boiled eggs thrown away and new breakfast later the guest and I were greatly bonded by our animal rescue, so he was surprisingly generous in his thanks for the stay.