When I moved into a tiny studio apartment in downtown Madison, Wis., I had a great deal of fun setting up my equally minuscule kitchen, which was about five-feet across. For the amount of kitchen gear I had – dishes, a few pots and pans, a coffee pot and a casserole dish – it was surprisingly efficient.

I was a block off busy, funky State Street and could see and hear the saffron-robed Hare Krishnas swaying and chanting on the corner and listen to a reggae band practice on weekends. I cooked lots of vegetarian meals with curry and cumin.

I purchased a few small items at the shops along State Street, which were a mix of bookstores, clothing boutiques, music stores and gift/kitchenware retailers. Among them was this German-made egg timer, which is perfect for making a decent 3-to-5 minute boiled egg.

The harder you like your egg, the longer you boil it. I think the perfect egg is a four-minute egg.

When I was a child, soft-boiled eggs and toast were standard fare for sick days. Mine were usually served with toast points on a small tray by parents who liked to make eating fun.

“Eat light, you’ll feel alright,” my mother used to say.

I still use my egg timer; it’s been with me since college.

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