Cheap recipe: egg on toast

two slices of toasted white bread
One essential ingredient

I was just rattling this off to @driahades on Twitter and thought I might as well pop it on here to show exactly how lazy a “cook” I am. It’s cheap and very customisable depending on taste and ingredient availability.

You will need:

  • 3 large eggs
  • two slices of bread and a means of toasting them
  • microwave
  • small microwaveable square bowl, preferably just smaller than a slice of toast
  • salt
  • pepper, ketchup, HP sauce, sliced ham, cheese… anything else you’d like to mix with the egg

Prepare the extra ingredients first – chop up ham into small pieces, grate cheese finely, hack away at a green pepper until it’s in tiny chunks… whatever you plan to add, get it done now.

Crack the eggs into a mixing jug. Sprinkle some salt in and then whisk like hell. You want to get a lot of air mixed in there.

Pop the toast on. Ideally you want to have the toast popping up just before the eggs finish in the next step. Adjust timing to your toasty preferences and the equipment you have.

Add the extra ingredients to the egg and whisk like mad again. Pour the resultant goo into the microwaveable bowl. Shove it in the microwave on “high” for about 3 mins. As it cooks it’ll rise up like some kind of yellowy sponge monster. It’s done when there’s little or no liquid egg left at the bottom, but don’t overcook.

Hopefully your toast will eject before the egg’s done. Spread some sauce (your choice) on each slice to taste. I go for HP.

When the egg’s done, whip it out and run a knife under it to separate it from the dish. Drop it onto one slice of toast, put the other on the top (sauce sides “inside” – duh) and squish. Hold it for a few seconds and the egg will grip the toast and hold the sandwich together as it cools.

Eat and enjoy. Note how, if it’s done right, the scrambled egg doesn’t fall out of the toast the way it would do it you made the sandwich up off a plate. Neater and tidier! And less washing.

As ever, please feel free to comment with any ideas you have for extra ingredients of anything.

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Inglourious Basterds

Inglourious Basterds
Inglourious Basterds

A new Tarantino film comes along about once every 8 years. That’s a proper “directed by” film rather than a “presented by” or “produced by” where his name’s just used to bring in cash. The problem is, since Pulp Fiction there hasn’t been a single one worth the wait.

Inglourious Basterds continues this theme of disappointment. I thought Kill Bill sucked so much that I didn’t bother seeing part 2 until a friend insisted I watch it on DVD. It was no better. Where Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction used the similar trick of bouncing the story back and forth until the whole became apparent, the following films have been more linear. Instead of clever storytelling, Tarantino’s instead gone for arty cinematography and it just looks pretentious.

As for the trick in IB of using big porn-star lettering everywhere to point out characters… didn’t Guy Ritchie do a better job of that in Lock, Stock… and the like? Slow-motion killings and music that just doesn’t fit or suit the scene add to the mess. For a modern film, it looks positively dated.

The story is linear and quite predictable. There’s no real twist other than you don’t expect things to work out at the end (as ever, trying not to spoiler anything).

Plot-in-a-nutshell: a Jewish American special forces team working in France gets wind of a chance to eradicate Hitler and his cabinet in one fell swoop during a film premier in Paris.

In fairness, there are some excellent performances from the cast. Having the film in German and French, for the most part, lends some kind of authenticity which many action films don’t have. It’s certainly better than the usual “bad accents” school of thought. Sean Connery‘s “Russian” captain in The Hunt For Red October, anyone?

Generally, though, I think I’m the first person I know who’s not really enjoyed it – certainly judging by the Twitter posts I’ve seen over the last week or so. I’m far more excited about the upcoming District 9.

Is it crap? No, not really. I’d definitely go for “overblown and over-hyped and just overall rather disappointing”.

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The Boat That Rocked

I saw this one on the Etihad flight from Abu Dhabi to Heathrow and it deserves a review all of its own. The Boat That Rocked is a typical UK ensemble comedy with a great cast. A couple of free white wines may have helped, but I was snorting away and laughing out loud at some points; almost in tears at others.

What makes this such a good film – aside from the wealth of acting talent – is the fact that the central plot revolves around something I care about. Freedom of choice, a fight against censorship and the underdog having a good go at an overbearing authority. It’s also got a superb soundtrack, several plot threads and some great segments in the end credits.

Plot in a nutshell: It’s 1966 and rock’n’roll is booming. Except in the UK where the only radio – BBC – plays about 40 minutes per week of popular music. Feeding off the demand, pirate radio stations start up and are an instant hit with the masses… and reviled by the authorities who do all they can to shut them down. The film follows the adventures of the staff on one ship over the course of a year or so until the final closedown of pirate radio by the British government.

Bill Nighy plays Bill Nighy (as he always does) with aplomb, running the ship and the station. Philip Seymor Hoffman is The Count, the headlining American DJ. Nick Frost is the disgusting Dave, Rhys Darby the Kiwi Angus, Rhys Ifans the self-proclaimed king of the airwaves Gavin… and so on. Not a bad actor amongst them. Despite the large number of main parts, nobody gets lost and each character has their own personality.

On the other side of the fence, Kenneth Branagh is nicely slimy minister Dormandy with assistant Twatt (Jack Davenport) toadying to him.

As well as the Good Morning, Vietnam-esque DJ segments and good guy v bad guy plot, there is a lot of romance and bawdy sex (nothing too offensive, though not 100% family friendly by any shot). Nighy’s character has a godson who ends up on the ship after being thrown out of school. He’s our entry into the world of Radio Rock and introduction to the aforementioned characters and lifestyle.

The following two hours are a wonderful mix of highs and lows. Characters don’t always get on – who would living in such cramped quarters? – creating some great conflicts which go right over the top at times.

Of course, the soundtrack is superb being based on the music of the late 60s. The closing montage mentions that “rock and roll had a pretty good 40-or-so-years” flashing up more and more recent album sleeves. However, who on earth decided to include Take That And Party as on a par with the likes of BloodSugarSexMagic and Rattle & Hum needs shot.

Definitely catch this one.

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In-flight films

A380 In-flight entertainment
A telly. On a plane.

Another quick rundown of the flicks I got to see on my last Etihad flights from Bangkok to Heathrow. Just shorties.

First up was Fast & Furious which was pretty good. This is the sequel the first film’s been after for all these years. Don’t get me wrong – 2 Fast 2 Furious was decent enough in a light-hearted way and Tokyo Drift was a half-decent sideways step. But getting the original cast back was the best thing they could have done and this immensely silly bit of car fun is worth the running time.

I then opted for Push which wasn’t quite so good. A nice premise – people with natural superpowers and a government agency trying to improve them by pumping them with drugs… which usually kill them. The superpowers fall under several labels and a lot of the “empowered” try to live off the radar so that the government can’t find them. The story does drag and there are so many holes in the plot that even Swiss cheese would get jealous. Dakota Fanning, though, once again proves she’s a pretty good child actor by not being annoying.

A change of planes and on to The Boat That Rocked which was so good it’s getting a full review (next post).

Final film was Outlander which was nowhere near as good as I was hoping for. Sci fi meets historical fantasy as a spaceship crashes in Viking Norway. Hitching a ride with the humanoid pilot is a rather nasty beastie intent on wiping out anything on two legs. It’s a bit of a mix of The Spaceman and King Arthur, Alien and a Viking Braveheart. Overall not too bad, but it just didn’t flow very well and was fairly predictable.

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Quick message for Spurs fans

Spurs badge 1983-2006
Tottenham Hotspur

I have nothing against Tottenham Hotspur. They’re an OK team, they’ve progressed well over the last few seasons and they play half-decent football. Alright, so they’re now one of “those bloody Premier League teams” since we got relegated, but they’re hardly one of the worst.

However, I shall be hoping every decision goes against them this season. All the dodgy stuff, the results, poor player performance. The lot.

For why?

Because Harry Redknapp gives the best post-match interviews bar none when he’s pissed off about a poor result. Fergie’s just a miserable, whinging bastard. Wenger didn’t see anything so he can’t comment. That French guy at Liverpool… well, who can understand him?

But Redknapp is genius.

Please don’t take it personally, guys and gals. At least you know why I’ll be cheering on 18 of the other teams against you. You didn’t think I’d want the mackem filth to beat you as well, did you?

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