Back in the days before he rose to the heights of TV chef with his own show Heston Blumenthal had a column in the Guardian that featured his somewhat impractical for the home recipes. I remember one required boiling lobster shells for 24 hours to make the sauce. Which all led to conspiracy theories that he was a made up satirical character playing the longest April Fools day joke set up ever.
The other day my old clockwork kitchen timer broke so I went to buy a new one. Now in our topsy-turvy post Woolworths age the simple mechanical timer seems to have become an expensive , luxury item so I ended up with a Heston Blumenthal battery powered model that also doubles as a clock. I picked it because I liked the look and it was the cheapest one I’d found. On opening it I found a tiny sheet of instructions and a large sheet that makes me think someone is still running the Heston Blumenthal joke. The guarantee makes it clear that the timer is for “Domestic Use Only”. Yet the other sheet is headed “Electromagnetic Compatibility” and provides detailed warnings about factors that electromagnetic instruments may influence the timer or cause it to temporarily malfunction. Which could obviously be a serious risk if trying to precisely boil your egg for the 416 seconds required for the perfect firmer, more creamy yolk with a completely set white.