So, to avoid the judgment of Sartre and the reality of the bleak nothingness of human existence, one has to merely to give the concrete an abstract form. I am well versed in this idea, having had my first existential crisis at the age of 9. This may seem a tad premature but you try growing up a Catholic. Although Sartre has fallen out of favour for, well, being too depressing, I find that there is a strange sort of comfort in his ideas. Facing the concept of your own meaninglessness, escaping from the egocentricism of religion, is incredibly powerful. It can either strengthen or destroy, much like Cameron's 'Bog Society,' where no one sees the aftermath of the government cuts in the wane eyes of disabled people, pushed even further onto the outskirts of society. At the apex of consumerism, with its grim landscape of laughing bankers and demand without need, it is only too easy to feel that existence has again withered away into faulting gestures and empty promises.
But at such a time, nothing is more poignant than life. Which only becomes more real the more it detaches itself from the bigger picture and we see it illuminating every being on earth. Take the humble egg for instance. Sure it may only turn into a gammy chicken, but within its unique curvature is the potential for life. And for more recipes than most people could possibly imagine.
An egg is one of the miracles of nature, the messiah of baking, for without it there would be no cake! They bind ingredients in recipes and on their own form dozens of substances, anything from meringue to an omelet.
So when you feel an existential crisis looming. Perhaps if you’ve just invested in your education and found it to be worthless, or realize that there is no longer a left vote, the simplest fix is rustling up some eggs. They are adaptable enough to put in almost any recipe (you can test me on this if you want). The egg is a bastion for human imagination, the concrete thing that you can make into any abstract form you like.
In the Post-existential morning all you need are some fresh ingredients and a free mind. Here are my creations.
Serrano ham, Asparagus and egg stack
This is the simplest recipe in the world but it also looks visually stunning when you 'stack' all the ingredients on top of each other. All you need for this recipe are a few slices of serrano ham, asparagus and eggs and some finely sliced toasted bread.
1. Soft boil the egg in 400ml of boiling water. this is take about 4-5 minutes.
2. Place the serrano ham slices under the grill and allow to cook until browned and crispy.
3. Cook the asparagus. The best way is to plop it into the boiling water with the egg.
4. Assemble all the elements together by stacking them on top of one another. Season to taste and serve.
Pea and Red-Berry Mustard Eggs Benedict
People shouldn't be scared of making eggs Benedict, it's the perfect way to flaunt your cooking skills whenever you feel like it, not just for special occasions. Here I have added my own twist to the traditional recipe to give it a sweetness and freshness from the introduction of peas, served with a peppery redberry mustard.
3 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 dash of Tabasco
1/2 cup butter
100g of peas
Mini Passionfruit and Black Pepper Meringue Pies
It is impossible to feel despondent when someone puts one of these petit tartlets in front of you. Whether or not you like it, your taste-buds will be stirred to life again. Ethereally whipped meringue with a peppery kick nestles on top of a zingy and decadent passion fruit curd in fine, crisp pastry.
400g ready-made sweet pastry
12 Passion fruits
4tbsp of corn flour
140g caster sugar
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
200g caster sugar
1 tsp of ground black pepper
And how do I justify this rambling pseudo-academic jibberish? Well…
"For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it." - Sartre
Now, for the viewing pleasure of all you kitchen disaster voyeurs out there, this is what happens when your souffle over-achieves. Funnily enough I've never had this problem before.