Breakfast Basil Eggs and…Stranger Than Fiction

This is a true story that you will have no trouble believing because, as you know, the truth is always stranger than fiction.

This is the story of how I came to be, ‘Charlie Louie’.

Breakfast Basil Eggs

When I was born in Wellington, New Zealand, I already had an older sister whose arrival had displeased my grandmother.  Displeased my grandmother because the granddaughter was not named ‘Jean’ that obviously is my grandmother’s name.  As well as my mother thinking her mother-in-law fell short of that honour, the name ‘Jean’ ranked towards the bottom of my mother’s list of preferred names.

Then I was born and my grandmother suffered another displeasing episode when it was announced that I had been named  ‘Charlotte Louise’.  To heighten the blow my mother had innocently informed her mother-in-law that they were having great difficulty in coming up with a name and one day, by a stroke of luck, they were wandering through a graveyard and saw ‘Charlotte Louise’ written on a tombstone.  And so my name came from a cemetery and my grandmother didn’t think you needed to go to the dead for inspiration when the living were right in front of you.

Simmering onion, tomato and basil

Six weeks after my birth it was time for my Christening and my father thought it would be nice to take me to his parent’s town so they could be present at this wonderful and special event.  It’s just that this meant a perilous three-day journey in an unreliable VW and involved shocking conditions including snow, ice and a bitter southerly.  The low point would have been when the roof racks slid off the car and my parent’s possessions fell on the road only to be run-over by on-coming traffic.

But they made it to Dargaville, a town in the very north of the North Island for the all-important event only for my grandfather to announce he wouldn’t be attending because instead he was going out for a hit of golf.  My grandmother then announced she also wouldn’t be attending because she ‘hated the name’ and hated the Methodist religion (she was an Anglican which she felt was vastly superior to my mother’s Methodist roots).

So the numbers were down and my mother was wondering why they hadn’t stayed at home and had the now very difficult and very disappointing and very stressful event in the local church that was a short stroll from home-sweet-home.

The Methodist minister was an elderly chap who my father thought had enjoyed a long career ‘in the cloth’ but then found out that he was actually the local butcher who’d taken up this new career in his retirement years.  He was also deaf.

Crack in the eggs

As the wonderful moment of my Christening arrived we were assembled around the Font at the front of the church when a terrible noise broke out at the back of the church.  It was my grandmother who’d been persuaded by a friend that this was an important event and she should not miss it.  So she arrived just in time but refused to sit at the front of the church and instead slid into the back pew.

The minister took hold of me and asked very loudly, ‘We name this child?’.  And my father said, ‘Charlotte Louise’.  And the minister yelled out, ‘Charlie Louie, we baptise you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost’.  At that moment there was a raucous cackle from the back pew as my grandmother fell about with laughter believing a mighty justice had been served.

So I entered the church as Charlotte Louise and emerged Charlie Louie.

My parents packed us all up back into the VW and decided on the way home that their next child would be born overseas.

And she was.

And her middle name is Jean.

Charlie Louie with her grandmother, Jean

And so do tell me, did you come about your name in an unusual way?

Breakfast Basil Eggs

This recipe is really good after a big night out and haven’t we all had plenty of those lately!

Breakfast Basil Eggs!

Degree of Difficulty:  2/5

Cost:  I like to use organic eggs and they do cost a bit more and basil at the moment seems to be expensive.  I paid $4.00 for a small bunch at Harris Farm and I think that ridiculous but still, it’s an inexpensive breakfast that’s very good for you and so much cheaper than dining in a café.

Serves:  2

2 tbspns extra virgin olive oil

1 red onion finely chopped

4 medium sized truss tomatoes roughly chopped

1 bunch basil – leaves only

4 organic eggs

Heat olive oil a small frying pan over medium heat.  Add onion and cook for a few minutes until softened.  Add tomatoes and basil leaves and stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.  Crack eggs on top of tomato basil mixture.  Cover frying pan with a lid and cook for 2 minutes for runny eggs or 4 minutes for hard eggs.  Remove lid and serve.




  1. Funny story! And fabulous looking eggs!

  2. One of my favourite breakfasts. Lovely thanks Darl.

  3. Funny, at least the minister rescued you from the cemetery name:)

  4. Haha! I can just hear your grandmother laughing in the church! I think Charlie Louise is a lovely name 😀

  5. A very funny story. My nana (on my dad’s side) told my mum that if I was named Kelly that she would not call me by that name. When I was born, Kelly was virtually unheard of. ( In this country) I think I must be about the oldest Kelly in Australia. My mum chose my name from an American TV Show (in the 60’s) called “Bachelor Father”
    Love the photo of you with your grandmother.


  6. What a great story ! Have no idea how I came to have my name (will have to ask my folks next time I see them). We chose our daughters name after reading it in book. After she was born we chose a couple of names (mainly because I was so sure I was having a boy so we had only chosen boys names before she arrived !!) and then waited a week or so to see which name she looked most like !

  7. a fabulous story, and oh those eggs look GOOD !

  8. Good eggs, Charlie 😉

  9. What a cute story! All I know that if I was to be a boy, I’d be named Larry!! I’m sure I wouldn’t have liked that!! I love this egg dish, I make something similar, eggs with tomatoes just taste fabulous!!

  10. Aw! At least your parents named you. My mother left it up to one of her friends to decide my name!

  11. InTolerant Chef says:

    Well I’m sure you’re a good egg whether named Charlotte or Charlie! And I have to say these eggs do look rather good indeed!
    Our first daughter went without a name until she was 10 days old as my hubby decided he suddenly hated tbe names I’d chosen, so we both wrote a list of names and the one we picked was the one that happened to be on both lists. Our youngest daughter had her name picked out about 7years before she was born… we just had to wait for her to come along. So we have both sides of the scales with our baby names.
    I also don’t think I would have talked to your grandmother again, if I was your mum, she must be a very forgivi g woman 🙂

  12. Love the eggs, might try that for brekky! That’s quite a way to get a name – it’s a really good one though – the butcher priest may have been a man ahead of his time!

  13. What a great story! Your poor Mother. Traveling in the WInter with a li’l one and an infant to what was sure to be a very cool reception. And your Grandmother surely did not disappoint! Love that when she finally did get her wish, the child was born overseas. Yeah, it’s a great story!

  14. Those eggs look amazing. And that tomato basil sauce.. yummmmy. This whole dish just looks amazing. Loved the photos and story as well 🙂

  15. Great story, I was originally named Jody and have a number of “birth cards” that welcome Jody to the family…… mum then changed her mind and called me Linda……..not sure where this name came from ?? Loving your tales and recipes xx

  16. Great story! I love that old photo too, with Jean in her hat & gloves. I like your name, in both versions. Interestingly I just did a photo shoot for a baby named Molly Jean… & the Jean part is named after her grandmother!

  17. Such a fun story. So glad you shared it. The eggs look fantastic! Happy New Year!

  18. I feel for your mum – what a mother-in-law! I have a nasty, witchy one too, but after years of trying to please her I have completely given up so she doesn’t bother with us at all any more. My kids went through a stage of feeling sorry for themselves because they didn’t have the indulgent grandparents that their friends have (they never receive any gifts, cards or calls), but it is much nicer without the old biddy in our lives.
    I hope you and all of your family have a wonderful, happy and safe new year!

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Hi Amanda, I feel so sorry for you having such a difficult mother-in-law. And how terrible it is for your children to have a grandmother who is so disinterested in them. I hope to be one of those really over-indulging grandmothers. But, I guess if when she’s in your life she’s only causing trouble, best that she stays away.

  19. Hi there, love your story and also that old photograph. Wishing you a very happy new year… may good things come your way.

  20. Great story Charlie….and all the more funny ‘cos I know Dargaville. I have a good friend who lives there and have met some of the locals at various birthday parties. I didn’t realise you were NZ born. My second home. My hubs and kids NZ born.

    Happy new year.

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Unbelievable. Since leaving NZ in 1977 I’ve never come across anyone who has heard of Dargaville! Happy New Year!

  21. The eggs look absolutely gorgeous! I know I will need these tomorrow morning 😉 I will make sure I have the ingredients on hand tonight, plus the panadol and a jug of water.

    Great story! I was named after my mums friend. My sister Donna was nearly name DESLEY! Blah, that was a near miss 😉 and my brother would have been Trudy is he was a girl :0 Even at aged 7 I begged mum not to call him Trudy!

  22. BAHHHHHAHAHAHA love your stories they always crack me up! also those eggs look amazing. happy new year and all the best for 2012!

  23. I loved your story, it was funny to read. The eggs look good and considering I’m reading this before breakfast, well, they look double-good if that’s even a word. No basil for me though, that particular plant evokes certain memories that are not that yummy. 🙂
    Happy New Year, we’re almost in 2012! I hope you have a fantastic new beginning.

  24. Great story, every great name should have one! 🙂 We’re lucky, basil grows well in our backyard, so there’s always some about. $4 a bunch is expensive! Lovely eggs though!

  25. This story has made my day! I wish there was an interesting story behind my name, but apparently my parents chose it very early on and there was never any debate. Bah, humbug! Also, Happy New Year! 🙂

  26. Love this story! And the picture with your grandma hehe I know when I was born my parents gave my sisters two choices Daisy or Nancy and hahaha they all agreed that Daisy was better and that’s how I got my name 🙂

    Definitely going to try this recipe! My boyfriend and I love EGGS for breakfast YUM! But i have a feeling he’ll add some chorizo or bacon to your recipe… sigh he’s such a carnivore HAHAHA

    Happy New Year!!!!

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Hi Daisy, I was trying hard to do a vegetarian recipe but I can see that some bacon or chorizo would add a special something to this egg dish. If my third and last born child had been a girl, she would also have been called Daisy. Instead we got Alfred, known as Alfie.

  27. Your dish looks splendid! That image is too cool – must say. I haven’t seen you around my space for so long! Come drop by soon 😀

  28. What a great story! These are pretty fine looking eggs too. Wishing you a very Happy New Year, Charlie Louie!

  29. Cute story, Charlie Louie. Very cute. These eggs remind me of an Italian version of a Middle Eastern favorite of mine: shakshouka. Happy New Year!

  30. I’m not lying when I say that I think I could drown myself in this dish. 😉

    Have a Happy New Year!

  31. This gave me a delightful laugh today! Loved your story and this egg recipe is going to be tucked away for our next breakfast!

  32. What a great story; I think you have a very cool name. This dish looks really good, I wish I had seen it earlier so I could pick up the fixings for it for tomorrow morning. We may need it! Happy New Year!

  33. Wow! This is awesome 🙂

  34. Yumm, this recipe has my name written all over it!

  35. I enjoyed the story of how you acquired the name Charlie Louie. I think your parents were wise to have their next child abroad! I hope you have a happy and joyful 2012.

  36. That is hilarious! But just think: Few people have such a fun, memorable story about how they got their name. Yours is one to treasure for sure.
    Happy New Year! 😉

  37. That’s a great story! Wish I had one as well about my name… but I don’t. The eggs look great as well and I’m not even a fan of eggs. I would definitely try these though!

  38. What a great story!!! It’s so great to have a story behind your name.

    Best wishes for the New Year.

  39. Happy New Year everyone

  40. I love it! hahaha, Awesome eggs too!

  41. That is a great name story. Actually, a bit opposite to your grandmother, my grandmother chose my name…but I’m not named after her.
    Happy New Year!

  42. Wow, what a great and whimsical story! 😀 I didn’t come to my name by accident, but a friend of mine should have been named Nikolas when the rain dropped on the birth certificate and washed away the o, so his parents decided to take that as a sign and named him Niklas.

    Your breakfast basil eggs look wonderful, this is a dish I shall recreate at home! 😀

    I hope you had a good start into 2012! And thank you for commenting on my blog! 🙂

  43. My parents simply liked the name … but bronwyn was very unusual in a small town in the early 70s. And the meaniing? White breast! OMG, try living that down as a young girl! (PS the eggs look great …)

  44. Mmmhhh, that is a wonderful breakfast dish! So scrumptious.

    Happy New Year!



  45. I love your stories! My mom just named me after some kid she used to baby sit. *sigh*

    This reminds me, I forgot eggs at the grocery store today. Doh.

  46. Thankfully I wasn’t named after an unfortunate musical duo, though I am often asked where ‘The Captain’ is… Thanks for visiting My Family Table 🙂

  47. I love the name Charlotte/Charlie for girls! 😀

    Yeah, basil seems to be ridiculously expensive at the moment and the quality, questionable (well, the ones that I’ve come across anyway – maybe I just happen to be shopping in the wrong places?). I am trying to grow my own at the moment but given previous failed attempts (they’ve all either shrivelled up and died within weeks, or got eaten by snails) and given Melbourne’s ridiculously hot weather at the moment, I wouldn’t be surprised if my basil-growing attempt fails yet again.

    • hotlyspiced says:

      I’ve heard it’s very hot in Melbourne at the moment. In the 40’s? That would fry any basil. I usually try to grow my own herbs but I’m in between houses at the moment so there’s no point in starting a vegetable patch. Good luck with your patch and I hope it cools down a bit for you.

  48. Dear Charlie Louie

    What a whimsical story and no matter what your grandmother thinks, I love your name because it’s different from the usual Sarah Jane, or Mary Anne or Norma Jean 🙂

    The eggs look beautiful although I’ve never had them done this way. The calories and cholesterol are too precious so I always prefer to enjoy them straight up – poached or scrambled with bacon and toast.

    Hope you have a great 2012!

  49. Great story and the eggs look wonderful. Yummy!!!

  50. gosh, those eggs look delicious!

    my brother got to name me, and he named me after a girl in his kindergarten class in Israel. ‘Hila’ is a fairly common name there 🙂

  51. That is the best story I’ve heard! Aw bless, your parents must have gone through so much trouble only for you to be baptised the wrong name! But (and don’t tell your grandmother :p) I prefer Charlotte Louise to Jean. I don’t have any funny stories to do with my name, but it being Chinese and spelt with an ‘X’ no one can pronounce and it that’s where the funny stories come out! Great breakfast eggs by the way!

  52. This story just about made my morning! My mom really wants one of my siblings or I to name one of our children Jacqueline, after her. I’m not quite sure it’s going to happen.

    And those eggs.Look.Amazing. I want them for breakfast.

  53. LOL! My parents were having trouble with finding me a middle name. My grandmother, who had been watching ‘Les Miserables’, named me after her favourite character. Thus I came to be Jasmyne Cosette.
    Great eggs by the way, a great way to serve breakfast!

  54. I am named after my grandmother who, from what I understand, was a real character.

    I love the egg recipe! looks absolutely wonderful.

    Thanks for dropping by!!!!


  55. That’s a great story! I’m afraid I don’t have an interesting tale about my name, but I do have two sisters and all of us have names that start with L. Your eggs look delightful. The basil and tomatoes sound delicious.

  56. My gosh – those eggs look amazing. WANT! Thanks for sharing your story.

    Happy New Year!!!

  57. Charlie Louie. I like this name so much better; thank heaven for divine intervention.
    And thank heaven for your wonderful stories! And basil. Amen.

  58. Hi Charlie,

    You are so clever funny story really enjoyed it. You should write a book one day for everyone to enjoy. 🙂

  59. These eggs look soooo good! I just got an egg poacher for Christmas and am going through a serious egg binge. I just made these ( ) which were outstanding! I know Mexican food isn’t as popular there as it is in the US, but you may enjoy them just the same. I actually made them for dinner and served tamales on the side – so, so good!

  60. I love this recipe. It looks a lot easier than I expected. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  61. I thought you were going to say your name was Carolyn Louise as Charlie is the male derivation of Carolyn.

    But that is my name, often shortened to Caz Daz due to my surname.

    What a story. You couldn’t have made that one up if you tried……….your mother is a good women for not breaking down after that treatment.


  62. That’s hilarious, what a funny story!
    My name (Dilhara) just came up because my mum liked the sound of it!


  1. […] I know because it’s in a blog post she wrote last year about why her name really is Charlie Louis.  Read this one post and you’ll be hooked.  I was.  I will admit that I like the quirky […]

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