Of eggs, black truffles and my family tree…

Eggs with truffles

It seems that with every new recipe, I introduce yet another one of my grandmothers; and so today, I want to dedicate this post to my great-great-grandmother Petronille. She was born in our family farm in Dordogne in 1865. Funny to think that we had had the farm for 2 centuries already when she was born. Petronille and her husband (with her in the photo) had a few cows as well as sheep. The farm was (still is) surrounded by deep woods in which truffles grew below the centennial oaks and the chestnut trees. I don’t know if Petronille used a hog or a dog to find her truffles, that part of the story has been lost, but she was famous for making all sorts of fantastic truffle dishes. My great-grandfather whom I had the chance to know well (he passed when I was 10 at the age of 98), would tell wonderful tales of Petronille’s soft-boiled eggs with truffles. We called my great-grandfather “Papy”. He’s the man with the white hair and the beret in the photo. With him are my great-grandmother Manée who you already know and my grandmother on the right who passed 4 years ago at the tender age of 101…

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Pierre (my cheesemonger) and I were talking about truffles the other day. I was telling him that I wish I had access to fresh truffles year round. Indeed, truffles are harvested in December, January and February. After that, you can only get them in jars. They taste very good, but it is nothing like the fresh stuff. Pierre told me that he keeps a few for himself  every year and freezes them. When he needs some for pasta or eggs or even a home-made paté, he takes one of them out, shaves what he needs off of the mushroom and places it back in the freezer. That’s what I’ll do next year! Pierre will save me some.


I think this is my favorite way to enjoy eggs: soft-boiled. I don’t always add truffles (I don’t have that kind of money), but once in a while, I treat myself. It reminds me of my roots and of our farm in the woods…

Wherever she is, Petronille is smiling down on me. I am certain of it!

Note: I put my eggs in cold water and set the stove on high heat. 5 minutes and they’re out. I mostly use my induction stove though, which brings water to a boil quite fast. Cooking time depends on so many variables. Only you know your stove well enough…

Note: You don’t need to put a lot of truffle. They are VERY fragrant.

Note: You can put a few truffles (when they are fresh) in your egg basket. Their fragrance is so strong that your egg will pick up the taste of them…


91 Comments Add yours

  1. Angelina Hue says:

    Looking at the first photo of the soft-boiled eggs with bread dipped into them makes me want to have some now (no truffles needed)!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      It’s my favorite way to eat eggs Angelina. And you are so right! No truffles needed! 😉

  2. Farmgirl says:

    I so enjoy your walks down memory lane and of course the recipes! How blessed you are to have all of those wonderful photographs. Thank you for sharing!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I’m so glad you do dear Katie. I do feel blessed to have all these photos from the past. Family history means a lot to me and I love to share the stories (as you know). Thanks for your continued support. It means the world!

  3. mariekeates says:

    My grandfather was called Pappy too, or Pop to the older members of the family. He wasn’t French but he spent a few years in France in WWI, mostly in trenches. I guess that’s where the name came from and maybe my own name.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      My great-grandfather was in the tranches as well. Maybe they knew each other 😉 That be a fun post to write…

      1. mariekeates says:

        It would but I guess we will never know.

  4. Amanda says:

    This is so beautiful. The photography is stunning and your connection to your family is clearly such a strong bond. I also feel your longing for truffles. I hope your cheese monger does save you some 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      He’d better 😉 😀

  5. Vasun says:

    Love this post. I love a gd story about old times & family! I’m sure they’re v inspirational to you! So wonderful to still be able to have family who can remember family members who are more than 2 generations back.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Family is everything to me and knowing all these little anecdotes gets me inspired, especially in the kitchen. Thank you for your thoughtful comment!

      1. Vasun says:

        you’re welcome 🙂

  6. Michelle says:

    What a treasure trove of family photographs you have, Stéphane. Keep sharing!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I will. Thanks Michelle! 😉

  7. juliabarrett says:

    I swear sometimes I want to be you. Even for a single day.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Why would you want to be fat and bold? Just kidding 😀

  8. A great way to eat a boiled egg – fantastic to see the old images too. I never get tired of looking through windows into the past (my degree is in history).

    1. My French Heaven says:

      A reader mentioned “food with provenance” the other day. I liked that expression. History and tradition are so important when it comes to food…

  9. Stunning images. I love your blog. I saw Chef Mimi’s post about her visit. It looked as though you all had a wonderful time. Emma.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you my dear Emma! I had such a lovely time with Mimi. She came with her daughter. Her name is Emma too 😉 I wish they had never left. It is so wonderful to be able to share my love of food and France with people like Mimi who are so well travelled and love food and life so much… I hope I’ll get to meet you too someday! 😉

  10. reggiorif says:

    I love family tree talk… when I went out to dinner with my father I used to always ask him about it and apparently, a few branches up, we have a priest and a murderer who got away with it by escaping to America. Great post, thanks!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      What a cool story! Was it a priest AND a murderer or a priest who was a murderer? Either way, this would make for a great book!! You need to find out more about this and share!! 😉

      1. reggiorif says:

        Thanks! It’s true, it could be a good idea for a book 🙂 It was actually a priest AND a murderer. The story goes that someone owed money to this man and he told him that if the money wasn’t the by Sunday after church, he would shoot him. After his deeds he ran away. On the Ellis Island site I found a few people who arrived in NY with my family name and this makes me wonder whether it might be him.

        1. My French Heaven says:

          Very cool indeed!

  11. milkandbun says:

    I’m not a fan of such eggs.. but your very first photo is wonderful, eggs look so tasty, and I’d love to try it with truffle! 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You should. I’m sure you’ll like it very much 🙂

  12. sara says:

    Mmm! I love soft boiled eggs too – although I can’t say I have ever had them with truffles 🙂 I love the feel of the lineage of your family – the family farm had already been in the family for two centuries by 1865! We just do not have conversations like that in Australia, ever 🙂

  13. chef mimi says:

    Love these photos, both old and new. Fabulous post, Stephane!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you dear Mimi 😉

  14. Fooodpost says:

    Loved reading this post.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Flora!

  15. It’s truly lovely that you appreciate and know so much about the different generations of your family Stéphane. The life stories have been passed down so beautifully from parent/grand parent to child.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Margot! I love old family stories and I am so glad we were able to keep the culinary traditions alive… I am, as you know, very interested in traditional French cooking. Never cared much for over the top novelty 🙂 At least not in food.

  16. Angeline M says:

    Such wonderful family photos, and memories for you. I haven’t had a soft boiled egg in some time, but guess what my breakfast menu tomorrow will be… 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      How was breakfast then? 😉 🙂

  17. Sorry I’m running late, but I’ve been traveling again and will be for the next four or five days until we get to Wyoming. I always love coming to see what you’ve written and love the history you share. I’m excited because I’ve had a truffled egg when my s-i-l and b-i-l lived in Provence. One of the restaurants they frequented served it and it was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten.


    1. My French Heaven says:

      I’m glad you approve dear J!! Wyoming must be a very special state to visit…

  18. What fantastic family history. You come from a line of very long lived individuals! I have a lot about truffles but have never had the opportunity to try one. They always sound so decadent and something only the rich eat! Once again your photos are fantastic and I am really loving the new lens! I hope you are liking it more!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I am liking it more every day! Can’t believe you’ll be here in a month time!!! We’ll have to cook something with truffles!!

      1. I am absolutely counting the minutes. Hubby is getting excited too! I just can’t believe it is really going to happen! So so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And yes I would love to taste truffles. I’ve heard so much about them. I like mushrooms and really can’t imagine what these taste like! Count down has begun! 🙂

        1. My French Heaven says:


  19. ladyredspecs says:

    I envy you the continual family connection with place, all Australians have had an interruption that disconnects them from their roots. Definitely having a boiled egg for breakfast this morning, sadly though “sans truffe”

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Yes, but think of the generations to come. You are the one creating the memories. You are the one who’s picture will end up on one of your grand-grand grand-kids blog a hundred years from now. YOU will become the legend 😉 🙂

  20. gypsygurl64 says:

    I always feel like I’ve had a feast when I read your blogs! 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Great! That’s what I aim for 😀

  21. I’ve missed you and your beautiful posts. Everything about this post is special – you make the ordinary extraordinary.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You are too kind my friend, but I’ll take the compliment 😉 Thanks for your continued readership and all your thoughtful comments. They mean a lot to me 🙂

  22. Mary says:

    Another beautiful post. I adore the attention to detail and the photos are exquisite as usual.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much dear Mary! It means a lot to me 🙂

  23. I love family histories! How lucky you are to have such longevity so you get to know so many generations. And I’m a big fan of soft boiled eggs and these look divine.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I feel very lucky indeed. Soft boiled eggs rock! 😉 Thanks for your comment. It means a lot to me that you always take the time to drop by. I wish I had more time to read and comment on other blogs. I’ll have to do better the future. I feel guilty sometimes… 🙂

      1. Slacker! LOL, kidding of course. It can be hard to keep up with it all. You just have to do the best you can. Such is life!

        1. My French Heaven says:

          Between the blog, the book, my guests, my cooking, I wish I had 48 hour days 😉 We all do I guess…

          1. There is never enough time! Ah well. How is the book coming along?

          2. My French Heaven says:

            I was in the process of selecting the pictures, but after nearly two weeks of doing that, realized that I have to use new material. Now I am putting a professional portfolio together. Maybe I’ll turn that into a book…

          3. It must be quite the process. Are you looking to do an ebook or a hardcover book?

          4. My French Heaven says:

            I think both… I’m quite far from having to make that decision 😉

          5. Well I wish you luck and hope when it’s time you can share your experience for those of us who would love to have a book at some point as well. I imagine it’s quite the learning curve!

          6. My French Heaven says:

            Tell me about it! I think I’ll just focus on enjoying the process for now… The publishing part is just too scary to contemplate 😉

          7. I think that is smart. The book will be more welcoming and real that way.

  24. mckinneyjodi says:

    You are so fortunate to have such a rich family legacy. I enjoyed reading your post and looking at your pictures as always!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you my dear friend! Yes, lots of family stories and recipes to share… 😉

  25. I ADORE TRUFFLES!!! Nothing do do with my roots….but a lot to do with my personal taste! In Rome we have a special place where every dish is based on truffles….what about meedting there in October….??::)))

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Italian mushrooms are famous for their incredible flavor. Especially morels (my favorite). I doubt I’ll come in October. My finances won’t allow it, given that I have to save for the Japan trip in November… Next year I hope. You know I’ll be ringing your bell one day 😉

  26. This is such a beautiful post. Remarkably put together, both narrative and visual. Your first photograph made me yearn for a soft boiled egg.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      That’s an easy craving to satisfy 😉 🙂 Thanks for your lovely comment!! Now get some eggs and boil that water 😉

  27. michela says:

    love eggs but never tried with truffle!your family story is so interesting and lovely, you dhould write a novel with your memories❤️❤️❤️

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I probably should Michela. For now it’s all about my new portfolio and the book… I wish there were more hours in a day… 😉

  28. Delicious family history! The old photographs are priceless.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      They are my personal treasure. I have hundreds of them dating back to the middle of the 19th century. I love sharing them…

  29. soonie2 says:

    What Sabine said…she put it so eloquently, I couldn’t have said it any better! Bravo, Stephane!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You are so funny! Here is to our dear Sabine then! 😉

  30. lieberlecker says:

    Great pictures (the new ones) 🙂
    Greetings from Zurich,

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You must have great mushroom in Switzerland as well Andy. I know my favorite morels come from Italy for example… France, Switzerland, Italy: the golden triangle of food 😉

  31. brincs says:

    Eggs and truffle. A combination made in heaven.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Indeed 😉

  32. sabine says:

    what wonderful family heritage you unearth here – characters, recipe, photos! and how I´d love to have a truffles treasure in my garden at home, too!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I didn’t used to use truffles in my cooking, mainly because they are so darn expensive. But I am using them more and more. I have been using more and more mushrooms recently and I love it!

  33. Conor Bofin says:

    Totally typical of your high standard of posting Stephané. Beautiful stuff indeed.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks my friend! Simple things from a sole meunière to plain eggs are often my favorites…

  34. Linda Duffin says:

    My kind of breakfast – divine. Love your egg cups too!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I got these egg cups from my mom. I stole them in her cupboard actually. That’s our little secret 😉

      1. Linda Duffin says:

        My lips are sealed. 😉

  35. Steve says:

    My favourite way of eating eggs as well, although the choice of bread becomes very critical to the process. I prefer a good artisanal white baguette.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Me too! Baguette all the way. Sometimes, I even spread fresh butter on it before dipping it into the egg…

  36. rafaelpradov says:

    Beautiful story of your family. Truffles and true love, What else? 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      What else indeed dear Rafael ?! Thanks for your lovely comment!!

  37. savannabel says:

    I loved this post … and I love soft boiled eggs, too. Your photographs are magnificent! Thank you. Annabel

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much dear Annabel!

  38. Carl Johnson says:

    This kind of story is the kind that would be great in a book! We had a wonderful time visiting your home and cooking with you. My daughter delivered a healthy baby girl last weekend just after we arrived home.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Congratulations Carl! You must be thrilled!! This is truly what life is all about. Family and legacy…

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