The word "coddle" has been around since about 1598 and means "to boil gently", and this then led to the term "mollycoddle"- which means "to treat with an obsessive and absurd degree of indulgence and attention". Dictionary definitions of a mollycoddled individual have included "sissy", "pampered weakling" and "pathetic, ineffectual man" (Watch out Stephen Fry, I can do old fashioned words too). As a mother I have to suppress my quite strong urge to mollycoddle my child, but I figured that as an egg was going to be eaten anyway it didn't matter if it became a bit of a pathetic weakling, unable to live in the big wide world. At last I could totally smother something without the fear of it being bullied at school the next day.
- Boil some water in a pan
- Butter the inside of the coddler and the inside of the lid
- Break the egg into the cup and season. You can also add other ingredients like cheese and bacon, which will come out in a little eggy parcel.
- Screw the lid on and stand the coddler upright, with the water level halfway up.
- Simmer for about 5 mins.
- You can eat them straight from the coddler with a spoon or arrange them artistically on top of something savoury