Egg Baskets and…The Sleepover

Way back when Arabella was at pre-school she had one special friend, Olivia.  Arabella was tall, thin and all stick arms and legs and by obvious contrast, Olivia was well-rounded.  But that’s if you put it politely because actually, she was obese.  But Arabella and Olivia seemed oblivious to each others differences and they certainly didn’t let a few kilos stand in the way of a solid friendship.

Egg Baskets

Egg Baskets

I forged a friendship with Olivia’s mother and all was going well until one day the mother asked if I could look after Olivia.  ‘It’s not for long.  It’s just it’s our older daughter’s birthday and on Friday night we’re taking her and her friends to the movies and then to a restaurant and we just don’t think it’s appropriate for Olivia.  It will be too late for her.  She doesn’t have to stay the whole night; we could come and get her on our way back from the restaurant if that’s a help’.

Arabella and Olivia were four years old at the time and Arabella certainly hadn’t been on any sleepovers outside of visiting grandparents so I agreed to look after Olivia for the duration of the party but not have her overnight.

Place the bread butter-side down in the muffin tray

Place the bread butter-side down in the muffin tray

Everything seemed fine.  The mother assured me Olivia would be no trouble at all and in fact she was looking forward to it and she would come with her pyjamas and go to bed and then they would transfer the sleeping child into their car when they came to collect her.


It started out well.  I collected Arabella and Olivia from pre-school.  They came home and had some afternoon tea.  Apart from Olivia constantly stating she was hungry there weren’t any issues.  They played outside in the cubby house and went down the slide and climbed the rope frame and all was good.  Then they came in for dinner and Arabella was reluctant to eat because she always had to be force-fed but Olivia kept saying, ‘I need something else’ so I was offering her more fruit then dried fruit then crackers and cheese but she kept saying, ‘I’d like some ice cream’.  Arabella started to get annoyed because she thought the dinner business had been going on far too long and she wanted to get down from the table and play.  Finally I persuaded Olivia to have a bubble bath with Arabella and ice cream forgotten, the girls had a wonderful time distributing bubbles all over the bathroom.

Adding the pancetta

Adding the pancetta

Once they were in their pyjamas it was time for bed so I took them into Arabella’s room and read them stories and Arabella who has always loved her sleep was then keen for lights out.  Olivia said she was hungry.  I told her the kitchen was closed.  I left them and had barely sat down to my wine when Arabella was calling for me.  ‘She won’t stop talking.  I want to go to sleep’.

‘Olivia, do you think you could be quiet?  It’s time for everyone to go to sleep now’.  And back down the stairs I went.

Eggs nestled into the baskets

Eggs nestled into the baskets

Then Arabella was calling out to me again.  Back up the stairs I went.  ‘She keeps talking.  I want her to go home.’

‘Don’t worry, Arabella, just go off to sleep.  Olivia, please don’t talk to Arabella, she needs her sleep, okay?’

‘Okay’.  I went back down the stairs in the hope I could watch a movie.

Minutes later Arabella was screaming.  ‘I want her to go home.  I don’t want Olivia having a sleepover.  Take her home’, she screamed Arabella as she had no tolerance or patience.

‘What’s going on?’

‘She’s humming and making noise’, cried Arabella.

‘Is everything okay, Olivia?’  I asked.

‘I can’t get to sleep’.

‘Well you just need to shut your eyes’.

‘Mummy pats my bottom’.


‘Mummy gets in bed with me and pats my bottom then I go to sleep’.

Murky waters.

Think that’s going beyond the call of duty.

Anxious about how long the process might take.

‘Olivia, I can’t lie in bed with you nor can I pat your bottom.   Why don’t you get up and come with me and you can sit with me on the couch’.

And Arabella was so grateful to see the back of Olivia and Olivia went to the lounge via my pantry where she pulled out a box of chicken crimpy biscuits and sat on the couch devouring the entire box.  Her mother turned up for her at about 11pm and she was still wide awake eating her way through that box of biscuits and joining me and Carl in our Friday night movie.  I did raise the bottom rubbing issue with the mother and she said, ‘Oh yes, I do do that’, and perhaps she might have mentioned this peculiarity before doing the ‘drop and run’.

I don’t remember what I fed the girls that night (apart from an entire box of chicken crimpy biscuits) but it would have been something like these egg baskets.  It’s a bit of a crime to call this a recipe as it’s so basic but for a quick and easy dinner, it’s a great stand-by.

Just out of the oven

Just out of the oven

Egg Baskets

Makes:  6

Degree of Difficulty:  1/5

Cost:  A few dollars.

  • 30g melted butter
  • 6 slices white bread, crusts removed
  • 6 slices round pancetta
  • 6 organic eggs
  • Finely chopped chives

Pre-heat oven to 200C (400F) fan-forced.

Brush one side of the bread with melted butter.  Place bread butter-side down in a 6-capacity muffin tray (that makes large muffins).  Put a slice of pancetta into each bread basket.  Crack an egg into the centre of each muffin holder.  Give a little sprinkle of salt.  Garnish with chives.

Place in the oven for 10 minutes or until egg is cooked to your liking.

Egg Baskets

Egg Baskets

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  1. Sounds like a pretty traumatic sleepover for Arabella and you. Did she and Olivia stay friends after all that?

    The egg baskets sound like a nice light supper, or breakfast or lunch for that matter. 🙂

  2. What a strange child. But the egg baskets look really cute and tasty.

  3. I always wondered about kids who would consistently proclaim their hunger as soon as they arrived at someone’s house. Are they actually hungry? Is it that food in their house is boring and they are keen to have food in someone else’s house? Is it that they don’t have mealtimes and allowed to regularly snack? Or is the kid just curious? I was lucky – my parents used to take me out to restaurants at this age. I’d eat my dinner, then curl up on my mum’s coat under the table and go to sleep until it was home time. It made for incredible tantrums when my very loud and not-restaurant-friendly little sister came along and all of a sudden I was left home with the babysitter though 🙂

  4. I’m glad to see you have everything back up. What a nightmare.
    Looking after other children is fraught with problems. Routines are so important to kids.
    Nice simple recipe.

  5. You know, I haven’t thought about Chicken Crimpy biscuits for years, but now that you’ve mentioned them, I can taste them all over again. I’m not sure they were good for us, but hey, you have to do what you have to do! 🙂

  6. Sounds like Olivia had an eating problem. Hope she outgrew it. Have not made egg basket for a long, long time should do so again when my kids come home to visit as that would bring back many fond memories.

  7. I’m so relieved to see your blog issues worked themselves out Charlie, you really had me panicked if I lost everything! Six years of recipes! Not sure what I’d do.
    My first sleep over was at eight, it was a birthday party; they took us to see Towering Inferno and then a Chinese dinner and then sleeping in the basement. With a very loud furnace. I called my dad at midnight to come and get me. I was terrified of the house burning down.
    I too, am wondering if the two girls are still friends and if Olivia ever got control of her weight.

  8. 4’s a bit young for a sleepover isn’t it? I don’t know about you, but I really have a problem with children who constantly eat and ask for food. My cousins daughter who is also 4, does that and drives me crazy. I means tha you cannot have a plate of anything without her hovering and sticking her fingers into it. Why do parents not address this? I was very conscious of my children’s eating habits.

    Glad to see your website issues are resolved. What an experience!


  9. Whew! Happy that Hotlyspiced has recovered! Love the egg baskets Charlie – the bottom rubbing, not so much. I think you handled it very well.

  10. Yikes…makes you wonder how Olivia is doing today. You sure had to be on your toes…

    SO happy the blog woes were short lived! But I have a feeling it seemed like an eternity to you.

  11. Bottom rubbing?!?! Yeah, that would not be happening…just, no! I think 4 is a tad young for sleep overs. I think my daughter was probably 8 when she started having friends over and she started going to friends houses to stay. And I was very selective of where she was allowed to go AND who came to my house…we always had meal times and snack times, they weren’t allowed to ‘graze’ just any old time. RIDICULOUS! xo

  12. Kids and there quirky issues, got to love them lol…. Hope you are having a lovely weekend 🙂

  13. They look delicious Charlie. Is a great idea. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  14. Bottom rubbing is a new one! I wonder if her mum used that as a distraction? I felt sorry for Olivia, it sounds like she had some eating issues. Did they stay friends after that?

  15. What fun and tasty looking egg baskets! Great story!

  16. What a story. A difficult situation to deal with and I feel quite sorry for Olivia – she sounds like a troubled kid. So happy to see you are back up and running.

  17. I would eat these morning, noon and night!

  18. um I’m keen to know if Olivia has some strange fetishes these days lol. You are a patient woman hun I think I would have lost it 🙂 x

  19. four years old is pretty young for a sleepover and Olivia sounds like she had a few issues. Wonder how she turned out.

    I think I’ll make these egg baskets for Emma for breakfast in the morning!

  20. Gosh, I’ve forgotten all about egg baskets! My mom used to make those on occasion (with ham instead of pancetta). Yours look great. And an interesting story – I hope Olivia turned out OK when she grew up.

  21. I wonder what Olivia is like now? My husband could most definitely eat an entire box of those chicken crimpy biscuits, but it’s a bit appalling that a for year old could! I certainly wouldn’t pat him while he drifted off either 🙂
    So glad you’re back up online sweetie!

  22. Yikes! I hope that was the only sleepover your daughter ever had with that child!! That doesn’t sound fun. Now those egg baskets are another story, they look fantastic!!

  23. Oh boy what a night. Love this simple fare and will give it a go for breakfast I think.

  24. I love these little egg baskets! So easy and delicious!

  25. I think this sleepover fell into the “No good deed goes unpunished,” file! I think I have a few of those memories tucked away in my history of “other children” at the house, Charlie. All these years later you remember it well. I do love the little egg baskets. I’d love to serve these to guests! Maybe not a sleepover, but perhaps brunch! 🙂

  26. I have had children sleepover who cry in the night to go home! Consequently I have had to put on a tracksuit over PJs to take them home – not good. Egg baskets look great.

  27. Kids that demand ice-cream at other parents’ houses makes me imagine that they have a very free reign at home..

    These egg baskets are so cute and perfect for kids dinners 🙂

  28. That poor child! I hope she had a good therapist at some point.

    Love these little egg baskets. They really are a wonderful idea for a quick weeknight dinner.

  29. Hahah, this story is hysterical. I can’t help but feel bad for Olivia thoug. I wonder what’s become of her!

  30. Ohhh i’ve made these egg baskets before 🙂 they’re super easy and like you said it’s quite cheap only a few dollars hehe

    This Olivia girl is so rude you can’t do that and be so rude when you’re visiting someone elses house and I find it super weird how her mother will pat her bottom until she falls asleep gosh

    Did Arabella and Olivia remain as friends? 🙁

  31. WOW!! At only four years old she was dumped on you!!

    You handled it well though 🙂 Poor Arabella 🙂 Lol! on the force feeding I feel like that is what I do here to my kids.

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