19 November 2006

Eggshell Soup

I love seafood, there is not a fish, cephalopod, mollusc or marine crustacean that I haven't liked when presented on a plate with some buttered brown bread and a wedge of lemon. From cod, splendidly battered with chips, mushy peas, wedge of lemon, cup of tea and buttered brown bread to make chip butties with to oysters on ice with little dishes of chopped shallots, Tabasco sauce, wedge of lemon, glass of champagne and buttered brown bread. I've never had a complaint. I even have a special knife in my knife draw for shucking oysters on the off chance that Waitrose ever have them reduced.

But now, I have no one to eat oysters with. My nearest and dearest don't like them. Simon doesn't really do seafood and went pale when I once asked him if he like oysters. My mother doesn't like shellfish nor do my brother or sister in law. My niece might do but she will only be six tomorrow and would probably want them with chips.

I suppose it goes to show that people's taste in food are not hereditary I don't know where I got my liking for seafood from because I seem to be the only one in the family.

Where I am not the only one is celery. Now with celery both my brother and I like the stuff, but my father didn't like it and my mother loathes the stuff so much she was gobsmacked when she saw me happily chewing on a stick or six at my father's staff and families Christmas party when I was little. She tells me that she had thought that her dislike of celery was so strong that somehow I would have inherited it. She said that it taught her that children were not just chips off the old block and we did have our own quirks and tastes. That or I was a changeling, so she made me eggshell soup* until I pointed out that it wouldn't work as I had already learnt to talk.

*Eggshell Soup

I road tested this story on Simon and he had never heard of eggshell soup, so I googled on it and there seems to be no reference to the folklore on the net either. Now I'm sure I haven't made it up I even have images in my mind of illustrated pages of the story, so I'll recount the story to you, I was told it is Scottish folklore.

If you suspect that the fairies have swapped your baby for one of theirs, to prove your suspicion you must make eggshell soup making sure the baby is in the room watching you. The fairy bairn will be so curious about this that it will forget human babies can't talk and ask "Why are you making eggshell soup mother?" What you have then got to do is to stick the red hot poker, that you had prepared earlier just in case, down its throat. Miraculously the changeling will disappear and the human baby will reappear in the cot unharmed.


  1. I'd heard of eggshell soup before, but I never knew the myth behind it. Until now.

  2. I'm glad you've heard of it, I was beginning to think I had gone wrong in the head. :-)

  3. Eggshell soup - hmm, that kinda rings a distant bell for me, but then my head is overbrimming with all sorts of mythological mayhem.

  4. How can anyone not like oysters? I love them. Come on Simon, try em.