Asparagus and Poached Eggs on Toast

With the exclusion of the Gen Y’s who are reading my blog, would it be fair to say Gen Y’s are useless?  They’re not stupid as they’re perfectly capable of getting amazing results for their final school exams, and they walk right on into amazing universities, and they hold down jobs.  They can even converse with you.  But that doesn’t exclude them from being useless.

Asparagus and Poached Eggs on Toast

Asparagus and Poached Eggs on Toast

This is what I mean by useless.  Way back before we even started organising Arabella’s 21st, she asked me how many people she could invite.  I said, ‘One hundred and not one more’.  What she then did was make a list of one hundred people and then create a facebook ‘save the date’ page, and with the click of a button, she sent it out to the one hundred.

Recipe serves 4

Recipe serves 4

The months ticked by and then it was time to send out the invitations – not by facebook or by email but by the old fashioned posted invite.

I asked Arabella for the list and she put it on an excel spreadsheet and forwarded it to me by email.  (They’re not stupid).

Asparagus season!

Asparagus season!

I then looked through the list.  I wasn’t on it.  Nor were any family members or any of my friends who have known her since birth.  When I asked her why she said, ”Oh, I forgot’.  Useless.

So with her list and mine we now have 140.  And Arabella said, ‘Don’t worry mum, lots of people won’t come’.  By ‘lots’ she means three.

Perfect for breakfast, brunch or lunch

Perfect for breakfast, brunch or lunch

And as a Gen Y, Arabella isn’t alone; those on her list are also tainted with uselessness.  When I was working my way through the spreadsheet there were addresses missing.  Are they homeless?  Surnames were missing.  Do I guess?  And they don’t realise that an address contains a postcode.  As they weren’t supplied, I had to look them all up.

Then the invitation asked them to email an RSVP to my email address.  I received two.  The rest, (of those who did reply), were sent to Arabella via text, email and facebook messages.

Served on toasted sourdough

Served on toasted sourdough

And this week there have been people contacting Arabella saying they haven’t received their invitation.  Would that be because they didn’t supply an address?  Useless.

Last night after I finished sending off another five invites to those who didn’t supply addresses and those who said, ‘Oh, but I gave you the wrong address; can you sent it to…’,  (do they not even know where they live?), I said, ‘Arabella, let me tell you how things are done.  And already she was grinning.

Hollandaise with finely chopped parsley whisked through it.

Hollandaise with finely chopped parsley whisked through it.

I said, ‘Back in my day if we received an invitation in the mail we immediately sent a letter to the hosts saying, ‘Dear Mr and Mrs Smith, thank you so much for the kind invitation to John’s party.  I am delighted to accept and look forward to seeing you on the night’.  On the night we would approach the hosts and introduce ourselves, (if necessary) and thank them again for the invitation then make a few nice comments about the party.  Before leaving we would again thank the hosts.  Before we went to bed that night we would take out our stationery and write a thank you letter to the hosts saying what a nice time we had and how lovely the evening was and how the cake was stunning and the speeches witty and how the music made the night.’



When I finished my etiquette speech, I looked over at Miss Arabella and she was stifling hysterics.  She thought that was the funniest thing she had ever heard and the scenario seemed so ancient and old-fashioned I must be 300.

Reminding her of the difference between her generation and mine, I said, ‘And if you hosted a party the next day you listened out for the postie coming down the street on his motorbike and you rushed to the letter box so you could gather up all your thank you notes.  If I had done that after Archie’s party I’d still be down there waiting’.

You could sprinkle with finely chopped crispy bacon if desired.

You could sprinkle with finely chopped crispy bacon if desired.

There was actually one person at Archie’s 21st who sent me a thank you note.  It’s just rather than posting it to me, she gave it to Archie.  Now Archie is also Gen Y so it didn’t occur to him to give it to me.  Useless.  It was some seven months later when I was in his room looking for something of mine that was missing (standard), that I came across a note addressed to me.  I was lucky to be able to read it; it had been sitting there for so long the ink had faded.

Not a tricky recipe but the timing of the elements is a challenge

Not a tricky recipe but the timing of the elements is a challenge

Last night, after I was completely worked up at the lack of RSVP’s and those who think they can rock up even though they haven’t received an invitation, I got on to Arabella’s FB page and I sent a very stern message.  It said, ‘The invitations to my daughter’s party contain entry tickets.  No ticket, no entry.  If you don’t RSVP we will not have food or drink available to you.  And no need to ask if you can bring a ‘Plus 1′ because you can’t’.

Overnight the rush to RSVP was amazing.  And suddenly everyone’s single.

Serve on a board or plates

Serve on a board or plates

And now we come to the asparagus and poached eggs on toast with hollandaise.  Arabella talked to me the whole time I was making this about bras, work, exercise, a sore knee, hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, diet, weight, public transport, eyelash tints and her party.  My head’s spinning but here’s a great way to embrace asparagus season.

5.0 from 6 reviews
Asparagus and Poached Eggs on Toast
Recipe type: Brunch
Cuisine: Australian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Toasted sourdough topped with steamed asparagus, a poached egg and hollandaise sauce.
  • 4 slices good quality sourdough bread
  • 3 bunches fresh asparagus, washed and woody ends snapped off
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tbs water
  • 175g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • ½ tsp freshly ground white pepper
  • sea salt for seasoning
  • 1 tbs finely chopped fresh parsley
  1. Note: I have listed the steps in the order the dish is assembled. You may wish to make the hollandaise sauce first then set it aside while you poach the eggs in one saucepan, the asparagus in another and then toast the bread.
  2. Toast the sourdough then butter. Place in the oven on a low temp to keep warm.
  3. Steam asparagus until just tender then drain and set aside.
  4. Poach eggs in a large saucepan filled with simmering water with a tbs of white vinegar added. Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and place on paper towel to drain.
  5. Place egg yolks in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Do not let the water touch the bowl. Add water and whisk for about 3 minutes until yolks have doubled in volume and become much thicker. Gradually add butter one cube at a time. Keep whisking. Don't add butter too quickly as it needs time to emulsify into the yolks. This should take about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in lemon juice, pepper, salt and parsley.
  6. To toast on a plate or board, top with asparagus, then the poached egg, then spoon hollandaise sauce over egg.

Use fresh asparagus

Fresh asparagus is best



  1. If I say I’m glad I never had children … would you be offended? I’m sending prayers for strength and patience your way and a fervent hope that you’ve got an extended stay at a spa booked for the day/week/month after the party. 🙂

    The asparagus looks lovely. I’m making hollandaise tomorrow to go with some English muffins I made today. I wish I had some asparagus to add to the meal.

    • I wouldn’t be offended at all, Marie! Thank you for your prayers and that’s a great idea for me to book myself into a spa for a few days (or even weeks). I might just do that!

  2. You’re right – Gen Y’s have no idea.
    My son’s idea of invitation was the whole Facebook thing and he was very vocal in his opposition to actually sending out real invitations – which I insisted upon. Like you, no-one RSVP’d and three days before the event I was on the phone chasing up the invitees (had to do the same for my daughter’s 21st 3 years ago, too). Only about 8 of my son’s guests bothered to speak to either my husband or myself in the course of the evening and only about 2 or 3 managed to thank us for having them. And as for written thank you notes – not a one.
    Given that the whole affair cost us a motza, I was pretty ticked off by such a rude, bad mannered bunch of young people.
    We have one more 21st to get through in a couple of years and I’m liking the ticket idea, although I like the idea of not doing it at all even better.
    Lovely, lovely pics of the delicious asparagus dish – an oldie but a winner!

  3. Gen-Y-ers must think we are mind readers and have bottomless wallets and don’t mind wasting all that money on food and drink for that magical number of people who are or are not going to turn up. Perhaps by the time Alfie reaches 21 parties will be out of fashion?!
    This recipe is making me very hungry right now, looks delicious.

  4. I am snort laughing – and I don;t have anyone of this generation in my circle! Useless indeed – people in general are PIA when it comes to details. What date did you want to have dinner? Dunno – the 12th? (Nup, wrong). What is your email address? (Nup, it just bounced back). What time should I pick your child up? (Nup, I’m at your house and you aren’t). #grrr Love poached eggs! Looks delish.

  5. Phew…. what an epic tale! Glad that you can sit down to plate of this beautiful spring asparagus xx

  6. You’re so right about Gen Y and how they respond to things. I’m wondering if the next generation will even know what a thank you card and postage are. But I have to say Arabella was smart when she didn’t list relatives or your friends on her list…she got to have more than 100 people that way. Just saying…:) BTW, the asparagus looks delicious.

  7. says:

    I can relate totally to this…having three sons who are now over 21! Good luck…..I think it will be a few years before your youngest has his 21st! Love the asparagus recipes – as long as it is grown locally!

  8. You might complain about no one following the traditional ways of yesteryear but it is good to see you keep up with the times by hacking Arabella’s FB as well as sending out snail mail invitations – and even more importantly I am impressed that you know how to get through to Gen Y – that must be a special skill.

  9. Oh dear, you would have thought with a mother like you, so put together and thoughtful, your spawn wouldn’t be so selfish and as you put it ‘useless’. Take yourself one generation back (to that of my parents) my Mum used to send flowers after a party as a thank you! I don’t do that, but I do adore thank you cards, I have several types depending on my mood.
    I have sincere concerns (read fear and panic) for you when that child marries! Now that will be something!!!!
    Asparagus and eggs are such a wonderful combination, the soft runny yolk with the beautiful crunchy asparagus. We had a restaurant in the village that would serve cold hollandaise, which I thought was very odd.

  10. Oh man…I am totally with you on this. I know at least for wedding planning, we had SUCH issues with trying to get real RSVPs from people! So frustrating.

  11. I saw the pictures on Twitter this morning and I have since been craving this all day. Unfortunately I don’t have any asparagus on hand or I would have made this for breakfast. As soon as I get my hands on asparagus, I’ll be making this. I can’t wait. It looks divine! Love that you posted on Arabella’s FB page! Too funny. I’m glad it worked too. I can’t wait to hear all about this party. 🙂

  12. Hubba Hubba, this recipe CALLS TO ME!

  13. Just wait till her wedding 😉 I do make my kids write thank you notes, but I think they’re a rare breed these days. And they need frequent reminders or they’d never get done! You did make me laugh, though—some days I feel like I’m 300. And my kids would certainly confirm that!

  14. Oh dear. I kind of thought this might happen. Well brace yourself for the party. Also Arabella could probably due with more responsibility for her party no? That way she learns the consequences of what happens when you don’t do something or forget a detail. It’s time to learn this I feel 🙂

  15. Saving this recipe for when asparagus is in season again, which unfortunately will be next spring,
    Was Arabella upset that you used her FB page? Glad you got results.

  16. After seeing Archie’s fabulous 21st I think I just might try to crash the party too 🙂 LOL – I agree useless unless they want something! My son is turning 21 this month too and I’m happily handing over some cash for him to enjoy the festive day as he pleases 🙂

  17. Charlie, I am sure I would be a screaming mother 24/7. Not sure I have the stamina for all you endure. LOVE your asparagus and hollandaise poached eggs. Scrumptious.
    Have a happy weekend.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  18. Nothing beats a good poached egg on toast in the morning! I am so making this for breakfast this weekend.

  19. OMG Charlie. I bet you will be glad when it is over. You are so very stoic, I think I might have had a break down by now. And by the way as someone else pointed out …way to go Mum on the FB hacking front !!

  20. You have the patience of a saint 🙂 I was raised in the era of formal RSVPs and thank yous, although confess these days, I would text or email a thank you rather than write a note (but I am old enough not to be thanking anyone’s parents but my friends directly!). It sounds like etiquette education is needed in some age categories, although I am sure Arabella herself is always gracious, of course!

  21. 100 People!
    What the heck will her wedding entail!????
    I want to see LOTS of photos.
    Btw, the eggs look BRILLIANT. xx

  22. Hi Charlie, this could be one of my top 10 dishes, absolutely adore this dish! Pretty clever of you to get into Arabella’s FB page…..

  23. The rsvp thing is just common curtesy and for so many people now, they just kinda forget. Why oh why though? Not just restricted to Gen Y either.
    Tell me Charlie, are you doing all the food for the party??

  24. I hear you Charlie and certainly feel your pain! I just sent both my girls (teen and twenty something) to the shop with instructions not to come back without Fathers Day stuff for tomorrow. I was trying to be hands off but even this small expectation was over optimistic 🙁 Good on you for posting on Arabella’s facebook, I think sometimes it’s the only way to get through!
    Delicious meal sweetie, definitely a classic for all the delicious right reasons xo

  25. I laughed all the way through this just like Arabella, but for different reasons! I am so amused at your observations, and you are so completely “right on.” I don’t know what has happened to the polite civility you are speaking about. It’s gone! And it isn’t just the Gen Y’s either. I fault their parents for not making this part of training. I sent Christmas presents to nieces and nephews that I “suppose” arrived alright. I refused to call them up and ask them if they liked them. When my daughter married 10 years ago we had to finally get on the phone and call some people to verify they were coming. The hotel dinner was a small fortune and we needed an accurate count! I love your FB ultimatum. And I have to tell you how much I’m looking forward to this birthday party! It should be so much fun….once you get to that night! ox

  26. Gen Y will be running the Country in 20 years and that is scary!!! Love asparagus and eggs, great combination

  27. You’re my hero dealing with these kids as I do daily! Love the facebook post idea – love asparagus on toast even more.

  28. I remember making my children sit down and write thank yous but I suspect they’ve forgotten how. I’d be frustrated too. Parties are expensive and 40 more than budgeted for is a lot of food! You’ll have a fantastic time anyway. 🙂

    I’ve missed you.

  29. What is it about a runny yolk and asparagus that is SO GOOD! This is a must make breakfast. Now to find some asparagus this time of year.

  30. You are hilarious and I SO look forward to posts where you discuss your children. They just brighten my day! And yes, I agree, that generation has kicked etiquette to the curb. My son’s favorite phrase is, “I don’t care what people think.” Which probably translates into…”I only care what I think.” An interesting life for sure. Can’t wait until they have children of their own! Your asparagus and poached eggs on toast is a gorgeous dish!

Speak Your Mind


Rate this recipe: